Each Tekken game roster contains some vibrant characters, from King’s incredible fashion choices to Eddy Gordo’s superb dance moves. Now, fiery biker and martial artist Paul Phoenix returns in a new Tekken 8 gameplay trailer, though his appearance is already causing a stir with fans. Though Paul is a fan favourite in some corners of the Tekken community, it’s his flowing blonde hair that has Tekken players up in arms.
Developer Bandai Namco reveals that Paul Phoenix is in Tekken 8, as a new gameplay trailer highlights the classic character’s appearance. Playable in every Tekken game since 1994, his hair has seen some considerable changes. His hi-top fade is a thing of the past, but Tekken subreddit member ‘LevynX‘ is a fan of his new aesthetic: “I don’t get why people are so upset at the hair. I think it looks fine, it’s just a hairstyle, plus the character models and animations look way better.”
The Redditor adds that “Paul actually has emotions instead of resting grumpy face now. Other subreddit members such as ‘RestOTG’ are smitten with Paul’s Tekken 8 visage: “I love this man. Paul looks way better now than ever before IMO. Just out there being an absolutely devastating goofball.”
His devilishly handsome looks are converting players like ‘BluexFlash’ into Paul players too: “I never got on board with the Paul popularity but this video alone made me want to play him. The character animations are so good.”
However, this new Tekken 8 trailer isn’t a complete success for some. Fellow Tekken player ‘kentotoy98’ takes issue with Paul’s new look, saying that “Paul has always been an expressive guy. It’s the yee-yee ass haircut that I have problems with right now.” Paul’s divisive appearance is a result of the revamped fidelity upgrades present in Tekken 8, lending the character a more realistic appearance, though with some potentially exaggerated facial expressions.
It isn’t the first time that Paul has abandoned his signature haircut either, as games such as Tekken 4 have showcased the character with a different style. Tekken Redditor ‘AlternativeNo61‘ expresses “it’s kinda funny, dude looks the most broken now what with the outfit and removal of classic hairstyle, but for once he’s actually happy.” Paul’s renewed image is one of many for all the Tekken 8 characters, as fighters such as Lars Alexandersson also don new threads.
Tekken games have provided customisation options in the past, so it is possible that Paul’s memorable hi-top fade will return. You’ll have to wait for the Tekken 8 release date to craft your perfect Paul though.