Xbox 360 Review: Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Tag…you’re it!

The Tekken franchise has had its ups and downs over the past few years, the downs we know of…like Tekken 6 in 2009, but its risen up with the help of Street Fighter X Tekken and now a rebirth of the Tag Tournament license emerges, but is it enough to put Tekken back on the map on its own merits?

Fighting games have notoriously been difficult, learning combos and timing down perfectly to secure victory, it’s always been a part of the formula and the Tekken franchise has always followed this pattern, but Tekken Tag Tournament 2 does things a little differently, while it still has tons of combos and the like, it wants you to learn them and offers tools like the Fight Lab mode to teach you the ropes.

As with most fighting games, you have the classic Arcade mode, online and offline modes, but usually a campaign to go along with it, Tekken’s campaign this time round takes the form of the Fight Lab where you control a Combot (Combat Robot if you didn’t get that) in several chapters fully of crazy anime-ideas that could only emerge from a Tekken title. It’s a good addition and it teaches you the combos you need, but it’s tough as you can’t progress until you get the combos right, which will put off newcomers to the series.

The list of characters is pretty damn big and it will take you a while to find two fighters that complement each other with your own fighting style, but once you do then the game really opens up. You can customise your characters, buy accessories like glasses for them and so on, online play offers typical modes and luckily, lag is greatly reduced. Tekken has always been built for veterans and this is the first game that evens the odds slightly, but still doesn’t quite do enough to make it accessible to everyone, having said that…it’s a step in the right direction.

In terms of visuals, Tag Tournament 2 looks great with superb animations, smooth framerate and great stages to engage combat in, the voice-acting is all over the place as normal, but the music is a nice mixture of techno tunes that you would expect from a Tekken game.

The Verdict

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 doesn’t add much new to the fighting scene, but it’s still one of the great fighting games out there with a huge roster, tons of combos to learn and a campaign that is willing to teach you most of them, it’s not perfect and it doesn’t exactly do everything to welcome newcomers, but its without a doubt an addictive and rewarding experience that Tekken veterans and others will enjoy.