Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review

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Tekken Tag Tournament 2

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With a massive character roster, great online mode and solid gameplay mechanics, Tekken Tag 2 is easily one of the best brawlers on the market and a triumphant return for the series.

We like

  • The great tag mechanics
  • The superb character roster
  • Online play is greatly improved over Tekken 6

We dislike

  • The minor online lag issues
  • No classic mini-games like Tekken Force, Bowling etc

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(continued from previous page) ...in control of Tekken 4’s Combo, effectively a type of training dummy produced by Lee Violet’s multi-national corporation. Violet and his sultry sidekick will guide you through five stages of varying challenges, from fundamentals such as movement, punches, kicks to taking out bosses while navigating an explosive minefield. Yes, it’s ostentatious compared to the humble Practice Mode, but in terms of getting user acquainted with the Tekken basics, you can’t beat it. Plus, you get to customize combat with a variety of moves, effectively creating your very own personalized brawler -- a nice addition in itself. Disappointingly however, Namco didn't include updated versions of fan favourite such as Tekken Force and Tekken Bowling, which surely would have benefited from a few tweaks and a modern makeover. Plus, Force is perfectly tailored for co-op, and Bowling would have proved an ideal break from the regular punch-ups while still providing that competitive edge.

Aside from your bog-standard Arcade Mode and the aforementioned Practice, you can also take part in Tekken staples such as Survival, Team Battle and VS. Regular one-on-one fights are available in both Arcade and VS if you fancy a spot of old-school Tekken, and you can even pit two characters against one if you fancy a game of decidedly unbalanced odds. Namco has focused on the fighting though, sparing us any convoluted plot nonsense; there’s no scenario or story, just fast-paced pummelling. And Tekken Tag 2 is all the better for it. Customisation is also back and better than ever, with heaps of swanky clobber up for grabs, not to mention some pretty bizarre accessories (I battled against one bloke with a pizza strapped to his back, for example). Money is never tight seeing as how you can rake in the cash simply by beating opponents, though you’ll need it if you are to kit out your characters with the most expensive items. Sure, some players may not give a toss about this aspect, and the item moves can be seen as gimmicky, but those who relish at personalising their combatants will put hours and hours into this component alone.

Let’s face it though; no one plays Tekken on their lonesome for extended periods of time, minus if they’re perfecting their move set. As such, the online multiplayer is where you’re likely to spend most of your time over the next few months. Fortunately, the net code this time around is far more robust than the stuttering mess that was Tekken 6. Is it perfect? No, you’ll still get some lag, which makes the more time-sensitive techniques a bit hit and miss, but overall it’s one of the better online beat-‘em-up experiences you’ll try. Again, there’s ranked and non-ranked matches, and Namco has improved things this time around by letting you give priority to lower or higher ranked opponents.

In my book this is a brilliant addition, as one of things that deterred me from going online with Tekken 6 was to constantly being thrown in at the deep end against an opponent who vastly eclipsed my own skill level. Sure, losing is part and parcel of any fighter, but being able to go toe-to-toe with someone of equal skill proves far more satisfying in the long run. Overall, you get what it says on the tin: it’s online Tekken, and for the most part, it’s a great experience offering competitive, fast-paced bouts that if anything make you eat humble pie and strive to lock down those intricate combos and timings so you can mix it up with the best of them. Personally, that’s exactly what I want out of a fighting game.

Visually, Tekken Tag 2 is a vibrant bag of ripping muscles, gorgeous backdrops and outlandish physics. Realism certainly isn’t the name of the game here as you bounce victims off concrete and send them flying airborne, but it’s a joy to watch and the action never lets up. Backgrounds are pleasingly varied and a lot of them offer destructible floors and barriers, injecting a bit of Dead or Alive into the proceedings and more importantly keeping things fresh.

Walls also make a return, but fortunately they’re not as prominent as in previous entries. Characters are meticulously-detailed from clothing to facial animation, even if the lip synching ... (continued on next page)

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