Monday, 11 February 2013

Review: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (360)


 As a spin-off title from the original Tekken franchise, Tekken Tag Tournament was one of the PlayStation 2's launch titles in 2000. It took 12 years, but there is finally a console sequel, Tekken Tag Tournament 2. With age, and a half-dozen Tekken releases since that 2000 inception, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 features a huge collection of Tekken characters that have appeared since that first release, including the eccentric and strange ones Tekken is known for, with enhanced controls that make the signature aspect of Tekken Tag Tournament, tag-team fighting, even easier and more entertaining.

Although Tekken was traditionally and famously in its earliest releases always a PlayStation-based title, the age of crossover console titles sees the newest Tekken title on the Xbox 360. However, while graphically and gameplay-wise the Xbox 360 version is just as good as it is on the PS3, the one advantage that it could have – better online play through Xbox Live – fails miserably. There is disappointingly too many issues trying to even connect to a online fight to even try doing anything more than play through Tekken Tag Tournament 2's single-player modes and same-console multiplayer.

I have had played games over Xbox Live on both the original Xbox and Xbox 360 where the online Xbox Live was not very good or lacked a population of willing online gamers. But Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is by far the worst, with it being nearly impossible to find online matches, and the rare one to be found usually ends up in disconnected, never-completed frustration. Gamers can log into an online chat room-style forum, looking for tournaments or individual players to challenge. But even after trying over 90 days from first attempting to play online, I still could not find any satisfactory online gameplay. That deflates much of the enthusiasm Tekken fans may discover in single-player or same-console multiplayer forays (the new gameplay engine allows for four players on-screen at one time), but are unfortunately unable to carry over into the online fighting arena.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2's biggest appeal is tag-team fighting, featuring a refined fighting system that makes it easy for a fighter to tag in and out of the fighting arena with their respective partner. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has smooth and responsive controls for intense fighting, including those above-mentioned tag combos that can easily tilt a battle's momentum. However, the ease of tagging a partner into play also makes it too easy to inadvertently tag in or out, sometimes at inopportune moments during battles. However, overall the game's controls are very good for each of the many characters to choose from.

There are 59 total characters, practically every single one from each of the first seven games of the franchise. That includes originals such as Prototype Jack, and others throughout the Tekken timeline like Angel and Tiger Jackson and debut fighters Bob and Sebastian. The characters are plenty, and many are just eccentric or strange, a trademark of the franchise. A fighting game featuring not only big-breasted, beautiful women and chest-chiselled handsome fellas along with scary monstrosities also has a boxing kangaroo, a bear and a panda.

With enough variation of modes to opt for, including the new story-type mode Fight Lab (which is rather short, although it will help gamers learn the game's moves), Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has enough fighting gameplay for single-player and same-console multiplayer entertainment, especially with the strong controls and impressive visuals. However, the utter dismalness of Xbox Live (lack of) gameplay delivers a double-fisted punch to the face of Tekken Tag Tournament 2's quality.

Lee Cieniawa

The Good:
‑ Practically every Tekken character (59 in all) from the previous seven games is available
‑ Smooth and responsive controls for intense fighting, including refined and enhanced tag combos that can easily tilt a battle's momentum

The Bad:
‑ Short story-type mode with the new Fight Lab, although it will help gamers learn a lot of move to carry over into Tekken Tag Tournament 2's other modes
‑ Terrible online multiplayer; almost impossible to find anybody online to connect to and if someone is found, too often ends in disconnected game session
‑ Ease of tagging partner into play also makes it too easy to inadvertently tag in or out, sometimes at inopportune moments during battles

Score: 8.0 / 10