(Wii U)

Game Review

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Joe Walker

Tag, you're it

For as well known a household name as Tekken is, it’s strange to realize that it’s never made its way to a Nintendo home console at any point. There have been handheld offerings on the Game Boy Advance and 3DS, but portable fighters are rarely more than appetizers compared to their beefy console counterparts. Namco Bandai finally decided that the time was right and brought the biggest Tekken game to date as a launch title for Wii U, with Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition.

Try to follow us here: Tekken Tag Tournament 2, despite being released after Tekken 6, is technically the sequel to the PlayStation 2 launch title Tekken Tag Tournament. Rather than adhering to the series chronology, it pulls in a bucket-load of characters from all corners of the Tekken world and pits them against each other in furious bouts of 2-on-2 fisticuffs. Having a partner allows the Iron Fist Tournament participants to perform some pretty impressive moves, like tag throws and extended juggle combos.

Instead of Capcom’s VS rules where one participant is KO’d and the other continues solo, in Tekken the rule is that as soon as one person’s life bar hits zero the match is over. This theme of life bar maintenance will change how you play, as often it's the case that being more conservative and waiting for the opportune moment to strike will be the best course of action if both of your fighters are on their way out. It also leads to plenty of opportunities for mind games when playing against another person, because severely weakening one of their fighters before they get a chance to tag them out is definitely going to shake them up.

Billed as the first “true” 3D fighter, Tekken’s mechanics are as tight as ever. Each face button controls a different limb on your character and masterful timing is required to pull off some of the most devastating combos. Knowing that it would be some Nintendo fans’ first trip to the rodeo, the Fight Lab is there to teach players the ropes, starting with the basics such as moving around the 3D arenas. Not only is the Fight Lab essential for beginning pugilists, but it’s also hugely entertaining and doubles as a story mode. You’re Combot, built by the character Violet (voiced by prolific Japanese voice actor Ryotaro Okiayu, who thrives with silly characters) and must learn how to be a competent fighter. It definitely bucks the trend of training modes being sterile, uninteresting exercises.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is simply filled with content. Single-player modes consist of the genre staples such as Arcade, Survival, Time Attack and Training (with Arcade featuring the traditional cheap, frustrating boss that will have you wanting to snap your GamePad in half after a few rounds). Those looking to play with others have same-console and online versus modes. During our play sessions online bouts were as fast and fluid as if they were being played on the same couch, which will definitely put the minds of those concerned about Wii U’s online capabilities at ease.

What really make the game shine are the additional modes included specifically for the Wii U release. Each of the 59 characters has a selectable costume based on a Nintendo character; while there’s plenty of overlap, seeing Dr. Bosconovitch dressed as Fox McCloud or Ganryu as Bowser never stops being funny.

Also exclusive to the Wii U release are the Mushroom Battle and Tekken Ball modes. Tekken Ball returns from Tekken 3, where instead of punching your opponent you attack a giant ball to send it over to your opponent’s side. If it hits the ground (or them) they take damage. It’s a silly and nonsensical twist on volleyball, but it’s fun and a great way to take a break from the standard game.

Mushroom Battle is a real treat, though. In this mode stages are littered with mushrooms from the Mario series, including Super, Mega, Golden and Poison mushrooms that function exactly as they do in the games they originate from. Grabbing a Mega Mushroom is helpful because you deal more damage, but as you’re suddenly a giant most of your attacks are going to sail over the top of your opponent. It’s hectic, crazy fun (and, if we can be so bold, evokes some Smash Bros. emotions) and will definitely be the star at parties.

The game supports off-TV play, but when playing on a television the GamePad offers move shortcuts for those who aren't quite adept at pulling off some of the more demanding manoeuvres. They default to a standard list that can be tapped on the touch screen, but holding the “shift” shoulder button will assign them to the four face buttons so you can keep your thumbs where they need to be. It’s not terribly inventive, but it’s yet another way that the Wii U Edition of the game takes strides to accommodate newer players and attempt to keep the playing field level.

