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Review

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review

  • Game release: September 11, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • PS3

The King of Iron Fist tournament returns in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, a well-executed and punishing fighter.

by

'

Tekken may host the King of Iron Fist Tournament, but finding victory requires more than a heavy hand. Knowledge of your opponent's arsenal, precise execution, and quick reflexes get you further than simply knowing the strongest attacks. Like its predecessor, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 takes the 3D combat mechanics of the Tekken series and doubles the number of combatants, allowing for more complex and dynamic matches. The combat is supported by a robust selection of modes that makes this fighter a treat for future heirs of the Mishima Zaibatsu.

Despite their differences in rosters, mechanics, and number of dimensions, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 share some similarities. Both are fast-paced, brutal games with a rhythm of split-second mind games and long combo strings. The key difference is distance. In Marvel, you may be dodging projectiles at full screen one moment and avoiding a close-range cross-up the next. Tekken is extremely close-quarters, demanding split-second reactions to subtle changes to attack strings. And once an attack gains purchase, it should be maximized for all it's worth. This means busting out an extended combo.

Building an extended combo requires understanding and applying three attack types: launchers, bounds, and tags. Launchers knock your opponent helplessly into the air, but leave you highly vulnerable if they're blocked or dodged. Some fighters can mitigate this risk with one-two combos ending in a launcher. Once the foe is airborne, the attacking player can work in a few midair strikes before following up with the next technique: a bound.

Bound attacks pull your foe out of the air and rebound him off the ground. As the foe bounces back, the attacking player may carry the assault further. Bounds and launchers have their limits and cannot be used repeatedly in the same combo. Learning which moves and combos incorporate these attack types is a key step to learning any fighter in this game. When deciding how to continue the assault, you may choose to incorporate the game's namesake, tagging.

If you hold the tag button immediately after performing a bound, your partner dashes in from offscreen, ready to strike. You can enter the attack manually, or one will be selected automatically if you continue to hold the tag button. In either case, control then switches back to the original attacker, who finishes out the combo. There are other ways to use your tag partner, such as switching between the two or performing a two-person tag throw. But the ability to summon your partner temporarily after a bound helps the pair feel like one cohesive unit working together to achieve victory.

A tag team's symbiotic nature extends to their health as well. Each fighter on a tag team has a health bar. However, if one fighter loses all of his or her health, then that team loses the round, regardless of how much health the other fighter retained. In dire circumstances, you can sacrifice your point character's remaining recoverable health to force the tag character into an offensive dive. This is a great trick for getting out of a bad situation, but it denies your sidelined character the chance to recover any lost health.

If all this talk of bounds and tag combos sounds confusing, you are not alone. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a difficult game. It's easy to make mistakes and leave yourself wide open for a counterattack. Then your opponent will bust out some double-digit combo that drags your fighter to the other side of the screen, ending with an ambiguous wake-up game that knocks you right off your feet and starts the whole thing over again. And all of that happens in less than a minute. To play Tekken is to walk one of the most dangerous fighting game tightropes. However, those of you who stick it out will discover a massive ceiling for improvement, thanks to a massive character move list.

With a cast of 44 fighters (not counting the free DLC characters), Tekken Tag Tournament 2's roster is immense. And it is not uncommon for fighters to have more than 100 moves at their disposal. On top of that, the properties or advantages of these moves are not immediately apparent. Jin and Bryan both have low kicks to the shin, but how do these moves differ, and when should you use them? The game may not help you understand the intricacies of each fighter, but it helps you grasp the basics with Fight Lab.

In addition to being the game's primary educational mode, Fight Lab is Tekken Tag Tournament 2's main narrative mode. In Fight Lab, you help playboy businessman Violet fine-tune Combot, a multipurpose robot who borrows individual moves from the rest of the cast. This mode does a lot of things right to make itself attractive to new players. The lessons move at a slow pace, covering the basics of offense, defense, and movement. They're also pretty funny, including some spoofs of a few Street Fighter alums as well as one-off minigames.

Between lessons in Fight Lab, you may spend resources earned to unlock new moves for your Combot. Once your robotic warrior is properly decked out, it can be used in offline matches or in player matches online (sorry, Combot is off-limits when playing ranked matches). Fight Lab does a good job of illuminating the "how" behind various fighting mechanics, but stumbles with the "why." Basic strategy and understanding how to approach a fight are left to the school of hard knocks online.

Whether you're winning or losing, nearly every match fought in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 rewards you with some money. This cash can then be spent on all sorts of cosmetics, including new hairstyles, clothing, or exotic items. And not all of the clothing options are available right away. More clothing items, and categories, are unlocked as you progress. This is a great way to incentivize players who are practicing offline or who suffer an especially brutal loss online.

