Why you should be excited about the return of Kuma & Panda: Bear with me…
The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2016 was an emotional roller-coaster, filled with incredible skills and undeniable passion from some of the world’s greatest Tekken players. Of course an event of such magnitude is guaranteed to come with some new and exclusive info ahead of the console and PC launch.
There was quite a few new announcements made; the online tournament mode for example (which will be thoroughly discussed in a separate article), and the fact we’re F I N A L L Y getting the release date next month! There was one particular announcement that generated the most talk amongst the community however, and that was the return of Kuma and Panda.
Upon first, second, and third glance, a portion of the community seemed to react negatively to the news. I mean some were SO angry they decided to personally tweet Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray their frustrations. You could even say the news generated some sort of backlash (which has since died down of course), and I do understand why people initially reacted negatively, but there are reasons you need to be excited for the return of the bears. Hear me out. I really wanted to use the ‘bear with me pun’ again.
Tekken’s outlandish, and sometimes downright crazy features are just one of the many things that make it wonderful. Yes, of course we take the game seriously, and it does have its serious tones, but the ‘crazy’ side of Tekken is one of the reasons we love it so much (unless you’re boring, just kidding)!
The animal characters have been around since the beginning, and even though I’m personally not great at the animal characters, Tekken just wouldn’t feel like Tekken without them. Kuma has been with us since the game debuted, and Panda was introduced in Tekken 3. The bears, alongside a certain Kangaroo and Velociraptor are characters which have helped give Tekken its unique identity. Although there’s an incredible line-up of characters so far, Tekken 7’s roster was slightly lacking in some areas, and the return of the animals are helping it feel more like the Tekken we know. I am in no way saying Tekken needs the animals to be a great game, it’s just refreshing to see the game we’ve loved for the best part of two decades staying true to its crazy self.
You may think it’s odd to announce Kuma and Panda so late on in the game’s development, when characters such as Lei and Anna are nowhere to be seen, but many people have been asking about the animal characters and if they’ll be making a return. Not everyone is going to be happy with each announcement, and in an industry like this it’s extremely difficult to please everybody. It is important to note however that there are still more character announcements to come, so if your character hasn’t been announced yet, then there’s still hope!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – What did you think of the announcement? Are you disappointed, or are you happy to see the bears return? Let me know your take on this in the comments!