Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the second tag-team style Tekken game releasing over a decade since the first one came out at the arcades in 1999.
The first Tekken Tag Tournament video game was a celebration of sorts getting together all of the previous fighters from the franchise up to that point. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is similar in that respect, although the roster count has grown exponentially over the last ten years and this game boasts the largest Tekken roster in history.
Continuing on with the roster, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 includes pretty much every playable character that has been in every Tekken game released to date. All of the fan favourites are here including Jin, Kazuya, Nina and even a younger looking Heihachi. Some more characters are even going to be added as future DLC. The only characters missing (that I know of) here is the little orange dragon called Gon in Tekken 3 and the annoying dragon boss from Tekken 6 Azazel.
As impressive as the roster is, the core gameplay of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 remains the same. Even though the game is mostly played in the tag-team style format, you only need to defeat only one person on the team. This is unlike other tag-team style games out there like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 where you have to beat every member of the team to win. Personally, I prefer matches that require you to defeat every opponent on the team because it is more dramatic and nail biting. Just defeating one opponent on the team feels like the match was only half finished…
One thing to watch out for in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the A.I. difficulty. I’ve played every Tekken game since Tekken 2 came out in 1997 but even then, I still struggled to beat A.I. in this game. Even on “easy” mode, the A.I. can still prove to be a worthy challenge that I had to resort using cheap combos in order to defeat my opponents. The increased difficulty may not sound like a bad thing for most expert Tekken players, but for everyone else, you should try out the game’s new training modes.
Character endings may not mean much for some people when they’re playing fighting games, but they’re always interesting to watch. Personally, more recent fighting games this generation have had pretty poor character endings that playing through the Arcade mode multiple times seemed like a complete waste of time. Tekken 6’s endings were too short while games like Street Fighter X Tekken and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 had some of the worst endings in fighting game history. Thankfully, most of the endings in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are humorous and are of a decent length. I became addicted to the game’s Arcade mode quickly in hopes of unlocking all of the endings.
Graphically, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 isn’t a huge leap from Tekken 6, but there are certainly noticeable improvements that have been made. The character models don’t look as jagged as they were in Tekken 6 and the environments in the game a lot brighter and more creative. The levels in Tekken 6 looked a bit dull compared to the fun atmosphere that this game provides. There is a Christmas inspired level plus an island resort in Fiji just to name a few of the levels you will be fighting in.
Another thing Tekken Tag Tournament 2 improves upon from Tekken 6 is that the customization mode is much more diverse. Not only can you dress up your favourite Tekken characters in many weird and wonderful ways, but you can also give Tekken characters weapons to play with too. This is the first time Tekken has introduced weapons and it might be a controversial addition to some hardcore fans. These fans shouldn’t worry too much about this though because weapons don’t play a huge factor into the gameplay and Tekken is not going turn into the next Soul Calibur game anytime soon…
Apart from the aforementioned training modes, most of the other features in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 remain the same. There are still the standard modes of Arcade, Vs, Survival and Time Attack here on offer. Pair Play is the only real new addition as this mode allows you to team up with a mate to challenge the A.I. I’m glad this game has no “side-scrolling” side game like in the repetitive shoddy one seen in Tekken 6.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is indeed a worthy addition to the Tekken franchise. The gameplay remains as fun as ever and is includes the most vast and impressive roster to date. It’s arguably better than this year’s release of Street Fighter X Tekken due to the amount of content that is included here. If you’re a fighting game fan, you don’t want to miss out having Tekken Tag Tournament 2 added to your gaming collection.
Lasting Appeal: 9.0