The Prolific Fighter Returns Better Than Ever - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - PlayStation 3 -
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Tekken Tag Tournament 2

The Prolific Fighter Returns Better Than Ever

Fighting franchises are more sequel-prone than other genres, but they also present a unique challenge to developers – how do you release new installments that offer more than new fighters, stages, and moves? Attempts at features outside of the standard arcade ladder/ghost battle/survival mode have been a mixed bag, with the Tekken series being particularly notable for lackluster single-player modes that stray from the core fighting engine. With Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Namco Bandai is more focused on a pure fighting experience than with extraneous modes.

Tag Tournament 2 isn’t entirely without an offline single-player component, as the Fight Lab mode tasks you with tuning a combat robot (named Combot, naturally) to your liking. Essentially a tutorial with a narrative, this mode does an admirable job of teaching you the ropes of the tag system. Progressing through the stages earns you customization points, allowing you to assign your favorite moves to Combot. At the end of the Fight Lab stages, you have a custom-built fighter tweaked to your specifications. Considering it functions simultaneously as a tutorial and create-a-fighter of sorts, it’s a fantastic way to get accustomed with the mechanics.

While your Fight Lab currency is spent on Combot, you’re free to spend the gold rewards from standard matches on any of the 50-plus fighters. Through the customization feature, you can make stylistic changes to your favorite character’s attire and appearance, or you can abandon style altogether in favor of monkey hats and pineapple grenades.

No amount of tweaking matters if the core gameplay isn’t up to par. Thankfully, this entry retains the series’ signature responsive controls and massive roster of fighters. Teaming up with a partner offers new combat opportunities, whether it’s character-specific tag throws or devastating tag assault combos. Online matches are fast-paced and intense thanks to the relatively lag-free experience, even if the bouts are limited to the basic ranked and player variety.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 doesn’t overhaul the franchise’s format, instead opting to retain the series’ already-solid gameplay and avoid extraneous modes that detract from the core fighting focus. Even with a somewhat bare-bones online offering, it’s still one of the most refined fighters on the market.

User Reviews:

  • 8.25
    While it may seem late to the party after the release of its other console counterparts, Tekken: Tag Tournament 2 is no less of a fighting game juggernaut on the new Wii U system this year. With a huge roster of 60 characters and tons of free DLC included on disc, Tekken has yet another share of good...
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  • 9.50
    After years of waiting, the sequel to the acclaimed Tekken Tag Tournament is finally available. I'm a big Tekken fan. I've been playing Tekken since Tekken 3 came out back in the day and through the years Harada-san has been finding new ways to keep the player engaged. And with that let's...
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  • 9.75
    As close to perfect as an arcade game can be. I downloaded it last night and it was just as good as I had hoped. I was a little nervous I wouldn't be able to use a created character but the game makes your avatar available right away for use. I went ahead a 100% the first level, warehouse right then...
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  • 9.25
    If you are someone who played Tekken 6 and think that Tekken Tag 2 is that plus a tag mechanic, stop right there. This game is much more than that. From what I've played the controls are tight, graphics have been kicked up about thirty percent, and the online mode makes Tekken 6's online look...
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