Review by Yakuza

"Bring a few friends home, grab the game pads and have fun!"

Yakuza’s review for Tekken Tag Tournament (TTT), for playstation2 (this is not the arcade version). TTT was made by the famous and brilliant company Namco.

First of all, I’m sorry for any forthcoming spelling/grammar errors, I’m not from an english speaking country. Now you might say that I should use a language program to correct all this but as far as I know, all spelling/grammar programs just complicate things more than correcting (you know, it becomes trouble when it encounters an unusual word, like tekken etc.). So I don’t use one in my reviews. Oh well, I hope it’s all gonna work out, I mean it’s not that bad, is it?

Tekken Tag Tournament was one of the launch games of the PS2 release. (Also, it was the first PS2 game I bought when the release was in my country :) I’ve played TTT a lot; way over 1000 hours I’d say and I think I’ve seen and discovered most of the events in the game (but still there are so many moves and attacks each character got). I’d also say I’m a pretty good tekken player so if you ever want to have a match against me, heh you’ll have an opponent! ;)

The Namco team had to work extremely hard to get it ready and finished until the release and they had a lot of pressure. All this pressure had a little affect on the game, I’ll tell you later about that. TTT is a beat ‘em up, the fourth in the tekken series that started for the sony playstation and now is headed for the PS2. It’s always hard to make a new game in a series, especially in a so famous and hyped series as the tekken. The change from one console to the other brings unknown problems; how to work with the new console and what to add, and lots of more stuff. But in all, I think Namco did a great job.

+Story line:+
The Tekken storyline is kinda weird. If you’ve seen the motion picture ”Tekken” (animé) you should know more of the story than the game shows. But it’s something like this (almost a rip-off from the classic ENTER THE DRAGON with Bruce Lee :)

”The title ¤the best fighter on earth¤ is settled once a year in the ”iron fist tournament” that’s being held each year on an island in the atlantic ocean by Heihachi Mishima. It’s also said that the winner can achieve one of their wishes. Some of the competitors fight only for the glory, others for revenge or personal affairs. The competitors are willing to do anything to achieve the title. Fighters from all the world are gathered, China, Japan, USA, Mexico, Europe, all fight for their own will. There’s no mercy and no rules, only the best wins. And everyone knows that.

Also, each character got some background of their own and you can figure out some of this by watching the movies in the ''theater'' mode. It's really nice and I think it's a part of the game that's needed. I can't wait to see what tekken 4 comes up with those movies...:)

Score storyline: 7.8/10

(It should be said that TTT has been out 2 years now since the japan release and of course that effects the graphic compared to other games. The other companies have had 2 years to improve the graphics to their consoles.)

Heh, I remember when I first bought my own PS2 console and this game. When I came home and plugged in all the wires and me and my buddies kicked back in front of the tv and the intro sequence started, we were all stunned by the amazing graphics. We thought it really looked awesome and cool. Now, 1 and a year later, I’m not that impressed. Sure, the graphics are nice, definitely better than the previous game in the series. The major differences from the first console and the new one is that the PS2 game is more smooth, contains more details and overall TTT has a better finishing touch. The characters look more realistic and has better special effects. I love the intro and cinema sequences, they’re all very deeply animated and looks very impressive. A difference from the other Tekken games, but not that much as the fans wanted...

But being a ”new generation game”, ok, I’m not disappointed or something, but let’s say that I’m not impressed at all.

Score graphics: 7.4/10

VS MODE!!! Without friends to play against, it’s not half as fun to play!
This is where the funfactor of TTT is settled; if you have any friends to play with. Facing the CPU all the time will get tiresome and practicing moves isn’t that fun either after a couple of hours. But if you got a friend you can have duels and tournaments and that’ll be really fun. (I just love to beat the crap outta my opponents ;) Playing against a human is much more fun than just the CPU. As you figured by now, TTT is fun the first hours when you’re new, you have to search and discover each move etc. When you’ve found all this, the gameplay drops a bit. Still, this is a fighting game, first made for arcade console.

The game developers have added a few more new characters and now you can select over 30 fighters, all with their different styles. (Man, why don’t they skip the panda and that dinosaur, they’re just annoying =)
What could have been improved are possibly the number of stages to play at. After you’ve played TTT a while, you’d like to have a few more.
What’s new in this Tekken game is that it’s called Tekken Tag, you play with TWO characters and can switch whenever you want. This will give you a better chance of varying your moves and attacks using two characters and different fighting styles. But the combos you can do with two characters are rather restricted (I think there are 5 or 6 combos that includes 2 characters or something). Oh well, you play with two characters but there is still a way to play 1 on 1 (the old gameplay). But overall, there is not much new added. (Even a lot of the old moves/techs from T3 is left).

