Preview: Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Like a swift punch to the gut, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is nearly here. 12 years on since the first Tekken Tag, I’ve been feverish with anticipation recently so it’s just as well some new details and a hands-on session are satisfying my desire for all things Mishima.
Firstly there are more ways to dirty your knuckles this time with the inclusion of 2 vs 1 bouts as well as the standard 2 v 2 and 1 v1 modes. To make 2 v 1 fair the lone fighter has more health and can win by KOing either of the rival fighters.
But before you start steaming into fights, the training mode will serve up all you need to know to avoid a pasting. Although I enjoy fighting games, I’ll admit I’m not the best at playing them. However Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has ’Fight Lab’ which will see you training up a “Combot” which can be customised with your own wise fashion choices. This practice helps you get the old neurons firing without frustration as the game, as always, is essentially a memory test of all the moves and combos. This means that novice players can, with some investment of time, actually enjoy the game and not be disheartened after constant defeats. Most excitingly of all, some of the mini-games from previous installments will make a return. I’m hoping for some bowling action and the decent Tekken Force mode to get a look in. Altogether now: “Chicken!”
And it’s a good job there is a training mode is there as there are 50+ characters to choose from. That makes it the biggest ever roster in a Tekken game. Old favourites like Jin and Nina return and the old-timers among you will surely be able to find your all time favourite fighters among the roster. New names are also being slowly fed out from the house of Tekken, with director Katsuhiro Harada and his team cleverly building up the anticipation by drip feeding news about the game and one important titbit from his Twitter account is that unlike its predecessor, this game will have a plot. What that means exactly is unclear at this point, but it’s a nice touch to see the series weaving a narrative through its multiple installments.
As anyone who enjoyed the original will attest, most of the fun is to be had with the offensive tag moves. And from what I’ve played, these return with attitude and the thought of teaming up with your mates and taking out other teams online, possibly finishing them with a tag move, has me hooked. Despite the odd rough looking spot, the character models and backgrounds will impress, especially when four combatants are slugging it out simultaneously.
I have to say that the most amusing moment of my hands on session was when the Snoop Dogg stage loaded up. Although it’s not something most people would have thought about adding into the game, having Snoop Dogg oversee the fight in his big throne actually seemed like he belonged there. I just hope he’s a playable character it would make my day seeing him take on Panda.
Anyway, I think a fair few people can get bored of fighting games, with many being too similar to each other. However, barring a massive catastrophe, I can see Tekken Tag Tournament 2 being a very popular choice for fans, new and old thanks to a huge and interesting roster and unique gameplay.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is released on 14 September 2012 for Xbox 360 and PS3. A Wii U version is due out later on in the year.