Tekken Tag Tournament 2 hands-on preview
Tekken is back in the form of Tekken Tag Tournament 2. And this time it’s bigger than ever, with a few new interesting additions. One of the biggest of these is the new Fight Lab mode, letting players customise a character, and build them up to become the ultimate Tekken warrior. Stephen Ebert has been checking it out.
The last time we spoke of Tekken, we saw the series team up with Street Fighter-maker Capcom, for Street Fighter X Tekken. Now we’re back, solely with the Tekken cast. And what a line-up. The entire roster features over 50 characters – the largest the series has ever had.
All the favourites are still there: King, Law, Heihachi, Panda, even boxing dinosaur Alex and more. On early evidence, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 remains as definitive a Tekken experience as any version of the game to date.
The best fighting games ring the changes without altering things up too much. And in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the series looks like continuing to do what it does best. The tag mechanic, does of course remain, too.
New tag combos let players double team opponents using a simple combination of button presses. If anything Tekken Tag Tournament 2 feels more approachable, yet still manages to hold onto the tactical style that has made it popular with fight game connoisseurs.
The best Tekken players rely on lulling opponents into mistakes, and rendering them helpless with air combos, known as ‘juggling’. It’s one of the first techniques players will discover in the new Fight Lab.
It’s a sparkling new mode for the series built for newcomers and battle-hardened fight fans alike. It takes the form of a dedicated campaign, with its own animated film sequences centering on a robot that escapes from a lab after an experiment gone bad.
Turns out that it’s a combot (combat bot), that players get to customise by completing challenges. The mode takes players through each of the game’s basic moves. The idea being that by the end of the mode, players will be transformed from Tekken pacifists to pro pugilists.
Early stages mirror tutorials instructing players what buttons to press. In the juggling combo tutorial, players must uppercut opponents into the air, and hit them as many times as instructed before they fall to the floor.
Doing so successfully earns players points to spend on new moves from any of the game’s characters. So if you want to combine Heihachi’s power moves and uppercuts with Martial Law’s nimble combos, you can do.
A scrolling list lets you purchase any, for a price. The more complex the move, the higher the cost. It means players will have to play the whole way through to earn more moves, adding extra longevity to a fighting game that, thanks to its 50-plus character line-up, should have plenty of stamina.
By the end players will have a super character to take on the game’s single player modes and non-ranked multiplayer. The possibility of taking on fighters from across the world, using a customised character should offer Tekken Tag Tournament 2 players a more personalised approach to online multiplayer.
The full package makes for the most-well rounded Tekken package seen, in what could be the best Tekken game yet at a time when gamers demand much more from their fighting games these days. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 may just deliver.