The GamePad also gets some use in the character customization mode, which allows you to draw on any of the game’s characters as you customize their outfits. It’s as silly as it sounds, and plenty of hours can be lost making serious characters like Kazuya look as ridiculous as possible.

While it looks and plays great, the game does suffer from some pretty brutal load times, especially when booting it up for the first time. Occasionally the main menu screen will pop up but it will take several more seconds for the menu options to populate. It’s not game breaking by any stretch of the imagination, but as Tekken is such a fast-paced game being stuck waiting for things to load can feel like a bit of a drag.

Conclusion

It’s easy to recommend Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition as it’s the only fighting game out right now on Nintendo's new system, but Tekken is also franchise that’s cemented itself as a quality participant in the genre; this instalment is also bursting with content. There’s so much to do and so many characters to try that boredom will never be an issue. Add in the Wii U exclusive modes that will entertain series fans and newcomers alike, and you've got a title that any fighting game fan will need in their library.

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User Comments (49)

PinkSpider

#1

PinkSpider said:

Can't wait to play this all the Wii U exclusive features look great
Can't wait to start designing shirts

baba_944

#2

baba_944 said:

Wow so far all Wii U launch titles are 8/10 from this site. Now that's what I call a solid launch game.

Bulbousaur

#6

Bulbousaur said:

This will be one of the two games I buy with the system when I get it, partly because it is a great game, partly because it is quite cheap compared to the other launch games, but mostly because I get to play as a grizzly bear in Mario cosplay. Think about that for a second. A GRIZZLY BEAR in MARIO COSPLAY.

WaveyChristmas

#8

WaveyChristmas said:

Aside from NSMB.U, Nintendo Land and ZombiU, this is the only other launch title i'm interested in getting. Haven't played Tekken since the original on the PSX. :p

Retro_on_theGo

#9

Retro_on_theGo said:

Tekken is my favorite fighting franchise. It rocks! That said, I already have this for the 360 and no super long loading times are present. Seeing as it has to load inbetween rematches that sounds VERY off putting.
Fight Lab is totally a sterile, uninteresting exercise, btw.
I highly agree that anyone who doesn't have another HD console should get this. Tekken Tag 2 is so much fun.

THENAMESNORM

#13

THENAMESNORM said:

Looks like another great game for the WiiU launch, and it's only £29.99 from Amazon.co.uk just now!

RevolverLink

#14

RevolverLink said:

I still find the whole "Tekken characters wearing skinned Nintendo characters" thing to be rather unsettling.

Prof_Clayton

#16

Prof_Clayton said:

Tag.
You're it.
Great review, I expected an 8. All launch titles so far have them from here, and I expect NSMBU to break the trend first. :)
This looks fun, but I'll either wait for bargain bin or never get it; too seems complicated for me anyway.

rjejr

#17

rjejr said:

Is the review complaining about the Tekken franchise numbering scheme?

See - New Super Mario Brothers, New Super Mario Brothers Wii, New Super Mario Brothers 2, New Super Mario Brothers Wii U. And why are they all called "NEW"?.

Ichiban

#19

Ichiban said:

Best Tekken since the origanal TTT imo. Ive only played the PS3 version, & its great.

seronja

#20

seronja said:

i finished tekken tag 2 on the ps3 quite some time ago, and i do recommend to everybody to pick this game up as it has all characters unlocked from the start plus the wii-u version offers ALOT more content from modes to costumes that you should not miss out! ;)

defrb

#21

defrb said:

For me this genre worn out 15 years ago, but still good to see a good score and a lot of creativity in this genre :)

GG Namco

Retro_on_theGo

#22

Retro_on_theGo said:

I don't see how all characters unlocked from the beginning is a plus. I'd prefer at least some characters be locked to give me a reason to play through it more.
Btw, are the preorder bonus characters buyable via DLC on the other consoles? Does this version have them on the disk?