When you're not tweaking your Combot, or your favorite character, you will find that the single-player offerings in this game adhere to the fighting genre norm. Time Trial, Survival, Team Battle, Arcade, and Offline Versus are all accounted for, as well as Ghost Battle. Ghost battles are great for tailoring the game to your skill level, because you can dictate the difficulty of each successive fight. More challenging fights offer up extra bonuses, such as additional funds or even character-specific ending cinematics.

Rounding out the single-player offerings is the game's Practice mode. All the standard features are present, but two that stand out are its defensive training and positioning options. Defensive training lets you program a move, or series of moves, for the AI to perform in random order for you to practice guarding against. The positioning options let you automatically reset your characters anywhere in the arena. This is especially handy for practicing wall combos, one of the key ways to score big damage.

Online, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 provides all the features fighting enthusiasts expect. You can compete in ranked matches to improve your personal ranking or in friendly player matches against multiple opponents. Two players can also join up and practice against each other online or fight on the same team against others. Replay support is also present, complete with character-specific filtering options to help you study new techniques for your favorite fighter.

With regard to online performance, the game runs well under the right conditions. Against opponents of a three- or four-bar connection rating--regardless of region--matches perform without serious issues. Dropping below that rating results in noticeable lag during interstitials and the fights themselves. Clear connection indicators are present to help you avoid suboptimal matches.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a challenging fighter that rewards speed and ferocity in those willing to make the commitment. Its humorous (and educational) Fight Lab and defensive training options in Practice mode make good educational tools before you step into the game's numerous other modes. And these modes are all supported by a challenging and well-realized fighting system with near-endless room for player improvement. While some fighting games have simplified their mechanics to be easier for genre newcomers, the Tekken series remains unapologetically brutal.

'
The Good
Challenging and deep combat system
Stable online play with replay support
Fight Lab does a good job of covering the basics
Customizable soundtrack is a fun addition.
The Bad
Tutorials do not prepare you to process individual characters.
8.5
Great
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Discussion

16 comments
rewind915
rewind915

Good Game. Had fun collecting the ridiculous endings. Glad that it doesn't take itself so seriously. Soundtrack was wonderful as well!

snaketus
snaketus

This was one of my favourite games of last year, no doubt of that, but I have to say I'm one of those who lost game saves for this games, because of FREAKING BUG! And for that, not being technically good 9/10.

supermarioooooo
supermarioooooo

i miss tekken 4 so much. but people need to see explosions ,characters need to fight in a spaceship. Full of meanless endings. and bullshit FORCE MODE. yes people didnt like tekken 4 and since tekken 5 all we have is these negative tthings. 

thank you people. you killed great serie. made it stupid trendy game

PyreofKoL
PyreofKoL

Just got the game tonight. It's a good balance between 6 and the original Tag and I just love it.

MarchingOrd3rZ
MarchingOrd3rZ

Doppelgängers...that's a reason I think it is a bit unbalanced. Now, I still don't know if the DLC characters are allowed in tournaments (I, myself, enter a local tournament held in my area every month), but the possibility of having two Bob's (fat and slim), two Lili's (Sabastian and Lili), two Eddy's (Tiger and Eddy), and even two Law's (Forrest and Marshall) threaten the overall balance as well as validity of the game. Having two Bob's, arguably the fastest Tekken character, is unfair.

 

But while they are at it...you mind making it so where I can have two Steve's?

OCDemon
OCDemon

I'm not sure about what people are saying with this one. This game is perfectly balanced to me. It's better than Virtua Fighter 5 and Dead or Alive 5. I own all three of those games and Tekken is clearly the best. I don't know... I use Jin and Law(s) as mains, and their balance is perfect in this version.

SSS1989
SSS1989

Same reviewer, definitely sucks at Dead or Alive 5. Hey, I still play Tekken and the good thing this title is patched last month. I still love using Lee Chaolan.

MeqLeK
MeqLeK

süpermiiş ya öbür tekkenlere benzemiyo bu

 

ErickPS4
ErickPS4

Artificial animation. This is tekken 6 masked with less game modes.

footbasller
footbasller

www.facebook.com/docker127 , having a problem regarding any game , catch i'll help ya out

 

rain_ishigawa
rain_ishigawa

Played the game, the online matches really are lag free(considering my internet was running on 50% signal and the few matches i had were up against people from japan) my only complaint is too much loading in menus... kinda distracting.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Good score, I think I may bite on this one. :P

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

I also wasn't a great fan of Tekken 6 - I am ( and to be honest was even before reading the review which hasn't changed my mind one way or the other ) on the fence. It is going as a high priority on my rental list but that's it for now!

