Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3
Rated: T for Teen
Beginning its legacy in 1994, Tekken has been in just about every other household for almost 20 years now. It all began with PlayStation and worked all the way to PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360, supported by the same developers. Tekken fighters first teamed up back in 1999 and was quite the entertainment for a few years. That’s not to say the fun died, but that Tekken continued to release new installments and progress the stories of each character.
So, here we are again with Namco since their recent crossover title Street Fighter x Tekken. This time the primary focus is back on who is the King of the Iron Fist Tournament. When jumping into the traditional Arcade mode, you have the option of flying solo or looking for a shoulder to lean on in Tag mode.
One of the biggest changes when playing tag is the winning system. In the original Tekken Tag Tournament, when one of the players would lose all of their health, it became a 2 on 1 battle to the end. However, when you’re playing as two of the 49 selectable characters, when your health drains out the round is over.
In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, there is a flashing red bar, called “Rage”, that indicates your partner has the ability to temporarily cause more damage as you are getting closer to death.
Gameplay feels like an amped up Tekken 6 with a tagging system. I must add that the tagging system feels more fluid than the previous SFxT. The combos that can be stringed together are unprecedented. You’ll see what rage mode looks like when you fight Jun Kazama and the Unknown fighter.
But the long haul for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the online mode and the new World Tekken Federation. WTF allows you to look at and analyze you playing style from your online fighting. See what works and what doesn’t. You can also join online competitions through the WTF mode, which options favour COD Elite or Halo Waypoint.
Online experiences were well. I didn’t experience any lag in TTT2, just better players than myself.
Namco didn’t stop there, there’s a special practice test mode called “Fight Lab.” It’s an awesome story mode where Combot is simply learning the ropes to Tekken. When you look outside story, it’s a solid breakdown of all the buttons and configurations.
The 3D texture is remarkable and, on some stages, jaw dropping. On one particular stage, I fought an opponent in an area made of Oil Pastel. I was so caught up in the night and day difference from the normal stages and this beautiful surrounding, that I had to accept a few loses. Characters each looked very detailed, much more than the Tekken 6, and are all customizable.
Controls are the same, typical scheme you would expect from any previous version of Tekken. Only standout button would be the use of the left and right bumper to tag in your partner. Unlike most fighting games, you can’t create your own button mashing frenzy. Tekken is indeed an awesome yet skillful experience. Combos will take you a long way.
I applaud Namco for Tekken Tunes. The tune option will allow you to dissect menu by menu and stage by stage what songs you would like to hear. If the tracks available aren’t making the cut, you can be your own DJ and customize the entire game with the songs you choose.
Tekken Tag Tournament is a sheer reinvention of the franchise. With the polished graphics, smoother mechanics and dedicated updates and modes added to the installment, TTT2 is an absolute must have for any fighting game enthusiast.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5