When the original Tekken Tag Tournament was released, it was a launch title for the PlayStation 2. Back then, Mission: Impossible II was setting the box office on fire, Sisqó’s Thong Song was playing on the radio, and people were relieved that the Y2K bug did not end the world. Twelve years later, Namco, now merged with Bandai, releases the sequel to what was arguably the best game in the PlayStation 2’s anaemic launch line-up, as well as a deep and enjoyable 3D fighting game overall.
The king returns
Ignoring the question of why it took this long for the sequel to come out, the first thing you notice is that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a different experience to the first instalment. The original Tekken Tag Tournament was based on the fighting engine and feel of Tekken 3, while the sequel is based on the updated engine introduced in Tekken 6. Thus, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a different gaming experience that its predecessor, with an expanded and updated character roster that takes into account the Tekken franchise's long history.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a nice looking game, with detailed environments and character models. The 3D option is a nice addition, but it fails to give a proper feel of depth to the environment. With a large assortment of characters and a plethora of game modes, there is no shortage of things to do in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
The sound effects are hard hitting as always, but the eclectic collection of synthesised music is a mixed bag that will find both fans and detractors. Voice acting for characters with localised languages is well implemented. The controls are tight and response, which is a given for a fighting game such as Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
The original Tekken Tag Tournament was a PlayStation 2 exclusive, but the sequel is both on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Placed side by side, there was no visible graphic difference between the two versions, even with the 3D function turned on.
Which version you will pick will ultimately rest on what console you own, or your preference for control pad. In this case, the PlayStation 3 control pad felt sligthly more natural for the fighting game than the Xbox 360 one, though this was just a personal prefence and will likely vary between users.
- Highly polished sequel that brings bigger and better graphics, sound and gameplay to the fighting game genre.
- Fighting engine is based on the overhauled Tekken 6 system, so fans of the original game will need to relearn moves and strategies.
Bottom Line: 4.5
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 does not disappoint and ramps up the expectations for fighting game. However, it is somewhat of a shame that it took 12 years for it to come out.