Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition Review
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition Review
This is a landmark title for Nintendo home console – never in the illustrious history of this iconic fighting franchise has a game appeared on a Nintendo home console – well until now. Joining many other titles in the Wii U launch – Tekken will be the premium fighting game for the Wii U until Super Smash Bros for Wii U arrives to our shores.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition is a run of the mill Tekken game – with the exception that this is a sequel to the Tag branch of the franchise. If you are expecting a massive departure in terms of gameplay and the Tekken flavour then prepare to be disappointed. But don’t let that discourage you – there is plenty to enjoy in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U.
If this is your first foray in the Tekken series don’t get to scared, the concept of the game is as simple as it gets. It is a brawler with a strong emphasis on a bound air juggle concept. In a couple of lines – the main goal is to launch the opponent into the air and then maintain a juggle with a precision assault of commands. Despite the impossible physics behind juggling, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U is more grounded in reality than Street Fighter or Blazblue if that is possible. You won’t see Super Saiyans campers spamming Fire Balls, there are no Buddhist Monks with extendable limbs and no OHKO moves.
What differentiates Tag from the usual Tekken game, which is quite obvious from the title, is that fights are done by tag teams. Unlike Capcom’s tag fighters, battles are won when a character health is totally depleted and not when all character has fainted – so the trick to winning is knowing when to tag your second character in and managing their skillsets appropriately.
Unlike other known fighting franchise, Tekken is much more accessible. Do not let the large command list fool you, it’s not nearly as frustrating to master as Street Fighter. Average players can jump into the fun and manage string impressive combos without a single clue to what they are doing. Adept players can enjoy a deep and sophisticated combat system suitable for high competitive play. I’d liken Tekken to Super Smash Bros as both share the philosophy of easy to pick up but difficult to master the concept.
The crux of your time in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U will be experimenting on different character combinations. Selecting a perfect combo can be daunting especially with a roster as large as Tekken. Over 50, characters converts to hundreds of different tag combinations –my go to team are Asuka Kazama and Yoshimitsu. Tag Tournament 2 Tag combo’s must have a level synergy to function well – so mastering move sets, and Tag combo’s is essential to success. One simply cannot just pick 2 characters randomly and expect to do well, especially in the harder difficulties.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition comes with all the modes you would expect from a fighter. Arcade mode is a feeble attempt to spin to create a coherent story, but like almost every fighter that has come before it, it fails to deliver. Then there is the VS battle mode serving as the standard local competitive modes. And of course, you will find the standard modes seen in all games of the genre such as ghost battles, team battles, time trials, Practice, and pair play, which is similar to the same mode in SF X Tekken.
When you think you are ready, then you can try your luck with online play. You will need a bag full of luck to play to find a game. Not a fault of the game or the developer but waiting for a match can be long and frustrating. If luck is indeed on your side, then you have to contend with lag. Unfortunately, lag free online play in fighting games is a concept for the distant future, perhaps viable in the next gen platforms. Playing with lag is frustrating because your inputs perform late; furthermore it becomes a slideshow of awkward gymnastics.
One new feature new to the Tekken Franchise is fight Lab. I can only assume this is Namco’s attempt to draw a new audience into the Tekken franchise. Unlike the practice mode, Fight lab introduces and carefully each game mechanic methodically. Think of it as a tutorial – it will provide you with instructions and a demonstration before leaving you to your own devices to practice until you have grasped the concepts. It is reasonable starting point for beginners, but my only peeve is that it can be hard to understand the inputs of the advance techniques.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition is the only multiplat on the Wii U which I can say with confidence is the definitive version. The Wii U edition has all the DLC packed already into the disc but best of all it has additional Wii U only content. Each character has a special Nintendo costume from the Mario, Zelda, Star Fox or F-zero universes. Some are quite hilarious – Steve Fox has a Fox McCloud outfit, Ganryu is fitted with a Bowser shell, funnily enough Armor king pulls off an stunning Ganondorf look.
Besides the aforementioned, there are two modes exclusive to the Wii U. The first, Tekken Ball, is the fan favourite mode originating from Tekken 3. This is a whack Tekken version of Volley Ball. Essentially you have to maintain a rally by hitting an awkwardly floating ball. The danger is that the ball stores energy – if you happen to miss time an attack you will receive substantial damage.
The best mode in the entire game is mushroom mode. It is a lovely homage to the Mario games. The mode plays like the normal VS battle mode (without the tag teams), but with a unique Nintendo twist – you will be able to use Mario power-ups. There is a total of five power ups:
Super Mushroom: Increase the fighter’s size by one level
Mega Mushroom: Increase the fighter’s size to its maximum
Poison Mushroom: Decreases the fighter’s size by one level and lowers his/her stamina sightly
Golden Mushroom: Increases the fighter’s speed for a fixed period of time
Star: The fighter becomes invincible for a brief period of time, and causes guard damage to the opponent regardless of his/her size.
The mode is absolute fun. Any competitive instinct is thrown out of the window, any skills learnt is forgotten – the goal for this mode is to run for the good power-ups while avoiding the Poison mushroom. It is a chaotic yet so addictive – the perfect party mode when you have friends over.
Nintendo fans have grown accustomed of getting the short end of the straw especially with watered down ports. Lucky for us Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U editions is not one of them. These is the definitive Tekken experience – if you have a Wii U and are currently looking for a fighter for your new console, then Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition is the game for you.