Tekken Tag Tournament 2 burst onto the scene in mid September this year. Just a little over 12 years after the first Tekken Tag Tournament. Unlike the Tekken series’ normal format the player is encouraged, but not restricted, to using 2 players spanning the entire dynasty of the tournaments history. It may have only been over a month since the games release but it is definitely worth noting that if you haven’t played it by now you should.
In an unusual turn of events the whole canon is tossed out the window in lieu of enhancing the players experience. Characters have risen from the dead and others have descended from the heavens to have an all out battle for your pleasure. Now that’s not to say that some of the bad blood has dried up, it’s fresher than ever, and can even lead to bad tag synergy in your team. The game is rife with backstories and some truly inspired character endings after completing the game.
It’s a game made for the fans and it feels justly so. The system is tweaked from Tekken Tag Tournament and has some crucial improvements from Tekken 6. The game feels faster and the limitless combinations of teams allows you to construct a whole array of combos that are only limited by your imagination.
Just like the combos and teams the players are also insanely customisable. Want to put King in a suit and paint it neon green? Go ahead! The sky’s the limit. It’s unbelievable how much you can tweak people’s hair colours, eyebrows, hair styles and even their aura while fighting. The in-depth customisation system is enhanced by the interchangeable player panels for each character and the slew of custom intros for your chosen tag team. You can literally spend hours toying with one character before you even consider trying to play the game.
Once you’re finished with trying to recreate Leon from Resident Evil you can play an array of different offline modes. On top of the standard arcade mode you also have stuff like Ghost Battle which is a mode in which you fight against an endless horde of competitors unlocking new items and money along the way. There is also Team Battle which people should be familiar with from previous Tekken games. There is a versus mode (I doubt I need to explain this to you) and Time Attack and Survival. Finaly there is one very quirky mode that nobody has quite seen the likes of in a Tekken game: the Fight Lab. Fight Lab is the games tutorial and story and it teaches the user all the basics of the game while chronicling Violet’s development of the ultimate weapon and fighting robot in a bid to defeat the Mishimas. The offline is superb in TTT2 and there is even the function to record offline matches, which the game automatically does for you.
Even though the game does teach you the mechanics through the fight lab, most of what you learn about your characters will be in here. The training mode is very well equipped with all the necessary wooden dummies (Mokojin) to pound on for days. The extensive training mode not only allows the user to set one combo for the opponent they are training against but five, and you can adjust the frequency of the moves as well to help you learn how to block. There is even a metronome within the combo exhibition to help you with the timing of the longer, more difficult strings in game. It’s unbelievable how much has been cramped into a single mode just for the player to better themselves. After some time in the lab you will find yourself becoming a combo scientist, testing out all the juggles and ten hit combos you can to see which will leave your opponents head spinning.
Once you have finally perfected your technique, like any any good exhibitionist, you expose yourself online. Even in the worst situations you will find that TTT2 is reasonably playable. There might be a bit of stutter and some delay but it is definitely head and shoulders above the rest. The online features are something to die for, the automatic replays save themselves. There’s just so much to do that you can’t help but feel a little lost at times. There is even the option to train online with a partner, giving you a vast variety of different methods to up your game. This way, you and a friend can test your own tag-team out or test new strategies against each other. You never feel like you’ve lost either, each match you come away with something, whether it’s a win or a few more credits to take to the customisation screen. You could even be real lucky and get a “lucky Box” that can be filled with a character ending, money, new customisation gear or a mix.
The only thing more impressive than the netcode is the unbelievable support Namco Bandai are providing for TTT2. New characters, stages and lots more. And they are all free. The character roster is due to expand by at least 9 characters and it costs you nothing, not to mention the gradual release of the new stages. It’s a bargain. Furthermore you can buy the soundtracks from previous Tekken games for buttons. I’ve spent more on what can only be described as bloatware DLC than the hundreds of tracks available for less than 500msp.
The best Tekken in years just keeps getting better. With all the support you will be hard pressed not to find somebody who knows a little about the series. Sure it doesn’t include Tekken Force or Tekken Ball (well the WiiU does but not every version) it is still worth way more than the asking price. I’d gladly play it every day if it weren’t for gamer rage and the price of new controllers. I guess what I’m trying to say is; why the hell are you still reading this? GO PLAY TEKKEN!