Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Tag! You’re $#1t!

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 makes me realize I’m getting too old for this…
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: October 25, 2012
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Oh, what’s that? You think you are a Tekken master? Well let me tell you something son, if you weren’t finagling a bent paperclip to keep your PS1 tray open while depressing the switch to let you swap out a game after the boot screen and putting in your import copy of Tekken, then you can’t even think about considering yourself a master. Yes, eventually the game came stateside and none of those crazy steps were necessary to get into the hippest 3D fighter around, but there won’t ever be a time where you can be in on the ground floor like that again. Suck it, Battle Arena Toshinden!

We’ve seen quite a few Tekken games since then, and while a few things have evolved, you could have missed all of them since the original and still feel pretty comfortable stepping into Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the latest entry from our friends at Namco. Series fans will delight in a giant roster that features all the Tekken staples like the Law brothers, Williams sisters, the “Pachi”’s and of course the always lovable Kuma and Panda along with dozens of other returning favorites. Say what you will about it, but the Tekken rosters have consistently offered a great deal of variety.

If you’ve been under some sort of rock for the last fifteen years, you might not be aware of just how influential Tekken has been. It’s part of the first generation of 3D fighters along with Virtua Fighter and the aforementioned travesty Battle Arena Toshinden. Always one of the more technical fighters, Tekken has evolved to the point where there are close to 100 moves for each fighter, many of them unique. It’s not unusual to have a combo that requires a dozen precise button presses and to truly master the ways of Tekken can take a lifetime. The series may have a few low points here and there but overall it’s done an amazing job of being both one of the more accessible fighters and also one deep enough for tournament play. Sure, it might not have quite the technical depth of a BlazBlue but at least you can play it without an arcade stick and still feel like you can get something done.

The biggest difference between Tag Tournament 2 and its predecessor Tekken 6 is right there in the title. This time around, tag-team fighting with two fighters per side is the order of the day. You can still fight solo of course, but there is a plethora of new moves that take advantage of the tag aspect this time around. You can pull off some great tag stuff with any partner, but as you might expect there are specialized moves for specialized pairs as well meaning there is some level of strategy involved in choosing who to team up with. Many of the battles will end if EITHER partner gets knocked out, so this isn’t a case of making the fights twice as long. You’ll have to master switching back and forth since fighters can recover some of their damage if you swap them out fast enough and give them a breather mid-fight.

Other than that change, there isn’t any great innovation in this latest entry. If you are choosing to play all by your lonesome you’ll find the usual array of modes. Arcade is the basic “get through these 10 fights” gauntlet of battles, culminating in a spectacularly cheesy and often sublime story video for whatever character you chose as the main combatant. To me, these have always been the beating heart of the franchise. With over 40 playable characters there are so many fantastic movies you’ll want to take the time to beat arcade mode with everyone just to see what the hell they do next. Who could resist seeing Kuma mistaken for a guy in a costume by some teenagers, only to eat someone’s face at the end because he just happened to get hungry? You can also run through the game in Time Attack mode (essentially Arcade mode on a timer), Team Battle, Survival and plain old one-off versus matches.
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