Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review

by Nathan Misa Featured

9 Comments 15 Votes 2834 Views 21/09/2012 Back to Reviews

The hardest-hitting Tekken yet.

What TTT2 Got Right
  • + Tekken’s trademark fast and fluid fighting
  • + Biggest and best character roster yet
  • + Extensive character customisation
  • + Excellent online and offline game modes
What TTT2 Got Wrong
  • - Steep learning curve
  • - No Tekken Force mode
  • - Nothing radically different
  • - Laughably bad voice-acting

Let’s get this out of the way first: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is Namco Bandai’s love-letter to long-term Tekken fans and hardcore fighting game enthusiasts everywhere.

With a massive and expanded character roster representing the franchise’s long history, polished brawler gameplay, and a solid ranking system for both online and offline play, TTT2 may very well be the best Tekken yet, for both dedicated fans and newcomers to the series.

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.

Tekken is a series which has seen each iteration consistently refined, improved and expanded upon with the utmost care, and TTT2 is no outlier in the quality which has characterised the main numbered entries. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a non-canon entry into the mainstream Tekken franchise and like its spin-off predecessor from 1999, the game places its core emphasis on tag-team battles of each player’s favourite dream-team, but the great thing about TTT2 is that it carefully balances fixed-team battles and traditional Tekken affairs in that partners are fully optional.

If you want to play classic one VS one, or even maybe one VS two just to mix things up, then you have that option, whether online and offline. A plethora of the standard gameplay modes such as Versus, Ghost Battle, Survival and Time-Attack all offer the player plenty to do, and that’s just for offline play.

As the game is a non-canon entry, there is no main overarching storyline or Iron Fist Tournament 7, but the opening cinematic does establish some special form of tournament is happening. TTT2 is more of a greatest hits Tekken, bringing together all the favourite characters for one big fight club.

However, Arcade Mode contains new unique endings for nearly every single character, and though most are comedic in nature, there are a few serious storyline surprises for those who follow their favourite Tekken characters religiously.

If you get bored with the offline fighting, TTT2’s online arena will keep you playing. TTT2 has excellent netcode, making online a breeze to play with such a fast matchmaking engine. In my extensive time spent searching for opponents in both Ranked and Player matches, I experienced virtually no lag and was paired up with players with the best connection to be 100% of the time. Combined with an addictive level-up ranking system, the online matches have already proven to be a very competitive but very fun experience.

The relentless Kazuma and a young Heihachi are just two favourites to make an appearance.

Just don’t go online without having practiced for hours with your preferred characters first: most players online are veterans who will prove to frustrate you with their uncanny ability of making sure you don’t get one single hit in.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 makes it easy to figure out what kind of match you want to play with an overwhelmingly eccentric and colourful character roster -- enigmatic secret agents, Mexican wrestlers, panda bodyguards, boxing Kangaroos, otherworldly demons, female fatales -- nearly all the familiar faces of the series so far make an appearance, totaling 50-plus fighters available to the player, and more if you purchase character DLC. Whether it’s natural team-ups like the competitive Paul Phoenix and the lethal Marshall Law, or polar opposite collaborations like the super-swift Raven and slow but powerful King, TTT2 facilitates nearly every match-up Tekken fans could ever want or conjure up in their head. Namco Bandai also made the effort to voice most characters in their native language, though the English voice-actors and their battle-taunts pre-battle are some of the worst I've ever heard.

Another feature which makes Tekken stand out from other fighters is its extensive character customisation mode. TTT2 has the same customisation suite as its predecessors, and contains plenty of clothing, accessories and other items to personalise your favourite fighters with. Saving up money earned from each fight to deck out your character is highly addictive, and Namco Bandai did well in providing players the ability to add that special touch of their own personality to their fighter.

