Published on March 2nd, 2013 | by Dembonez190
Review: Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
Developer: Namco Bandai Games Inc.
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games Inc.
System: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U
Release Date: September 11, 2012 (PS3/360), November 18, 2012 (Wii U)
Those who opted out of buying Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the PS3 and 360 are in for a treat if they buy it for the Wii U instead. Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition arrives with DLC characters and quirky Nintendo costumes right out of the box, but it doesn’t end there.
The Tekken series is known for its pinpoint accuracy of a variety of fighting styles as well as its roster of interesting and unique characters. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 boasts the largest character roster in Tekken’s history with over 50 total characters to choose from. What’s great is that there are some characters, like Marshall and Forest Law, that have similar fighting styles making the transition into the tag aspects of the game a lot easier for people who may have mained Marshall earlier in the series. The characters’ attacks have only changed a bit from Tekken 6, and these changes allow for “clone characters” like Forest to have their own moves with their own affects on the match so that at the end of the day, Forest is not simply following in his father’s footsteps.
The unique character roster also includes those that were originally DLC for the PS3 and 360 versions. With Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition, there is no hassle in having to find the downloads and update the game to include them. They’re already there waiting for you to give them a try! These characters include Violet, Michelle, Dr. Boskonovich, Angel, Ancient Ogre, Unknown, Sebastian, Slim Bob, Kunimitsu, and Miharu. They may all sound familiar as they have either made appearances within the story throughout the series or have popped up in other characters’ endings before, but not all of them have been fighters before. Some share styles with other characters. However, just like Marshall and Forest, the fighting styles differ just enough to give both characters unique qualities.
The characters come along with five stages that were originally DLC as well. One of these stages is the infamous Snoop Dogg stage that received mixed feedback after the announcement. If you happened to get this game for the other two systems, then all of the DLC is still completely free.
Although this is more of a review for the Wii U version, a lot of the information found here can be applied to the PS3 and 360 versions as well, such as some of the game modes like the Fight Lab which teaches you the fighting basics and essentials like side-stepping, guarding, throwing, aiming attacks, tag commands, and more. Combot, Violet, and Violet’s assistant are the stars of this mode as Violet helps you train a Combot to be a well-rounded fighter. The levels here get pretty gnarly towards the end, so it’s definitely a great place to practice and to challenge yourself. Combot can eventually be customized with attacks from different characters to make it absolutely perfect.
Other modes include the basic fighting game setup: Arcade, Versus, Practice, Online, etc. Customize is a staple to the Tekken series, but it has been placed into the spotlight more for this game. Customize mode allows players to dress up their favorite characters, and unlike the games in the past, you can adjust the color schemes of the outfits to whatever color you’d like. Therefore, if you would like your favorite duo to match, you can make it happen! Because of this, however, it appears to be lacking in the way of costumes each character can wear…at least in the beginning.
This is where Ghost Battle and Tekken Supporters come in. These modes unlock new costumes that can be used for specific characters. In Ghost Battle, if you defeat opponents that have a golden bar around their pictures, you can earn either or both of your opponents’ ending movies or customization items for either or both of them. If the fights are getting too difficult to manage, Tekken Supporters lets you pay for the customization items of the characters you like. However, if the character is not pleased with the amount of money you’ve given them, you will end up with nothing but a lighter wallet. Since money is already difficult to accumulate, it is probably best to battle ghosts until you can’t go anymore.
Like Tekken Supporters, there are a couple of other special modes that can be played. Tekken Ball is the first of these. It has made a return from the original Tekken Tag Tournament and plays a lot like volleyball. Your character(s) need to use powerful attacks to send the ball flying towards your opponent. It isn’t as easy as it sounds though. If the ball lands on the ground on your side, or if you aren’t quick enough to send it back to your opponent, you take damage. Once your health reaches zero, you lose the round. It’s a very enjoyable game, and it has an amazingly hilarious track to listen to while playing.
The other special mode is a Wii U exclusive: Mushroom Battle! There are some pretty great remixes to a variety of Mario themes that play during the fight, and it is hilarious to see your character grow or shrink depending on the mushrooms he or she picks up. The voice changes are great too, and they add a whole new element to the battles as you must maneuver yourself more than usual to grab what you need before your opponent.
Combining customization with Wii U exclusives are costumes designed after Nintendo’s most famous characters! Of all the mascots, the ones that can be seen are: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Bowser, Link, Zelda, Sheik, Ganondorf, Fox, and Captain Falcon. These costumes cannot be altered or deleted in the customization menu, so there will be no palette swapping for Daisy, Wario, Falco, etc. Still this was a great idea to include in the Wii U version along with Mushroom Battle.
Now onto online and game play. The horrendous lag issue that was ever present in Tekken 6 has been improved. Even a 1-bar connection isn’t the end of the world which is fantastic for a fast-paced fighting game. It’s still fairly easy to land combos. Picky or elaborate juggles could be dropped, but the lag still isn’t as disastrous as it was in the past.
While waiting for opponents to find you, you are sent into a wall-less practice area to perform basic and tag combos and throws so that there is a little extra time to practice before going into a fight against a human opponent. Like before, you can cancel the opponent’s request to join you if you wish whether you are preparing for a Ranked or a Player match. Therefore, you can find someone who best fits with your connection quality. That said, match-making is fantastic. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 does a great job of pairing you up against people with similar skills.
As far as game play is concerned, this mostly has to do with preference. It took awhile to adjust to the Wii U after jumping from the PS3 in Tekken 6. The GamePad is actually pretty uncomfortable, so if you want to buy this game, I would recommend purchasing a Wii U Pro Controller. It’s much more comfortable, and while the control scheme may need to be altered to make sure you don’t accidentally hit the wrong buttons during a heated match due to its compactness, it’s still worth the money if you are an avid Tekken fan.
Performing combos and juggles has been made easier in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as well with the new Shift controls. Whenever you configure a button to be the Shift button, this along with one of the attack buttons automatically becomes a move or a combo making it MUCH easier to pull off more complex combinations and time juggles more easily. It is still preferred to learn your character’s attacks so that you can combine manual input with the Shift controls. That way, you can make the most out of Shift as you only have four spaces.
Whether you purchase Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the Wii U, the PS3, or the 360, just note what you will be getting with each console and how easily it will be to adjust from one system to another if you do decide to make the leap somewhere else. This was a really good move for Namco Bandai to take advantage of the Wii U’s improved graphics but also to introduce a new group to the Tekken series. Happy fighting!
+ Wii U exclusive content
+ Smoother online experience
+ Already included DLC
+ Easier combo system with Shift commands
– Slow money gain
– GamePad feels awkward
– Controller locks up if certain buttons are pressed together
Final score: 4.25 out of 5