Falru
Falru

I didn't enjoy Tekken 6 very much so I doubt I'll like this. I really hated how I had to input everything like 3 seconds beforehand in Tekken. It felt like I was locked into my string choices from the start and prevented any kind of reaction/adaptation to your opponent. I hate juggle combos too, they just look/feel silly to perform (although I did like some of the  fighting styles of the more stance-based characters).

 

Can't see this one being any different because if there's one thing Tekken doesn't do, it's change.

fallout_man
fallout_man

OMFG!!!!!I haven't been this pissed off in a looonge while!!

I really would like to kill someone RIGHT now!!

Just lost I-don't-know-how-many battles against the boss in Arcade.

I want to explode, or implode, or i don't know.. do damage to something, or someone. Maybe the creators of this game!

 

Great game by the way.. Though I've never been more angry at a game before! (which counts for the previous versions as well.)

 

 

TheKeef
TheKeef

One of the complaints I see in this review is that Fight Lab doesn't tell you why to fight a certain way?

 

Figure it out yourself? Tutorials and such aren't meant to replace full length guides, not even remotely. This is about a dumb complaint.

BFKZ
BFKZ

Am getting it today :D

Chronologo
Chronologo

"Bryan doesn't flinch in the face of fear" If that's the face of fear I would love to be scared

pqwoei
pqwoei

How many characters are there in the disc and how many characters are DLC?

Jimmy_Duval
Jimmy_Duval

8.5 is right. I think Tekken is the greatest fighting game ever with faithful styles and versitility. I'm glad that they took it out of the hands of the button smasher. The only drawbacks I see is that they have not brought back Doc B. Also the silly costums are funny, but over done.

 

istuffedsunny
istuffedsunny

This 8.5 only applies if you grew up with Tekken, because this series hasn't really evolved in over a decade. What have they added? Online and an accessory shop? How about improving the gameplay? It still feels like a PS1 game. I'll stick with DOA.

juiceair
juiceair

So it gets points taken away because it doesn't hold your hand and brings a learning curve to those enjoy a challenge?  GS complains if a game is too shallow, then complains when it has a lot of content.  100+ moves for certain characters shouldn't deter you from playing, it should keep you interested so you're not spamming the same 2 moves over and over.  There's a lot here and this game is worth picking up if you're a fighting game fan.  This isn't the first Tekken game ever released so chances are you have already got an idea of what to expect.  

MiAnHu06
MiAnHu06

Wont see "button mashers" here!!

BloodMist
BloodMist

In summation, this game has everything you could ever ask for in a fighting game, basically.Tekken will always be the king.

ojmstr
ojmstr

Tekken has the deepest and most competative fightinggame system in the world, there is no game like tekken. This game and all the other games in the series truly deserves a 10/10.

garyoak99
garyoak99

@MarchingOrd3rZ This is why the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited Global Championship was an arcade-only tournament. The DLC characters weren't available in the arcades so they weren't allowed to be played in that tournament so no Slim Bob, no Sebastian, no Tiger, no Forrest and no Miharu.

Jupiter79
Jupiter79

 @fallout_man lol it is a great game, but i agree, that boss can be reiiculously hard. especially when you have been trying to defeat her over and over again, knowing whats coming everytime she transforms into Unknown. lol

 

i LOVE the customisations and props for characters tho. love the game lol

rain_ishigawa
rain_ishigawa

omg me too D: boss has one of the cheapest moves in videogame history D: and i consider myself a fighting game enthusiast ... 

 

which is i guess kudos to the makers ... finally a real BOSS battle ... 

TongLong
TongLong

 @fallout_man 

 

Haha! Tekken 6 and 5 (Jinpachi and his mouth-gut...) were just as bad for me! Namco must take its boss making cues from SNKs boss designers (try Last Blade or any other of its fighters and you'll see what I mean!)

 

I can't wait to get into the game and snap a controller or two! Picked it up last week, but I've been on nights... :(

Alyboy
Alyboy

 @pqwoei I believe there are 48 characters on the disc, with Kunimitsu, Angel, Michelle Chang and Ancient Ogre being DLC-characters, two of which you can get if you buy at certain retaliers.

 

Also, Miharu Hirano, Slim Bob, Sebastian, Dr. Bosconovitch, Violet and Unknown are DLC-characters, but they aren't available yet and shall be released at a later time.