The core gameplay mechanics of TTT2 remains mostly unchanged, but it feels as refined, fun and familiar as ever. Tekken has always placed an emphasis on stringing together hard-hitting combos driven by limb position and gained momentum. Knowing when and how to execute high, medium and low attacks, as well as when and how to block them is key to success.

It's all about precise-timing and memorisation of combos, when to block and when to execute.

Each arm and leg is mapped on the four face buttons of the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers, representing the right and left limbs, and there are a range of throws and counters available to the player depending on what limb is used, as well as quick rolls, dodges and the ability to sidestep. The iconic movesets and combos of each character has been left unchanged, so you don’t have to memorise them once more if you’re a seasoned Tekken player.

"Tekken has always placed an emphasis on stringing together hard-hitting combos driven by limb position and gained momentum. Knowing when and how to execute high, medium and low attacks, as well as block them is key to success."

The game’s controls are tight and responsive, allowing precise execution of the very complex, very diverse and very technical set of button and movement combinations available for each character. Juggling opponents and hitting them so swiftly and consistently that you barely give them an opportunity to strike back is an art you have to work to master in this game.

Because each character has their own unique real-world or otherwise fighting style, expect to put in some hard hours if you wish to master the entire character roster. Button-mashing or one-combo reliance only gets you so far in terms of success and enjoyment.

In addition to the basic fast and fluid gameplay formula, TTT2 places a heavy gameplay emphasis on the extra lethal fighting abilities a tag-team duo can bring to a match. The sequel expands on the tag mechanics featured in the first Tekken Tag, allowing for extended tag combos and combined moves, some of which are unique depending on the characters chosen. New techniques include combined tag throws, tag interrupts and tag assaults, the latter of which is combos that have both characters participating in the combo at the same time. These special moves serve to heighten the intensity of each battle, and can turn the tide if used correctly and effectively.

Tekken's emphasis on memorised button combos does make it one of the least accessible for casual players or newcomers to the series, and may put new players off before they can get a proper feel. However, don’t worry if you aren’t a Tekken master already or aren’t great with memorising 10-hit combos or Tag specials -- the excellent Fight Lab mode helps ease players into the sometimes overwhelmingly complex fighting system. Fight Lab is a mini-campaign and tutorial of sorts which puts you in the role of Combot, who learns combat techniques amid a training course and learns customisable moves. There’s also the usual Practice mode where you can have the command prompts on display while you’re learning to become a better fighter faster.

The Final Verdict

Despite the intimidating technical complexity involved with stringing combos or executing special moves, Tekken’s gameplay is always a satisfying experience, and TTT2 is no different in this regard. Its familiarity and lack of boldness in changing anything, however, may prove to disappoint players looking for something radically different.

But “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as they say, and for gamers looking for excellent fanservice, extensive character customisation, solid fighting gameplay and a dedicated and competitive online arena, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is one for you.

By Nathan Misa

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Platform: PS3 / Xbox / WiiU
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Similar to: Tekken 6, Tekken Tag Tournament
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
No Tekken Force mode? wasn't something simular featured in Tekken 6? The first Tekken Tag featured Tekken Bowling and i was hoping for a remake of it :'(
It's what this games misses, some fun mini/side games to play. Tekken Tag to me is like Tekken Party where all the classic characters come together regardless of the plot and battle it out as well as their being fun things to do.
I agree in that they could have added more of the wacky and fun minigames that characterised the earlier numbered Tekken entries. Such mini-games would probably have made more sense in the Tag Tournament spin-off considering it brings all the classic characters together (with the exception of Gon, who was a result of a licensing deal).

Tekken Bowling rocked, and it is missed.

Tyrus said:
Tekken Bowling rocked, and it is missed.



Could come as DLC if people made enough noise, perhaps its already in the works? Would be nice. By the way, good review!

But “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as they say, and for gamers looking for excellent fanservice...



Isn't...Dead Or Alive 5 coming out next week? [MOG]

Josh said:

But “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as they say, and for gamers looking for excellent fanservice...


