Review by TBranford

"It certainly isn't as good as everyone claims.."

Introduction
I have always been a big fan of fighting games, particularly the ones that have been released for the Arcade. I have been a regular at my local arcade for about two years now, so I have played a lot of arcade fighting games. One of the ones I remember most over the past six months is a game released by Namco called Tekken Tag Tournament. Unlike a lot of other people out there, I have never really been a huge fan of the Tekken series. Sure, I have enjoyed some of the games in the series like Tekken 3, but I have always preferred a lot of other fighting game series, like the Street Fighter series. Also, Marvel vs. Capcom. But there is no doubt in my mind that I was going to have mixed impressions about Tekken Tag Tournament.

It turns out that I liked the game, although I didn't like it as much as I expected. I even felt that certain aspects of the game were not up to par with the previous game in the series, Tekken 3. I did like the tag teaming aspect that the game included, but the game just didn't cut it for me. Enter this past Thursday. The big launch of the Playstation 2. My friend had already had a Japanese Playstation 2, and Tekken Tag Tournament. I played some of it and was generally impressed, although I still didn't really love it. So, Thursday rolled around and I went to buy the game. I spent 50 bucks on it and got my Playstation 2 with it. I still am not impressed with this game too much, although it is a pretty good game in its own right. It just isn't as good as everyone says.

Graphics (9.8/10)
Definitely the best aspect of Tekken Tag Tournament, as well as the most hyped, are the incredible graphics featured in the game. The Arcade version of the game looked awesome, so I expected the Playstation 2 version to look just as incredible. After all, the Playstation 2 was supposed to have awesome graphics, so the games better have great graphics. And Tekken Tag Tournament definitely has outstanding graphics. In fact, I can hereby refer to the graphics in this game as ''killer''. The character designs in the game are awesome, and I really liked how smooth the animation in the game was. The game ran at such a smooth frame rate, there wasn't any animation loss to speak of. And that is truly an amazing feat, considering how awesome the game looks. I also liked the backgrounds in the game, they were very well varied and truly descriptive. There is everything here, ranging from forests to dungeons. The graphics in the game are awesome, and I really liked how Namco made the game as close to Arcade perfect as possible. Hell, it could be said that the game is better looking than the Arcade version. I also really liked the video that started off the game, talk about amazing! Overall, the graphics in the game are great, and very realistic, and this is only a launch game?

Music and Sound Effects (6.3/10)
Considering the fact that the graphics in the game are so awesome, it is truly amazing that the music and sound effects are not up to par. The biggest disappointment for me is the music. I did not like the music much at all, mainly because most of it just did not fit the feeling of the game at all. For instance, there is some stages that feature music that seem to blend in well with the actual stage, and then there are the other stages that feature music that do not sound like it belongs in the stage at all. So there is definitely a variety of music, but some of it just isn’t that good. Most people will probably disagree with me on the music, and that’s fine, but that’s just the way I feel about the music in the game. I wish Namco would have done a better job with the music, because a game like this deserves outstanding music. The sound effects in the game are pretty good, although not as good as I would have expected. The voice acting for the game is average, nothing spectacular here. I liked the other sound effects, to a certain extent, but some of them got a tad annoying after a while. Regardless, the music and sound effects are still solid. Overall, the music and sound effects in the game are average, although there is nothing here that I would consider to be worth listening to.

Gameplay and Control (5.9/10)
This is the part of the game that disappointed me the most. Despite the fact that I didn’t really like the other games in the Tekken series too much, I still expected to like this game. After all, it had been so hyped, and a lot of people seem to love it. However, I did not seem to love it. I guess it is because the same game at heart is still Tekken. Namco added a whole bunch of new stuff to the game, including new modes and characters, but in the end, the game is still Tekken. The game itself uses the same game engine as Tekken. That is the biggest problem, I have never really liked the Tekken engine much at all when compared to other fighting game engines out there. It just seems a tad too difficult to pull off some of the moves in the game. I do like this game when it comes to game modes, because Namco added a whole bunch of new modes to the game. The most noticeable of these is the Tekken Bowl Mode. This is a really fun mini game, as you can bowl with the Tekken characters. It definitely is one of the most addictive mini games ever featured in a fighting game. I wish the game would have had a story mode, though. It would have made the game better, and probably would have added a point to the score I gave it. The final thing I have to mention about this game is the tag team element, it was definitely a good idea, but some of the other games out there also feature tag team modes. Overall, this game is another average Tekken game, fans of the series will love it, people who don’t love the series will just find this to be average.

Replay Value: Above Average
Despite the fact that I didn’t really enjoy this game too much, I will admit that the game has some decent replay value. I think an addition of a story mode would have led to an increase in the replay value, but the features included are good enough for me. I liked the bowling mode, as it was fairly addictive, as was the gallery mode. And you need to unlock the modes, as well as 14 characters. You start off with 20 characters, and end up with a total of 34 characters. So, you need to unlock 14 of them by battling through the Arcade mode. This adds to the replay value, as well. Overall, the game has solid replay value.

Challenge: Above Average
Even I had a lot of problems getting through this game. This is one of the most challenging fighting games I have ever played. Some of the fights in the game are extremely challenging, especially some of the boss fights. The final boss is very challenging, especially on the hardest challenge. It will definitely take you a while to complete this game. Overall, this is a pretty challenging game.

Overall (6.2/10)
Do not be fooled by this score. Chances are you will enjoy playing this game. I have never really been a fan of the Tekken series at all, so my score may be influenced by that. I just don’t like the basic fighting engine of the game. The additions from the arcade mode and new characters are a good idea though, and if you are a Tekken fan, you will love this game. I can pretty much confirm that you will at least enjoy this game, like I enjoyed this game. A lot of people have seemed to fallen in love with this game, I don’t like it that much but I will admit that it is a solid game. It is definitely a good time killer.

Would Terra Branford buy this game?
Nope. Of course, I already purchased this game, but if I had a choice to do it again, I wouldn’t buy this. I would probably buy Dead or Alive 2: HOA instead. However, I will recommend buying this game if you enjoyed any of the other Tekken games, because this game uses the same basic engine. It is a fun game that is not for everyone, so maybe you should rent it first. And that, my friends, IS true!


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/28/00, Updated 10/28/00


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