Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (TTT2) is the latest installation in the Tekken Franchise. Like the many games before it, TTT2 is about a publicly televised fighting tournament with the world’s greatest fighters. Sadly, there is no plot beyond that, forcing the game to shift its entire focus towards the core gameplay. There is a small inkling of story line in the “Fight Lab” missions, where the story of the fighter Combot is created. Combot is an android who is programmed to know all of the other fighters’ moves. While there are brief cutscenes and some minor plots, this mode is really just a tutorial for the game and holds no canon plots.
Similar to the first Tekken Tag Tournament, the main feature of TTT2 is tag-team combat. Allowing you to choose whether you partner up, it can create a combination of different matches: 2v2, 1v1, 2v1. While I’m not sure why you would want to take on a team of fighters solo, it certainly allows you to. The game is littered with many different gameplay modes to keep you entertained, such as: Arcade Battle, Ghost Battle, Fight Lab, VS Battle, Team Battle, Time Attack, Survival, Practice, and Pair Play. Mind you, these are only the offline gameplay modes. I would love to tell you all about the online modes, but it requires an online pass to play. Seeing how I use GameFly to get my new releases, I don’t get any of these multiplayer passes. Personally, I detest the idea of having to pay $10 to play the fucking game. Especially if you buy this game used, prepare to pay for your online matches. There is a somewhat fleshed out customization mode, which lets you decide exactly what your characters wear, save outfits, and equip combat-related items. While this mode lacks any sort of character creation, it is a nice way to make your favorite characters more badass/ridiculous looking.
The combat is surprisingly smooth and fluid, compared to the relative stiffness of Tekken 6. With an impressive roster of nearly 50 characters, the developers have managed to still make each character feel like a unique fighter. Whether you’re playing as a boxer, martial artist, or a panda, you’ll always have more combos to learn and styles to master. Not being a big fan of fighting games, I was surprised to find myself genuinely enjoying the little sparring matches. Whether you’re a combo-master or a button-masher, you’ll be able to have a solid fighting experience in TTT2. They have also introduced new tag-team attacks which take advantage of the team fighting aspect. New additions include: Tag-Throws, Tag-Combos, and Tag-Attacks. This variety of team-based moves adds another tier for creating powerful and lengthy combinations.
The soundtrack for TTT2 is a robust selection of drum’n'bass electro, always keeping you feeling pumped for the next fight. The addition of the “Tekken Tunes” mode allows you to be in control of what music is played when and lets you change any songs you find grating your ear. The graphics that are presented in TTT2 are crisp, clean, and pleasant to look at it. Not only are the character models detailed and realistic, but the environments are teeming with life and have various set-pieces to interact with. The new additions of breakable settings include: destructible walls, floors, and balconies. While utilizing these new environmental attacks may be entertaining, they still don’t offer up much usefulness.
When it comes to DLC, Namco Bandai is doing it right. There are 10 new characters that will be gradually released as DLC, all of which will be free. If only Capcom could have taken a hint from Namco Bandai, right? Strangely enough, there is a collaboration between TTT2 and Snoop
Dogg Lion Creature? He will have an exclusive arena appropriately titled, “The Snoop Dogg Stage”. If you weren’t already face-palming, he will also release an exclusive song for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 called, “Knocc ‘Em Down”. While I may not have an idea in Hell as to why they’re doing this, at least it should be free. Regardless of any Snoopage, TTT2 has got plenty more fun to be had.
Am…am I going crazy? This can’t be, but I can’t deny it. A fighting game actually has a decent achievement list! TTT2 breaks the mold from most fighters, focusing most of the achievements on offline game modes and combat techniques. Thankfully, the online achievements are limited to a handful of manageable tasks. If you want to strive for them, you should be able to achieve them, but avoiding them won’t leave a noticeable gap in your Gamerscore. I was shocked to see how balanced and agreeable this list was, which allowed me to quickly earn 550/1000 points by playing. I may just be an Achievement Hound, but I endlessly appreciate games that don’t make their achievements impossible.
If I had to choose a single fighting game to keep in my library, it would easily be Tekken Tag Tournament 2. While it may not innovate on the fighting genre, it does everything right. The combat feels fast, furious, and easy to grasp. With beautiful scenery, a near-perfect achievement list, and plenty of offline modes to keep you playing, I have to admit that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was a surprise and delight to play. I look forward to playing more of this game and avoiding the monstrous ass-whoopings that await me in the online community.
I give Tekken Tag Tournament 2 4 “Boxing Velociraptors” out of 5
By Blake Edwards