Tekken Tag Tournament 2 review
The Tekken series has been around for a long time. The impact it made with it's first three installements on the PSone is something that no beat'em up fan can forget. Tekken Tag Tournament was the next entry, and was a suprising spin-off that featured almost all the charactes from the previous games into a 2v2 bash. Though popular, it took the folks at Namco untill last year to release a sequel in the arcades and finally now we can get our hands on it on our home consoles.
To be honest, I’ve never really played the original Tekken Tag Tournament more then a few times and to me, it felt like Tekken 3 with a tag feature. You play with two characters and switch out here and there for the fun of it. That was it for me. So now it's basically the same story with Tekken Tag Tournament 2, where it is nothing more then Tekken 6 with a tag feature and more characters? Well, it seems that way at first…but it isn’t. Totally not.
Tekken games have always been pretty basic when it comes to new releases. More characters, more moves, better graphics. Still they also add little changes to the gameplay, almost unnoticeable to the casual gamer, that can create a whole new experience in competitve play. The big deal with Tekken 6 was the ‘bounce effect’, where when you pull off certain moves, it causes the opponent to bounce off the ground, giving you a open shot to juggle the opponent into a painfull combo. Seriously, check out some videos about this on youtube, it’s messed up.
This created a new level of depth to the gameplay and demanded quite some skills to pull off. That element returns in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, but with another element added to it: a tag-team partner. Jup, this may not seem like a big deal to the average gamer, but it turns the game upside-down once you get into it. Tagging your partner in and out can create some of the most devastating combo’s in the history of Tekken. And it’s totally awesome!
But that’s the thing: ‘getting into it’. Tekken has always been known for it’s challenging moves but now there seems to be a big deal about it's difficulty. Yes, gamers who are giving Tekken a try for the very first time will be having a hard time. You can button smash like in any fighting game, but it will only get you so far. Once you go online (which works smoothly) , chances are big your ass will be handed to you. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 demands prachtice, knowing the moves, timing it all right. But as far as I know, it always has in the Tekken series. Come to think of it, almost every fighting game demands that. Sure there are other fighting games out there with more detailed tutorials and easy controls for beginners but to master every fighter, you need to the insides and outs. There’s no other way around.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 does provide you with ‘Fight Lab’, where you fight as Combot the robot and mostly learn the basics of Tekken Tag Tournament 2. It’s a nice touch, though Combot does look pretty damn idiotic but that’s just me. It doesn’t aid you on any pro level though. Fight Lab is the replacer for the several adventure-like modes we have seen in previous Tekken-games, which I personally don’t mind since those modes never made much sense to me other then being the fatest way of unlocking customize items for your characters.
Oh yeah, that option is back too of course (it’s kinda becoming a standard for most fighting games) and it’s pretty wack. If you’re like me, you’ll waste no time creating a matching outfit for your two favorite characters in the most insane way possible. Tekken has never been subtle about showing off the more crazy side of the Japanese culture.
Offline provide all the fighting goodness like time-attack and survival mode, which are fun additions to challenge yourself. No random out of place mode like Volleyball or Bowling though, and that’s a real shame.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 overthrows you with it’s roster. Possible every character that ever appear in any Tekken game is here! It’s lovely to see that after Namco’s Soulcalibur V where a lot of old favorites had to make room for a new generation, instead of just blending them together. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, you’ve got a favorite character? He/She is in it! Don’t let the amount mislead you though, this is a tag-team game after all (though you also have the option to play with a solo character) so you’re not picking one but two characters. Similar to the marvel vs capcom series, you kinda need a big roster to choose from. The major downside is of course getting to know every character. Unless you’re hardcore and have all the time in the world, you’ll never really know what every character is capable of. And that can become a problem for taking the fight online, ‘cause you not only need to know your own characters moves, but also those of your opponent as well. Still, it’s great to see the whole Tekken family together in one game. You’ll love some (yeah, armor king!!!) you’ll hate some (to hell with you, Alisa!!!) you’ll unquestionably find characters that match your style.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is basically fun. Big fun, seeing up to four characters fighting it out on your screen. It’s madness all right so you need to know what you’re doing in order to survive, but the learning curve isn’t as big as you might think. If you’re a Tekken-fan, why aren’t you playing this right now? If you’re a 3D-fighter-fan, seriously why aren’t you playing this right now?! If you’re a fighter-fan, it’s a lovely change to all the Street Fighter we’ve had these days so chances of being disappionted with this one, are low. But yeah, you do need to be into fighting games in order to really enjoy this one. If you’re just looking for a fun casual game to play here and there, this might not be your cup of tea. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 wants to see the hardcore side of you. That awesome, skull-bashing side of you…