Tekken Tag Tournament 2: It has all the right moves

September 28, 2012

It’s been three years since we last saw a Tekken game, but almost 12 years since the last Tag installment. The series itself has been considered one of the best 3D fighters available on the market. With the critical acclaim of the last two games in the series and the overall hype of the game surrounding the release of Tag Tournament 2, would this game live up to the expectations that everyone had for it?

Definitely.

Ever since I started playing this series, I’ve found that the Tekken series has always been an accessible series to beginners and veterans alike. With each limb of the player attached to a button on the controller, it’s easy to figure out how to do simple combos and discover new ways to keep your opponent at bay. Oddly enough, the game has never had much of a tutorial mode to help newer players get into the game.

One of the more outstanding features of this game would be the Fight Lab. It’s an incredibly detailed tutorial mode featuring Combot (Tekken 4’s Mokujin/Random Character) and Violet (Lee Chaolin’s alter ego). After Violet accidentally deletes all the programming for a perfect Combot to use in battle, you, as the next Combot, have to relearn everything the last one knew. The game covers everything from how to move with your character, attacking, the game’s air combo system, advanced tactics and the Tag mechanics exclusive to this game. Going into the game, I brought over a lot of what I knew from the last Tag series, as well as the previous Tekken games. Even as someone who knows a decent amount about the series, this mode helped an incredible amount on how the game works.

A nice addition to the game’s depth is the customization of Combot itself. No longer is he the random character of the game (since Mokujin is in the game anyway), but with the development points you earn from Fight Lab, you can customize the move set for Combot to your own personal tastes combining moves from different characters in the series.

As far as the other modes go, you have your typical Arcade mode, which helps unlock specific character endings, and Ghost Mode, which allows you to rank your character and earn customization items. There’s also Survival, Time Attack and Online modes, the latter of which plays incredibly well. I found most of my matches to be lagless and the competition extremely stiff. In combination with the Tekken World Federation website, you can see details about your own character as well as join teams with your friends and fight for online supremacy.

Another nice thing about this game is the Pair Play mode available both online and off. This allows you to team up with another player locally and face one another on a singular team with each player playing as one character.

While not necessary for gameplay, one of the most praised (and most entertaining) things from the previous games is the Customization Mode for each character. Here, you can customize outfits for each character and dress them up as classily, or as ridiculous, as you want. Sadly, certain elements couldn’t be separated, unlike the previous versions. Specifically, hands don’t have a separate option from the upper body, and feet don’t have a separate option from the lower body.  Also, the amount of unique items to a character isn’t in great numbers like the last game. Regardless, there’s still tons of items to mess around with and more coming with DLC.

If you’re a fan of the series, this isn’t one you should miss. The gameplay mechanics are still incredibly deep and the game is as gorgeous as ever.

Pros: Gorgeous visuals, easy to pick up for beginners (thanks to Fight Lab)
Cons: Customization could’ve been deeper

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.

{ 4 comments }

WesFX September 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm

“It’s been three years since we last saw a Tekken game”

Tekken 3D Prime Edition?

I just tried this series this year. Not really a fighting game player, though I’ve dabbled in Street Fighter and the “vs. Capcom” brand games. I never did feel like I was getting the hang of their mechanics, but perhaps because I play Smash Bros. more avidly, Tekken is clicking with me.

Eric Albuen September 29, 2012 at 4:10 am

It was more to me on when we last saw a huge release for a Tekken game in the arcades or even consoles.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition is pretty much just Tekken 6 for the 3DS, so technically it has been three years since the last major Tekken release.

WesFX September 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm

As I was thinking of saying, even if you were only basing it on a game with new content, the Tekken 6 in 2009 was just a re-release of Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion from 2008.

retrosportsgamer September 30, 2012 at 5:45 am

Was the original Tekken Tag a PS2 launch title? Certainly seems to be within that window if I’m recalling correctly. The recent Hybrid HD re-release (super cheap now) must have thrown me off on the timing.