a NintendoFuse game review by Steve Cullum
Game – Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
Version – Wii U (retail disc)
Obtained – Review copy from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.
One of the most popular fighters has made its way to a Nintendo console. Boasting itself as more than just a port, Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition brings the largest roster, new stages, and many other updated and additional features. Is it enough, though?
Story & Plot
If you are familiar with Tekken, or most other fighting games, you know there is hardly ever an actual plot. Essentially, a ton of fighters come together to fight. As you read through the character biographies and play through the main Arcade Battle, you realize the devil has been attacking players, and you must overcome it in addition to defeating other fighters. That is basically it when it comes to a storyline or plot. Is this enough? Yes, because this is a game that does not need a deep narrative to carry it. In fact, most fighting fans will welcome the lack of one, because he or she will want to just get into the game.
While you may think the basic gameplay takes place in an arena with characters fighting one another, you would only be partially correct. Sure, the arcade mode follows this basic structure, but there are many other modes to add to the experience. Ghost Battle puts you against a series of ghost characters, VS Battle allows you to face others on the same Wii U, Team Battle lets you form a team and fight against others or the CPU for team-on-team combat, Time Attack has you clear as many stages (fighters) as you can within a given time limit, Survival lets you face one opponent after another until your health is fully depleted, and you can also use Pair Play to team up with human players for VS tag battles for up to four players. You will also notice something called Tekken Supporters, which allows you to give fight money (Gs) to any character you choose. That fight money is stored by the character, put against that of other players. In addition, characters may give you items in return for your support. Honestly, this mode is a bit confusing. The best way to think of it is a way to wager money and get rewards. There is also a solid Practice mode and a tutorial mode called Fight Lab. This is all just what is offered offline.
If you want to take your game online, you will also experience Ranked Matches that count toward your rank, Friendly Matches that are just for fun and do not affect rank, or watch replays of other battles on the Tekken Channel. Everything online performed smooth, but you do have the option to reject incoming fighters when you see their connection is not strong or they have dropped out of too many battles. Many state that an online lobby system would have been nice, but it is not needed for a good experience playing Tekken 2 online.
If you thought that was enough, the Wii U Edition brings some special offline modes along as well. Mushroom Battle has you fighting in six stages filled with power-ups from the Super Mario Bros. universe. Tekken Ball returns from Tekken 3, which has you knocking a ball back and forth in order to defeat your opponent. On top of this, there are also Nintendo-themed costumes for every character. The costumes include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Star Fox, and Captain Falcon. Some look great, but others are downright ridiculous.
The traditional modes are fun and simple, and the special modes add some craziness to the usually serious fighter. If you are a fan of Tekken or other fighters, you will continue coming back for more, checking out all features and playing every character. For others, the added special features may not be enough to draw them in.
The Wii U Edition offers several methods of control. For those desiring a more traditional fighting control, you can use the Wii U Pro Controller or the Wii Classic Controller. Each maps kicks and punches to button presses. Similarly, you can also use a Wii Remote turned sideways. This makes for a bit more difficult game, because of the button layout. For others, you can play on the Wii U GamePad in two different ways. One includes using it similarly to the Pro or Classic Controllers. The default, though, is to have a set of four combo moves available via the GamePad touch screen. While some may say this simplifies the game, it does help even the playing field. Nonetheless, if you are going to be good at Tekken, even four programmed combos will not automatically equal a win every time.
In terms of visuals, Tekken looks amazing! The 1080p HD graphics are stellar on Nintendo’s new system. It has a smooth frame-rate, and things like shadows and movement are all really good. Even the graphical output on the GamePad looks amazing. The only place where there might be a bit of “jaggies,” both on the TV and the GamePad, is in the text.
The music tends to have a strong vibe throughout the game, but it never has a huge orchestrated feel. Instead, you will find songs that are infinite loops of techno remixes, for instance. However, it fits the overall feel, so there is not much negative to say about that. The sound effects are strong, but similar to the music, they are nothing to overly praise. Most characters have some sort of voice, which you usually hear at the beginning and end of a fight, in addition to them speaking while performing some moves during the fight. They are done well, but they are quite repetitive.
As with most fighting games, the difficulty ranges considerably. Not only can you choose between five options, ranging from easy to ultra hard, you will also find each fight in a tournament to be harder than the last. This ramping style of difficulty is nice for both the fighting novice and expert. On top of all this, the local and online modes make for various levels of difficulty. You can match up against someone with a similar rank, or you could face others who win Tekken tournaments on the weekend. Rest assured, even if you are a novice, you will still find a level that suits your skill level.
SCORE: 8 out of 10
While Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition does many things right in bringing in special Wii U modes, giving us some great looking character graphics, and offering a wide range of difficulties and modes, there are several areas where it could be improved. Nonetheless, it is a solid game, and if you are a fan of Tekken, you will want to check out this game. In fact, if you are a fighting game fan, you will want to give it a try. However, if you are not into this genre, the special Nintendo-style modes are probably not enough to bring you into the mix.