Tekken Tag Tournament 2 certainly hits the mark for a game in its genre, it is flashy and offers a bewildering combination of characters, game modes and combos.
The game offers depth, but I feel it is reserved for the die hard fans you need to be au fait with the characters and their tells before you can consider taking advantage of reversals or holds. As each fight no matter how well paced at the start begins its descent into a button mashing frenzy and the rinse-repeat tactics start to take hold. Subconsciously the same kicks keep coming out and then a special move from nowhere, I have no idea how it happened and finding out will be a chore because I don’t know what it is called. There are unlockable costumes (both skimpy and ridiculous) plus accessories for the characters after completing bouts, levelling them up and pulling off moves, however it fails to become a driver for pushing on, more like ‘something that just happens’.
There are a wide range of game modes, ranging from practice, arcade style fights with continues, a robot sparring game with its own sequence of challenges and a group fight where the object is to outlast the opposing team. An eight-a-side battle of attrition this mode is the most satisfying so far, dispatching a list of opponents without a knockout can be a lot of fun, but getting cornered and having both members of your TAG team on low health can soon see the match turned around. Also having the option to take these modes online will give the player ample opportunity to be whipped by somebody with a Tekken obsession.
The game respects the history of Tekken and continues to introduce each character with their own typically styled intro, grudges are generally brought to bear as fighters square up, but it has been seen before.
The Tag aspect of the title offers some strategy as it offers the player the chance to swap characters mid bout, a quick flick of the right stick will send one character off screen with your teammate steaming in. Part of the strategy is in the timing as more often than not my incoming character would find themselves on the wrong end of a foot to the face. Tag combos can also be achieved, gaining some momentary damage bonuses for pulling a swap at just the right moment. It generally adds a good level of interest and mixing the right styles can give you better reach and impact on the fight, however it will take a lot of time to get beyond the basics and see the fights unfolding in a way that you can control them.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 certainly hits the mark for a game in its genre, it is flashy and offers a bewildering combination of characters, game modes and combos. Although at the end of a long day, I know I do not have the patience, time or motivation to become a Tekken expert. If you are a Tekken fan you will be right at home, for those of us with smaller attention spans and other games that want to be played more, it will be resigned to the pile of shame.