Diernes
Diernes

 @istuffedsunny Obviously you don't have any idea about this game. It is in my opinion the best fighter available, and there is a reason why the base mechanics have not significantly changed (actually very arguable anyway). The system is perfect. it's easy to get into imo for new player's and it has depth bar almost anything in gaming. One button for each of your limbs and seasoned players can even see how to perform moves just by watching the character's because of it.

 

I think alot of the clunky or outdated complaint's come from people who have never learnt how to move around correctly. Movement alone is an extremely important and difficult gameplay system to master in tekken. You need to get a solid grounding in backdash cancelling, dashing, side walk, wave dashing, instant running and instant while standing move's as well as all the defensive option's before that feeling will do away. Yes tekken require's dedication, but once you commit it's one of the most rewarding experiences gaming has to offer, period...

 

As for innovation, they have added bound, rage, advanced tag gameplay features, environmental combo's and alot more actually. Above all else this game actually has an online system that works. (really hard ot pull of in any fighter let alone a 3d one this comeplex)

 

DOA is a button masher by comparison and the only thing they have added is a completely broken counter system and stage gimmick's over the year's. Even the top player's admit it's typically be a badly balanced game competitively. Tekken tag 2 with it's roster of near 60 is very very well balanced.

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

 @istuffedsunny how much can you improve on something that's pretty much perfection?  SSF4 didn't really change much from SF2.  fighting games tend to be simlilar with a few tweaks.

ForceofNature9
ForceofNature9

@juiceair 

It doesn't help that 80% of most characters movesets are essentially useless in heated combat.

ForceofNature9
ForceofNature9

@ojmstr 

If the game wasn't stiff as hell and didn't have near endless juggles then yes.

pqwoei
pqwoei

 @Alyboy thanks for the info, if you could answer another question I'd appreciate it. All DLC characters are free right?

ForceofNature9
ForceofNature9

@Diernes @istuffedsunny

I find that DOA5 is incredibly underrated by the FGC because it doesn't play exactly like every other fighter out there. I.e. it's not based around the same frametrapping strings and launch setups, and long-ass neverending juggles. What I mean is hardly anyone gives it a chance and just dimiss it prematurely.

DOA5 is about the metagame. You need to adapt your setups on the fly. You get predictable, or fight stupidly, you die. Did you watch the DOA matches at Final Round 16? How long do you think someone buttonmashing or spamming counters would've lasted in those fights?

ForceofNature9
ForceofNature9

@Diernes @istuffedsunny 

I'm guessing you never learned to play DOA properly and thought you could buttonmash your way to victory. If someone abuses counters, throw them for hi-counter damage.

rain_ishigawa
rain_ishigawa

 @LilRoss2k3  @istuffedsunny i agree with ross ... DOA plays the same thruout iterations btw too ... same with street fighter and most other fighting games that werent one hit wonders (Guilty gear, soul calibur, All the VS series)

 

hadouken is still down forward punch

Alyboy
Alyboy

 @pqwoei Sorry it took so long to reply, but yes, all the DLC characters are free of charge. Same goes for the DLC stages, which will be released at a later time. :)

ForceofNature9
ForceofNature9

@Diernes

Furthermore,

DOA5 was not at EVO because they are biased towards Capcom's Fighters and 2D fighting games (if I'm not mistaken TTT2 is the only 3D Fighter at EVO out of 7 or 8 games and Tekken 6 was not at EVO last year) and DOA4 was structurely a weak and uncompetitive game so, it's been more challenging to build a following for the legit DOA5 and thus has a smaller community.

Also are VF5:FS, SC5 and Skullgirls, etc. seen as a joke by the competitive community too? They're also not at EVO!

Diernes
Diernes

@ForceofNature9 @Diernes @istuffedsunny 

You miss the point. Of course you could but it's not a case of people abusing counters, although Thats a big reason why it's shunned for the most part in the FGC. The system is critically flawed in general. There is a reason why DOA5 is not at EVO this year, to the competitive community the game is a joke. It's a fun party game and thats about it.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 More Info

First Release on Sep 11, 2012
  • Arcade Games
  • PlayStation 3
  • + 2 more
  • Wii U
  • Xbox 360
The Tekken Tag Tournament returns with fighters from across the Tekken spectrum taking each other on two by two for the second time.
8.5
Average User RatingOut of 480 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Developed by:
Bandai Namco Games, Namco Bandai Games
Published by:
Bandai Namco Games, Namco Bandai Games, Namco Bandai Games America
Genres:
Fighting, 3D, Action
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Teen
All Platforms
Alcohol Reference, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence