Review by smallfry645

Reviewed: 06/27/03 | Updated: 06/27/03

The best hand to hand combat game on the PS2

Over the years one fighter has always stood out from its competitors, both graphically and with its ingenuity. It has proven the fact that you can still make an awesome fighting game without incorporating blood and weapons for your characters. This game franchise my friends, is Tekken. Tekken has rolled out their fourth game in the series to the home consoles. This time our good friends at Namco have decided to give us a little treat instead of the normal game mode in fighting games that we are used to. This one little change in gameplay changes the game all for the better, making it possibly the best fighter ever developed. Forget what you have heard about Virtua Fighter 4, brace yourself for Tekken Tag Tournament.

TTT is just like the Tekken that everyone is used to. It has your regular characters that you love and the moves that you love from the past as well. But seeing as to much of a good thing can get boring after a while, it is good to see a new thing incorporated every now and then to a game genre. That is tag team fighting. You now fight with two fighters, just like tag team wrestling. You are even granted special tag team moves that will allow you to get even more of an advantage over your partner(s). Weather it is you versus the computer, a friend, or you and a friend verses two friends, much is to be found and admired from this game's structure.

But how can this be pulled off, you might be asking. Well, very easy in fact and it's a wonder why it hasn't been done until now. The wide variety of buttons on the PS2 controller allows the top shoulder buttons to be free. Now with a simple press of the shoulder buttons, your partner and you will switch off. The controls for the regular fighting part of the game are the same as before, two buttons dedicated to punch and two for kicks. But the secret behind this method is to give maximum advantage to unleash massive combos onto your opponents. It is a true skill to master, and once you do overcome it, you will become a master. Combos are almost unlimited, you can keep adding on to them, but they get more complicated as they go and sometimes leave you vulnerable to an attack. Now, onto the review.

There's not much to the story. Basically there's a tournament and people from around the world come to fight in it, tag team style. Old rivals and new rivals square off. The greatest fighters from every where are invited. This is what the game lack, in my opinion. Unlike Mortal Kombat where even each character has there own story, it seems like each character only wears their personality on their sleeve. So for me it didn't really seem that I was fighting for a whole purpose. I didn't exactly see what I was fighting for or what I would accomplish by defeating these people.

What can I say besides this game has one of the most fantastic soundtracks ever presented in any game series before. It mixes some of today's hottest beats with some of the old. Each character, each arena has its own music in the background. The music is some dang cool synthesizing beats, nothing that you have ever herd before, and its guaranteed to get your head bouncing. I had to constantly force myself to pay attention to what I was doing instead of tapping my foot. Even more amazing than the music are the sound effects and other sounds heard throughout the game. You have all sorts of different thumps from the ground and your combatants. Every time you hit your opponent they will grunt in their own voice, not just a designated male or female voice. The ground will provide accurate thumps as well when your opponents drop onto the materiel of the floor beneath them.

Game Controls
Standard fighting controls, nothing special but the new tag feature. The commands work just fluently and provide for easy combos. This makes it so anybody will be able to do something when they get the game, familiar to Tekken or not.

Beautiful sheik. Its like eye candy, literally. This has to be one of the best looking fighting games, no, games ever. Things are so sharply detailed that it is literally mind boggling, comparing to the attention to detail to that of the FF series. The opening FMV for the game presents to you just what you can expect throughout the game. The characters have very detailed features on them. They no longer look square and uneven, but actually have curves and shading to them that also provides nice detail. The character movements are also very fluent, nothing seems to be broken apart like in other detailed games. The game stands out in many different aspects.

Character Design
Like I mentioned, the characters absolutely look phenomenal. Characters are so detailed that you can tell that each character had their own development behind them and weren't just faces put on bodies. Characters all have different body features. Some are bigger in the shoulders and some are bigger round. The characters clothes and hair move freely as they fight as well. The wind can move them as well as attacks and falling to the ground. Same kind of stuff that goes into more elaborate games. The neat things about the characters is how different that they all are. There are men, women, and even beasts. The beasts are the neatest looking, especially the animals like the bear and panda. Their fur is so real that each and every piece of it moves freely.

Level Detail
TTT delivers some of the best detailing in its levels ever, in any genre. The levels are so highly detailed that they will interact with you on their own. You will see your reflection in puddles, grass fall under your feet. It is easily comparable to that of Metal Gear Solid 2. What is even more amazing is the variety in levels. You fight on places from city streets, back allays, oil tankers, snow fallen forests, and even more. Things are life like. I could easily say that it is the most realistic fighter ever.

