Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Once again the King of Iron Fist Tournament kicks off, and all the worlds greatest fighters gathers at the same place to fight for the glory.
Unfortunately I can’t ramble on about the story as it looks like Namco Bandai Games has scrapped the idea of including a story mode. I’m a little ambivalent about that as I love to learn the story about the characters, why they’re fighting, what their backstory is and why there’s a fight in the first place. I mentioned this in the Tekken Hybrid review – the fight is not entirely about glory, but merely money, world domination and not to mention set the hierarchy right, even against family members (Yeah, the Mishima family is still screwed up). On the other hand, the third person view the story mode had in tekken 6 was not that great; these games are made for a side view, not from behind. While I loved getting an actual story, the third person view fighting was a chore to get through.
The roster is pretty straightforward, big, and includes a few surprises from old games, as well as a couple newcomers to the series. Here’s the most noticeable ones;
She’s beautiful as ever
Jun was my by far favourite character in Tekken 2, and I’ve been missing her ever since. She is back as rumored as I mentioned a year and a half ago and I rejoiced when it was confirmed for sure. She was the very first character I tried out, and while she has kept her moves, the designers have chosen to design her more robust, making her look a lot more like Jin (she is his mother after all) and more fightable/sustainable. I’m not sure i like it. A part of my heart for her back then was her brittleness.
Heihachi is still appearing, and younger than we’ve ever seen him before. I would love to know the story behind this and what the developers thoughts was when they made him look young. Every other character is looking either the same or a little older, so Heihachis timeline is a bit out of sync. He’s faster than ever, and his simple moves makes him easy to control – you can still electrify your opponents to take even more of their health.
Tag has evolved
The tag team function has definitely been refined since the last game on the PS2. Now it’s not only just switching between two characters, it’s about doing it at the right time to make beautiful combos and to make heavy attacks on your opponent – and interfere with the fight as well. I’ve seen my awaiting tag partner jumping in and saving my current character from a throw, and I’ve seen all four character at the stage at once (I have no idea how to replicate this, my best guess the CPU was making a move as well). I’ve got a feeling that the Tekken series has moved a tidy bit in the direction of street fighter – but only a very little, only showing in how the characters move.
The environment is breakable in certain places – the CPU just beat me to hell in a fight, where of one of the rounds ended with my flying through a window, and the achievement “Geronimooo!” for breaking a balcony popped for me. Other stages have breakable floors so that the fight in itself will be in some sort of stages as the environment changes.
They’ve also dropped a full replay whenever a fight ends and kept to make the last hit in slow motion while the defeating character is flying through the air.
More enraging than ever
Let’s talk about the difficulty. I’m in no way a good player, I play purely for fun and with friends locally and it’s not like we have a weekly gaming meeting. The scrapping of the story mode confirms that this is what happens for far the most players in the world. I lost a couple fights when I played through the arcade mode, but thought no more of it once I was able to beat the CPU to progress in the game.
Then i met the final boss. I was met with a wall of difficulty; long combos that I had no idea of how to get out of once I got hit, blocks from the opponent, and ridiculously great timing as well whenever I tried to retaliate all the hits. I’m pretty sure the hardcore fanbase has been yelling out saying that the game was too easy and the developers must have listened. The bad thing in this instance is that newcomers and casual players will end up disliking the game for the frustration and defeat.
There’s a couple of great modes to try out, but no way near what we’ve seen before. There’s no volleyball (featured in Tekken 3) and there’s no bowling either (featured in Tekken Tag and Dark Resurrection), and as mentioned, no story mode. While the game lacks in quantity, it certainly justify it in the quality and focus on what the game is actually about. Arcade Mode blends the endless mode from Tekken 5 into the Arcade mode we know so well; the arcade mode has a number of fights ending with a boss fight and you can promote your characters playing this mode.
When you want to mix it up a bit, you can play Team, Time Trial and Survival mode, where you pick a team of fighters, fight through a number of opponents as fast as possible and survive as long as possible. Pretty straightforward, even for players who haven’t played any of the games from the series. Furthermore there’s a mode that needs a little more explaining, and that’s Ghost Mode; Here you basically download your friends or randoms strangers fighters and fight against them.
Get ready for training!
There’s also a mode called Combot mode, which is in a way, a training mode. A simple story is attached to it, and you basically have to do what you’re told. Violet, a rich playboy has decided to make the ultimate fighting machine and that requires training, and you are his robot. As you progress, the challenges gets more and more difficult to perform (it requires a lot of timing skills), and in some places you aren’t even properly informed on how to execute the order.
I would have loved to tell you more about the online mode, but since I wanted the review to hit the site as early as possible, and the game isn’t released yet, there’s no one to play with online. What I can mention here is that it’s been announced that an online service and stats tracker, called World Tekken Federation will be available. Here you will be able to check your own stats to figure out which teams and characters works the best for you – and your opponents.
With a number of funny inputs in the game – including achievements that references to Ghostbusters and Pac-Man and other achievements are for making oddball stuff such as breaking a wall, a floor and a balcony – and one for making a female bystander falling into the pool you are in for a great time. The game overall feels just like the old games, the graphics are heaven to look at and I love the humour they’ve included this time – making the game a little more ridiculously and less grave.
Miss; The difficulty by a longshot. While I do understand hardcore players wanting more powerful CPU opponents for training, I feel like casual and newcomers to the series has been left out.
Need; A fun oddball mode could have been fun to include; Volleyball, bowling or something entirely differently, just something that really breaks the set of two characters facing each other.