Still, there is no other fighting game yet that beat the tekken series in the motion of gameplay. The system is so smooth with all the counterattacks, throws, kicks, punches and so on. It’s just great. TTT is pretty similar to Tekken 3 when it comes to gameplay, it’s just that the newer version has some new moves and is a bit faster. But overall, it’s the same gameplay...

Score gameplay: 9.3/10

I’m not satisfied to 100%. The previous Tekken games had some cool music and yeah, TTT has that too! It’s the sound that made me disappointed when I bought this game. Tekken 3 (previous game) had some awesome techno beats and cool riffs, cool voices and awesome sound. In TTT, the sound is sometimes a bit unrealistic, but I guess it’s ok. The music is good, better than the sound. Maybe it’s just that I’m tired of it (gee, thousands of hours with the same sound). If Namco work out some nice beats for the next game, it’s gonna be great...

Score audio: 7.8/10

Really TTT’s advantage and major strength. If there is something the Tekken series is possibly best at among all fighting games, it’s the controls. All the moves seem realistic to me (ok, most of them) and they all characters move smoothly. I heard that the tekken team used some real martial arts fighters and studied their moves to make it look as realistic as possible. The fighting is also very smooth, the (10) combos can be done in a row and it’s all very nice figured. No problems with the blocking systems and no general bugs in the game.

The only disadvantage in the moves is that after a while, you’ll see that a lot of characters have the same combo/moves and walk/move/block the same way. (This can of course be an advantage too if you want to learn a character easier but also it brings down the gameplay a bit.)

Awesome control!

Score controls: 9.7/10

For a newcomer, TTT is not easy. You have to learn all the basic moves etc. But TTT is easy to learn. After a few hours gaming, your skill have improved and should have no major problems. Now you can adjust the diffcultness in the option mode. Choose among ”Very Easy” to ”Ultra Hard”.
Even if ”Ultra Hard” seems difficult the first time you play it, you’ll learn the basic moves and quite soon you find it quite easy to beat the CPU. I don’t know if I’m very good at video games or what, but I beat the CPU pretty easily at ”Ultra Hard” and I’m pretty sure you’ll do that too.
But what’s interesting is that when you think you’re a good tekken player, you face someone that’s even better than you (a human) and then it’s suddenly difficult again! Easy to learn, hard to master!

Beating the game is easy...

Score challenge: 8.2/10

&Replay value:&
Replay value is how much you’ll replay the game, right? Most gamers think games that are not the same are the ones that are most fun to play again. Beat ‘em up games are not in that catagory, you often do the same thing all the time, kick, punch combo and then the round is over. You maybe think this will get boring, but in fact TTT is not. It’s a beat ‘em up game you come back again and again and again to. There’s so much to do, find, test and simply just to play so you can’t stop.

When you finally approach the last boss and defeats her (yes it’s a girl, um...ghoul, oh, you might think you’ve beaten the game and thought it was pretty easy. If you study the option menu, you soon find out that there are 6 difficult modes (Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard and Ultra Hard). The first time you beat TTT it was probably on Easy or Normal. If you try ”Ultra Hard”, I’m pretty sure you’ll have a few problems beating the CPU. Thanx to all the diffcult modes, the replay value increased steadily.

For the experienced and skilled gamer the diffcult modes might not be enough (for instance, I’m beating the CPU easily) but hey, there are so much more to do. Namco made a lot of secret stuff in Tekken Tag Tournament, you can find a lot of different things (I’m not going to say what, that’d be a spoiler) Each time you beat the last boss, you get something special that can be saved on your memory card and you also get another secret you can save. Each time you beat the game you get a new of these and you can collect these until you have them all. That also increases the replay value steadily. I really recommend you to buy a memory card to your PS2 (if you don’t have one already) because it’s gonna be needed. Ok, you can play TTT without one but I really recommend getting one. You’ll see why...

Replay score: 9.1/10

You can have a lot of fun with Tekken Tag Tournament. And when you think you’ve played it enough after a few months, you suddenly discovers a few new cool moves and start playing it again. There are so much to see and test so you can play it forever.

But if you expect something special from a fighting game, my advice is that you wait for virtua fighter 4 or Tekken 4. But TTT is definitely worth the money. Buy it for $20 U.S. or less.

=Overall score:= 8.8/10


Good Points/Bad Points

+ for the controls
+ replay value
+ price (should be less than $20 U.S. since it’s so old)

- for the music/sound
- for the few stages to play at

audio 7.8/10
controls 9.7/10
graphics 7.4/10
storyline 7.8/10
replay 9.1/10
challenge 5.3/10
gameplay 9.3/10
overall 8.8/10
total score 9/10

One line synopsis: ”Bring a few friends home, grab the game pads and have fun!”

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/16/01, Updated 10/16/01

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