Finally, something that the game actually has some depth to. TTT gives the player 7 different game modes to play from, each offering their own challenge. Each mode gives you something new to try out. The best thing about the game is how many different fighting styles there actually are in the game. No two characters are really alike. Sure, each can punch and kick but their techniques are all very different. Since each is so different, its sometimes hard to remember each characters move sets with out getting them mixed up with your tag partners. Games are divided up into three parts, the match, the end of the game, and then the game over and continue screen. The match is the fight between the two teams. Matches are played as best of three games. The end of the game is determined when the time runs out or one team is defeated. The game over and continue screen offer you a chance to continue and change your characters, depending on the game mode that you are playing. As you might have figured, you and your opponents are located at the top of the screen, with the time left in the middle of these two bars. Here's a brief description on each of the modes that you can access.

Arcade Mode
This is the main game mode. In this mode you unlock hidden characters. You can also face an opponent In this mode but its mainly just the way for you to beat the game. You most complete all of the levels and then the final boss to unlock a new ending movie and the character. This mode I found to be the most fun. It's nice and short, and offers new comers a chance to understand the controls and get used to the combo moves.

Time Attack Mode
This mode is the same as arcade mode but this time you are unable to pause the game, and unlike the arcade mode, once you are defeated, you can not change your characters. You try to get through the game in the fastest time that you can.

Survival Mode
This is quite possibly the most fun mode in the game, and the most challenging. You must try and stay alive as long as possible which is quite tricky because you are always starting with less live then before, depending on how much damage you received. Thank fully you do regain some of the life you lost after you complete a stage. What's the catch? What makes this so hard? It's the fact that there are no continues or character changes. When you lose, you are done.

VS Battle Mode
In this mode, 1 or more of your friends can duke it out. You can give each other handicaps so as to give your less experienced friends a chance at winning. Its pretty much the main arcade mode but you can fight your friends.

1 on 1 Battle Mode
This is basically the original Tekken mode where you fight one on one with your foes, computer or friend. I recommend this mode as a training mode, to become more familiar with your favorite fighters. This is for the old school fighting fans though. Once you experience tag, you will never go back to the old way. This mode is probably my least favorite to play out of all of them because the rounds go by so much quicker.

Team Battle Mode
In this mode you can battle with up to 8 people against the computer or a friend. In this mode to win, you must nock out all the players on a team. It's all right but it's just another mode, nothing to out of the ordinary.

Practice Mode
This is probably the most useful mode, because all of the things that you can do with it. You can fight enemies standing still or that will fight back at you. In this mode, you can try out your moves and work on getting them very fluent, like water. You have no time limit and you can't die. It's just a training mode.

This game is a good challenge at first, until you become better at it, then it's a matter of finding a friend to play you. People that are new the fighting genre might find it to be discouraging at first. It's all a matter of learning the controls.

There is so much to do and experience in TTT that it will keep you busy for a while, not to mention the fact that its so much fun that you wont want to put it down. It is a very addictive game, which tends to be unusual for a fighting game. Any true fighting game fan will absolutely fall in love with TTT.

When buying or renting games, money is always the key factor. For an awesome game like this, the $20 that it costs now on greatest hits is well worth it. If you are worried that you wont like it, I guess that you could spend the $7 that it will cost you to rent it. But this game is a real keeper.

- Detailed levels
- 34 characters
- Many unlock-able characters and movies
- Detailed characters
- Lots of game modes

- Not enough unlock-able items
- Repetitive after a while
- Could have used a different reward system*

Story 10/10
Audio 10/10
Game Controls 10/10
Visuals 10/10
Gameplay 10/10
Overall score 10/10

So weather you are just looking for a new game to pick up or if you have been debating on weather or not to really get the game, hopefully this review will help you make the right decision. There is much fun to be found in the Tekken world and Tekken Tag Tournament is a perfect example of what a fighting game should be.

*I would have liked to see a neater reward system. Plainly, there weren't enough unlock able items. I would have liked to see a buying mode like in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The game just seems to go on and on when you can only unlock characters when you beat the game with new characters, never the same two.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Would you recommend this
Recommend this
Review? Yes No

Got Your Own Opinion?

Submit a review and let your voice be heard.