Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review
By Janus 32
18 years has passed since the word ‘Tekken’ had graced the arcades and is now in history as one of the most recognizable faces in the fighting game genre comparing to its CAPCOM Rival the Street Fighter Franchise.
Tekken Tag Tournament or known as TTT had first arrived in 1999 but ported to Playstation 2 in 2000 which makes the first edition until present day 12 years in-between when both games were developed. Initially Tekken enthusiasts were sceptical of the idea of a single character game going tag team WWE style, but as the time went on before the release of Tekken 4, TTT had gathered a lot of enthusiasts and fans.
Over a decade and we have the latest instalment finally here, but is the traditional notion that sequels that come out (whether in movies or just…in anything) usually punch themselves out?
Or does Namco Bandai‘s latest instalment K.O. the competition?
The original TTT had come in as a different idea of taking a single character fighting game to have the tag team option. When one character is low on health, the player can tag in another character to continue the fight, hallmarks rules of tag team. Same rule had applied that if one characters life bar is depleted, its KO, regardless if your partner character has a full health bar or half. With tagging of the partner characters, players in TTT could ‘juggle’ and string combinations on opponents by rapidly switching between characters.
TTT2 though implements this ‘juggle’, it now further enhances the gameplay. Originally starting in Tekken 5, the terminology “bound” was noted by players. Bounding the opponent is another word for ‘bouncing’ the opponent then able to continue another combo string into the wall for a stage break. Tekken in such a way had followed the Dead or Alive formula adding walls into some of their stages so players could force their opponents into the walls for extra damage.
In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the bounding and stage breaks have been improved for greater gameplay and more mindgames. Baiting players by sidestepping, poking and launching the opponent then to bound the opponent then stage breaking. All have been improved in the tag system. Players can slowdown time to continue a combo to further diminish and humiliate the opponents life bar, but it is not represented by a slow down time meter of sorts but a single white flash that will have players timing their moves to switch out their characters to continue the combo.
Surprisingly on our run through of the game, there was the obvious premise of testing out the multiplayer function. As opposed to Tekken 6, the game handles rather well online in comparison to the standalone T6, though of course this can be altered if one has a non-decent connection. But what is remarkable is the improvement. Namco seemed to have tried very hard for this game to be as smooth as it could be online than offline, and this scores brownie points.
The gameplay that was aforementioned extends to so much more, and the options are almost limitless. Now you may read this and think that’s unthinkable with a fighter, but like any game, there is a lot to learn and explore, and as fighting games go in this day and age with the 3D element (not viewing it in 3D), fighting has never had so much more thrills and spills when it comes down to the winner and loser. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Youtube competition fighting. You’ll see what I mean.
A reiteration of a series, a franchise, a sequel must come with better graphics, better voices, better looks, better everything.
And Tekken Tag Tournament 2 does not fail on that.
Visually speaking, the game can be stretched to a 1080P setting for the biggest tv you can think of, or whatever is the maximum range, and still look stunning. Character models have more depth, and detail. The details of the costumes and the backgrounds as well as the arenas are all stunning. The backgrounds for the arenas in TTT were moving and animated, and it has not pulled its punches in this latest edition.
But its presentation is further augmented with its soundtrack. The characters voices, the stage breaks but the music is especially pleasing. Players who have played the franchise, not just TTT but other Tekken games before this, will recognize some stages have come back as well as familiar themes songs. It’s a homely effect for the players that have stuck with the franchise, but its also great to show newcomers that this edition of Tekken is coming in with the bells and whistles and is not holding its punches in order to delivery the goods in regards to quality.
At around the same time as TTT2 was being released, Dead or Alive 5 had been released as well. Which of course for any fight aficionado this is a dream come true to have more fighting games grace the shelves. But of course, the games may both look the same, but the handling of each game is different. TTT2 handles in such a way that can bring casual players to the fighting genre, and bring them into obsession given the hunger and the drive to be a better fighter. In this case to master 2 characters at the same time, tag team style.
Get it. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a game that must be experienced. This latest instalment has proven to be quite the treat for the eyes as well as those fighters that want to get back into the genre, full stop.
The mix and increase of music tracks, stages, fighter roster (which is 59 characters in total), everything has been revamped and extended further. As any sequel should, there has to be more content and more of everything to entice the consumer and TTT2 has succeeded. There is a ton of Downloadable Content on the way so keep an eye out for those as well.
It is a sequel that lives up the expectations, even if there weren’t any to begin with.
Also, have a lookout for Snoop Dogg’s own stage that made it into the game.