Tekken Tag Tournament 2

While the game acts as a superb tribute to games past, it has little to no story to back it up

By fishdalf, Posted 17 Oct 2012

Tekken has been a mainstay in the gaming world for some time now, which is especially impressive considering the flailing state of the fighting genre. You can go down the list and pick any of the six main titles, or spin-off’s and be guaranteed a package with ultra-solid gameplay mechanics, a varied roster and a big ball of quirk that only Namco could provide. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is no different and is the biggest and most intense of the bunch, boasting no fewer than 59 fully playable characters, each with their own unique personalities and movesets.

The line-up includes almost every single character from previous games, with only a few exceptions that were either deemed unnecessary, such as variations of Gun Jack, or it came down to balancing issues, such as that annoying dinosaur Gon from Tekken 3 who may well have been the most infuriating opponent of any fighting game to date. They’ve now done away with character variants and instead made each their own character, which I guess makes sense as splitting Panda and Kuma makes them suitable tag partners. The same goes for Eddy Gordo and Tiger Jackson, although with Christie Monteiro also in attendance players now have the choice of three who fight in the capoeira style. Marshall Law and his son Forest Law are also both in attendance for I believe the first time, which is something I’m sure will appease many hardcore Tekken fanatics.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Review, Trailer

That is part of the charm of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 in that it appeals to the die-hard contingent and feels more like a tribute to everything that has gone before it, but while that can be a blessing it can also be a curse in that it doesn’t offer up any fresh or new ideas. I couldn’t myself see people who are new to the series sticking with it for a prolonged period of time, namely because it doesn’t have a single player campaign or a progression. There is the hint of a story within Fight Lab, but it feels more like an advanced training mode than anything else, where you learn the basics of combat and the multiple new tag manoeuvres that can be carried out. In this mode you take control of a new character by the name of Combot, who acts as a blank canvas you can apply any move to.

There are more moves added here than any previous iteration, with similarities of some between characters being replaced by others. It’s not quite to the point where I’m sure they’d like, with Roger Jr. and Alex for example having very close-lying combinations, but it’s definitely a huge step in the right direction as far as total separation is concerned. There are also a lot more ways to juggle your opponent and bring in your tag partner, meaning that if you become good enough and get your timing spot on then you can effectively take someone out in two combinations, which can make fighting the best online has to offer a tad infuriating, but I guess that’s why they’re the best.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Review, Trailer

There are plenty of fight modes to choose from to fulfil your every brutal need. Team Battle sees up to 8 versus 8 duking it out for supremacy, with your first two characters at any time able to tag in and out of the arena. This is my personal favourite for offline play as it prolongs the battle and offers up many different combinations of fighters. Time Attack sees you facing the clock to take out as many enemies in the quickest time possible. Survival Mode requires a more cautious approach, where you must stay alive for as many bouts as you can. You also of course have Arcade Mode that follows the generic conventions of ladder play and on the higher difficulties this is as savage as it gets with very little room for error.

Ghost Battle makes its return and pits you against the CPU dressed in a variety of weird and wonderful costumes. The more combatants you beat the higher your rank goes and it’s much the same formula online. Venturing into ranked or unranked matches unearths some pretty zany combinations of fighters and apparel. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as getting your arse handed to you by Bryan Fury in a pink tutu. That’s why it’s best to search for match-ups that fall in or around your current rank so that you can make steady progress up the online Leaderboards. The one downside to an otherwise wonderful online component is the occasional issues with lag where fights will come to a virtual standstill if both connections aren’t at least to an average standard.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Review, Trailer

The offline runs exceptionally smooth; there are the odd frame rate drops, but nothing so significant that it deters you from battle. The backgrounds are stunning and really help compliment the action, with enough detail to appreciate, but not so much that it doesn’t allow the characters models to pop. There’s a healthy mix of vibrant colourful settings and some drab and dreary ones, which really stand out in stark contrast to one another. The soundtrack is also a nice treat, with one techno tune in particular from the Christmas arena planted firmly in my head and it just won’t quit, but there are many others that catch the attention. The menus are polished and bring the whole package together nicely.

The only problem I have is that while the game acts as a superb tribute to games past, with the quickest, feistiest and most tactical gameplay to date, it does little else but stand as a fighting engine with little to no story to back it up. I understand that it’s a spin-off, but that’s no excuse to simply abandon a lengthy campaign. Tekken 6 had the right ideas and this really should have continued on from that; even more so considering they’ve introduced some new characters that could potentially have intriguing backstories. If you’re looking to dive into pure unadulterated action then look no further, but if you want method behind the madness then perhaps you should look elsewhere.


Craig Bryan, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai Games
Developer(s): Namco Bandai Games
Genres: Fighting
Themes: Action
Release Date: 201209-11

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