DrSlump

#25

DrSlump said:

Loading times... this word is a constant in wii u reviews, together with "low framerate" . I don't remember this issues on my old Wii.

seronja

#26

seronja said:

@Retro_on_theGo on the ps3 and x360 some characters were locked at the beginning because of the on disk DLC, i don't know if they are unlocked now or not since i sold my copy long ago because i wanted to save up enough money for the wii-u version, but it kind of sucked that i could not play as ogre from the start

Bass_X0

#28

Bass_X0 said:

For me this genre worn out 15 years ago,

Its a whole lot different now than it was 15 years ago. You're missing out.

misswliu81

#29

misswliu81 said:

i love fighting games a lot so it's good to see this get a good score. hopefully injustice gods gets a good mark as well. this should keep me busy until virtua fighter, soul calibur, dead or alive, smash bros comes out.

NintyMan

#30

NintyMan said:

Nice to see that this Tekken turned out well. I'll see about getting it for Christmas for the laughs and the fact that I haven't played Tekken for years.

Knux

#31

Knux said:

This looks amazing. I might buy this whenever I do decide to buy a Wii U.

SheldonRandoms

#32

SheldonRandoms said:

Once I get this game, i'll inflate my Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition volley ball that I got at the NY Comic Con 2012

Lunapplebloom

#33

Lunapplebloom said:

I've never been a fan of Tekken, until I played Street Fighter X Tekken. That was the perfect game to get me interested in the series, so I'll be picking this one up eventually. And you gotta love those Nintendo costumes. :D

chewytapeworm

#34

chewytapeworm said:

Didn't get the 3ds's 3d edition as I'm holding out for this one. Tekken is more at home on a home console. Can't wait to select King and Yoshimitsu, over and over again!

sinalefa

#35

sinalefa said:

I do have a PS3, but I will get Wii U's version instead. Those suits definitely add to the fun factor.

Oh, and nice to see a review for this one. First one I read for the U version, even if this was a launch game in the US.

Shining-Void

#39

Shining-Void said:

I don't know about this game. I'm more into dbz/naruto type fighters. I'll stay open minded for now.

TruenoGT

#40

TruenoGT said:

I've been playing this a lot the last two days and I don't think the load times are that noticeable (though I have the eShop version). I freakin' love the off-screen gamepad play... You can even play with an external controller while using the gamepad! I've been sitting in my kitchen with my arcade stick playing on the gamepad screen in the stand (online, no less), and it's ridiculous, but ridiculously fun. GREAT music also!

MeloMan

#42

MeloMan said:

Yessss, yessss, mwahahaahhaaa... I've waited so long for you TTT2, and now you'll be all mine soon enough...

Dreamcaster-X

#43

Dreamcaster-X said:

Just got my copy earlier this week. It;s definitely one of the more fun fighters I've played in recent memory. There's tons of stuff to customize and the added mushroom mode is quite a fun diversion. With such a great selection of games, I haven't had this much fun with a game launch since Dreamcast!! Can't wait for the Wonderful 101, Aliens:Colonial Marines, and Bayonetta 2!!!!

FiveDigitLP

#46

FiveDigitLP said:

I love this game. I hope Tekken 7 and Soul Caliber 6 come to the Wii U as well. Keep it up, Namco Bandai!

retro_player_22

#47

retro_player_22 said:

I really enjoy this game right now, with the 59 selectable fighter (60 if you count Devil Kazuya as its own character), new exclusive modes like Mushroom Battle and the returning Tekken Ball Mode from Tekken 3 makes this the definite version of Tekken Tag 2 for me. The fact that it is also backwards compatible with the Wii Classic Controller Pro helps too since I don't have to buy those expensive Wii U Pro Controller.

AyeHaley

#48

AyeHaley said:

I think its a solid purchase at 15 bucks...Even with Smash coming out this November.

Bass_X0

#49

Bass_X0 said:

Tekken for a tenner! Downloading it now. 1/5 of the way through the download and and still five hours left estimated.

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