Review by LordTopak
"The Most Ecksurent Fighting Game ever"
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is overflowing with so much content that it boggles the mind. Tekken has been tugging at my heart strings ever since Part 3 and up (I never liked part 1 and 2). It just brings so much joy to me to be playing such a rare gem of a fighting game brimming with so much stuff. I have never bought a fighting game at release until this game. Why score it a perfect 10? Below are the reasons:
Tekken Tag gameplay with improved T6 features and amazing online? Sign me up! Character selection is way up there; there's a guy doing some sort of karate, a bruce lee clone (two actually!) and this hunk with power ranger/dbz like moves. I tried counting the number of characters but quit after I ran out of fingers to count them on. With so many characters to choose from, players are guaranteed to find one to their liking.
The walls and bounds which were first introduced in Tekken 4 and 6 respectively greatly add a layer of depth and variety in matches. Walls force players to think on the fly, even adjusting on what move to use mid-combo so that they can best use the walls to their advantage. Bounds greatly expand the length of a combo and even opens up the possibility of using other moves which may not connect if used during a simple juggle.
Tag Assault is a new tool which allows the secondary character to jump in after a bound move and do a single string of moves, further lengthening combos and the damage they do. It is quite risky to always do Tag Assaults though since it gives your opponent's secondary or their only character rage. Tag Assaults opens up even more combo possibilities, allowing for more creativity in combos.
Introduced in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited, players are able to choose between Tag or Solo Mode. Tag Mode allows players to use two characters in a team each with 140 health and allows the use of Tag Assault and Tag Crash (allows you to sacrifice your secondary character's rage for a chance to safely tag out your current character). Solo Mode opts for only one character at 220 health but with two chances of activating rage within the round.
The Online Code for Tekken Tag Tournament is one of the best, if not the best net code for a fighting game I've ever played. 3 to 5 bar matches are flawless, with almost no delay. Even 1-2 bar matches are playable. A far cry from the abysmal net code of Tekken 6 (before the patch). Ranked and Player Matches are also excellent. World Arena, recently added in a patch, allows players to meet up in region specific lobbies and match up, chat or even create their own lobby/ lounge inside the arena. I'm not going to delve into the match making process of ranked match, let me just say that getting paired up with someone better than you is much better in the long run. Fighting against someone of lower or the same skill level will not make you improve. Just think as if you were playing in an arcade, never knowing if the guy that challenged you is a monster or a total noob.
Being a sequel to Tekken Tag Tournament 1, the in-game character models are vastly superior to its predecessor's PS1/PS2-esque graphics. The characters and stages have this improved Tekken 6 sheen on them, resulting in spectacular effects emanating from the moves done. A blocked Electric Wind God Fist is a sight to behold. A graphical enhancement unique to this installment are mud, water and dirt affecting your character's look throughout the match. Fall down in a puddle or dirt and it sticks to your character, its as if the ground was real! I sometimes equip my characters with swimsuits and purposely have myself get "knocced" down so that I can roll around in the sand and pretend as if they were playing in the beach. Stages with water are also great for pretend swimming ( I don't recommend the final stage though).You can even see your characters sweat (most noticeable in the arena stage), its like your re-enacting the game's intro.
The intro and ending movies all feature astounding animation with some endings even using a unique art style. Wang's ending is a must watch for any Tekken fan. I would have scored graphics an 11 but the lack of an ending movie for Tiger has forced me to lower it to 10 just to be fair.
That crackling sound of an electric uppercut hitting or getting blocked just never gets old. Eye lasers, bear, kangaroo, raptor, cheetah/whatever growls abound. The sound effects in this game (as in most Tekken games) are instantly recognizable and even memorable. Even without seeing the action you'll know that Paul's Death Fist has hit, someone is being eaten by Kuma or that a guy is currently being spun in a giant swing. Even the sounds made by the water splashing around your character's feet and the type of floor they're walking around are faithfully reproduced. The different languages used by the characters are a nice touch too, making them sound that much more authentic.
Music is quite the low point though. Aside from Jun's boss stage theme, the Christmas theme and the character select music, there just aren't many memorable music in this game. The exclusive DLC song Knocc 'Em Down doesn't really seem to fit the game though. Weird thing, after repeatedly hearing the sound I actually started liking it in conjunction with its stage. The inclusion of Tekken Tunes makes up for everything though, allowing you free reign on what song plays where, heck even the menus. Hate that stage's music? Replace it with your own music, you can even replace everything with Guile's theme if you want.
Play Time / Replayability: 10/10
As with most fighting games, their longevity depends on the player itself. You will not last long online in any fighting game unless you want to get better. Put that in your mind set and you'll be much prepared for this game's online. Yes, you'll meet boosters, lag switchers, spammers and turtles online but they are not unique to this game. When you get matched up with that guy who is just a tad bit better than you, 'causing you to lose that very close match, you'll find that drive to get better. You will want to practice until you get your combos and defense down, even contemplating on possible scenarios in your rematch. When that moment comes when you finally meet him again and then proceed to beat him, you will smile a very big smile... said smile will be wiped off your face on the next monster you face, restarting the cycle for betterment.
For the guys who want to avoid online altogether, there are the basic arcade, time attack, survival, and team battle mode (practice mode too!). Fight Lab is a nice (and pretty hilarious) way for new players to grasp the various mechanics of Tekken Tag 2, a must play especially for the last boss. The Ghost Battle mode pits you off against AI opponents of varying ranks and compositions. Ghost Battles allows users to easily unlock the ending movies and customization parts for all characters via the gold battles. Each match (whether offline or online) also nets the player varying amounts of gold which are used to purchase basic customization parts for all characters. Character customization from T6 returns, allowing users to make their own personalized take on their character. Just unlocking parts and obtaining the max rank for your characters will take quite a while.
If you actually have someone on the same couch to play with, you may opt for pair play mode instead of the standard versus modes. Pair Play allows up to four players to square off into two teams and duke it out. If there are only two players, they will go through arcade mode as a team. Lots of fun even for players that are new to the game. A real hoot!
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the best Tekken installment ever. After playing this iteration, there is absolutely no reason to go back to previous Tekkens with all the improvements TTT2 has. If you are truly a fighting game fan there is no excuse not to pick this up. TT2 will last you for years. BUY IT NOW!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/23/12
Game Release: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (US, 09/11/12)
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