Isn't...Dead Or Alive 5 coming out next week?



yeah I'm going to wait and see which one is best. Though I think TTT will top it generally cause I love this franchise more. One of these will tide me over until tekken x street fighter.

from the review it sounds like I'm going to suck at this. hopefully the steep learning curve isn't that bad haha. (i haven't touched this series in a while)
Will Snoop Dogg be a playable character or he just be in the background. If not it be great if he was a DLC character later on. :D

OllyEbbz said:

Tyrus said:
Tekken Bowling rocked, and it is missed.


Could come as DLC if people made enough noise, perhaps its already in the works? Would be nice. By the way, good review!



I hope so, Namco Bandai usually are known for giving the fans what they want. And thanks!

Josh said:

But “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as they say, and for gamers looking for excellent fanservice...


Isn't...Dead Or Alive 5 coming out next week?



Yep, and I'll be reviewing that as well, so stay tuned. Hopefully I'll give you guys an idea of which fighting game to buy, if you only must have one. :P

punk said:

Josh said:

But “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as they say, and for gamers looking for excellent fanservice...


Isn't...Dead Or Alive 5 coming out next week?


yeah I'm going to wait and see which one is best. Though I think TTT will top it generally cause I love this franchise more. One of these will tide me over until tekken x street fighter.
from the review it sounds like I'm going to suck at this. hopefully the steep learning curve isn't that bad haha. (i haven't touched this series in a while)



Haha TTT2 is a lot of fun man, a great entry in the Tekken series and even though the learning curve is always steep and a bit intimidating when getting back into it, once you have played it enough it becomes a blast once more.

The_Boss said: Will Snoop Dogg be a playable character or he just be in the background. If not it be great if he was a DLC character later on.



I didn't get the Snoop Dogg stage as DLC with my review copy, but I'm pretty sure he's just a background character in the level he has.
Best tekken game so far. Loving the free DLCs.
love the game and great review

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Video
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Video

Recently Read

Featured PS3 Content

Destiny - Which platform?

Destiny - Which platform?

10/09/2014 Polls 1 5
The Evil Within maze at Movie World brings horror to life

The Evil Within maze at Movie World brings horror to life

Gryllis 17 hours Articles 3 20
Tetris The Movie is actually happening

Tetris The Movie is actually happening

Tano 18 hours News 3 7
PAX Australia 2014 floor map and exhibitors revealed
Gryllis 19 hours News 7 24
Game consoles quickly becoming most used devices for video streaming

Game consoles quickly becoming most used devices for video streaming

Tano 20 hours News 0 2

'Don't make a movie game', Shadow of Mordor dev told

Tano 23 hours News 2 6
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel hands-on

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel hands-on

Tano 1 day Articles 6 4
Shadow of Mordor interview: Monolith on humanising Orcs and creating a licensed game

Shadow of Mordor interview: Monolith on humanising Orcs and creating a licensed game

Tano 1 day Articles 2 3
Call of Duty creator to help US predict future of war

Call of Duty creator to help US predict future of war

Tano 2 days News 3 5

Community Content

ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

Leasha 18/09 News 13 11
Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

02/09/2014 Blog 10 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

zurczner, Blak commented on Blak's Massive Figurine Collection

zurczner just now
Username

Kayel, DarkJibTEC commented on Blak's Massive Figurine Collection

Kayel 9 hours ago
Username

DarkJibTEC, K4ZMA commented on Second Season of Nisekoi is green-lit!

DarkJibTEC 11 hours ago
Username

Elraro, Tano, Leasha, Gryllis commented on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel hands-on preview

Elraro 18 hours ago
Username

K4ZMA, Blak commented on Blak's Massive Figurine Collection

K4ZMA 23 hours ago
Username

Flyverson got inFAMOUS: First Light, Destiny

Flyverson 1 day ago
Username

Lo33 got Forza Horizon 2, Watch Dogs, Destiny

Lo33 1 day ago