Thursday, September 13, 2012

HS x VG: Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the latest in the Namco Bandai Tekken series.

My brother and I (whom you probably know and don’t even know it, because everybody knows him, because I get the whole “Are you Chester’s brother?” line probably once a month.) are secret fighting gamers.

In a saturated world of competitive FPS gamers, I’ve always seen the competitive fighting scene very niche. Hell, when I went to go pick this game up, it was sitting a glass showcase behind the cash register surrounded by Xbox 360 and PS3 copies of NHL 13 in its own lonely little corner.

If there are fighting gamers out there, this review is for you. For those who have absolutely no interest in fighting games, you might not know what I’m rambling on about.

Anyways, TTT2 does not follow the Tekken canon at all for it is a comprehensive compilation of everything in the Tekken universe, such as characters that were in the previous games that have since died in the story or old fighting stages from the previous games ranging back from TTT1. Honestly, I don’t know squat about the story lines of fighting games because frankly, who follows them?

We’re in it for the action and bragging rights.

What I did like.

Tekken 6 was intensely addicting for me. I could play it for hours on end, honing what little skill I had. This time around, TTT2 improves upon the gameplay of Tekken 6, not changing much of the move list (which is a good thing) and introducing the game mechanic of tagging.

TTT2 is a tag fighting game, with options to play 2 vs. 2, 2 vs. 1 or 1 vs. 1 like traditional Tekken.

With 2 vs. 2, players have the option to switch between two characters on a team, such as tag is, like wrestling. Press a button and your other character will swap out. Then you can throw down crunchy combos for maximum damage. But if you be so bold, you can combine combos between the two characters with the tagging system.

Certain moves allow players to tag their partners seamlessly to allow for more face pumping. Some people in this world are so good at this that if you get caught up in these combos, you could pretty much die from the drop of the hat. It’s a cruel world.

The online mode has been improved 10 fold. Before it would be like matching making in a FPS server where you would have to wait around until the game found you a match, granted you still have to wait for the search to complete, but while you’re waiting you get put in practice. I’m all for this. It’s a great way to kill time and to loosen up before your next online match.

But if you prefer, you can create lobbies where other online players can connect to depending on your search criteria like, I only wanna play against people who don’t have microphones and people who live in my region.

Region selecting helps with lag issues. You don’t wanna play against some dude located in London, too far away, so the connection between matches might not be so nice. Which leads me to my next point, in Tekken 6, the lag online was so bad. Lag does not fly in fighting games.

Tekken is based on timing, and with lag throwing you off, you could be in the middle of something, next thing you know you’re dead. Not rad.

TTT2 definitely fixed the latency issues. Even in online matches where I would have full bars, my timing would still be off. Totally not my fault.

There are also a slew of little things that I love in this game. So I’ve made a list.

  • Your move list can be locked on screen when practicing moves; you can also traverse through it while in game play. So you don’t have to pause the game, go down a few paces, select the command list, open it up, find the move you were working on, memorize it, then try it out. A little cumbersome I’d think
  • There are also little icons that indicate what type of moves do what in the command list. Such as, “you can do a seamless tag swap out with this move” or “this move is a ground smash”, just little things like that.
  • You can throw in your own soundtrack in this game. So if you don’t wanna listen to the in game music, you can upload your own playlist and have so and so song play in so and so stage.
  • They put back the regular arcade mode. 9 stages, 3 boss fights, that kinda thing. Tekken 6 had just a never ending arcade mode where you would fight and fight and nothing would get accomplished. No ending movie, you had to unlock that elsewhere.

Yeah I’m kind of swooning over this game, it’s basically the only game that I’ve been looking forward to in the past few months.

What I didn’t like.

Load screens are still prevalent in this game. Granted the wait is still a little less, but having to load up everything, every time, is a bit annoying.

This will probably be something very minute to most people, but in the character customization mode, nobody has their own unique hair options. Everybody has the same select hair types. I want my Kazuya to have a pompadour. Now he can’t get it anymore. How am I supposed to strike fear into other players if my Kazuya doesn’t look like this?

The tag combo system is very tricky to get used to. Having to switch your mindset to each characters move list is taxing. It’s probably just me, but if I’m playing a character for a bit and I switch to another character, I’m still trying to do moves that my previous character has, but the commands won’t register with my current character. Basically I’m just flailing around until I realize I’m somebody else.

Fighting games are definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. But if you’ve been keeping up with Tekken, this is definitely one to pick up. It basically improves everything about Tekken 6, which was already a swell game.

Most might think fighting games are just a bunch of idiots button mashing to win, but actually they’re amazingly in-depth. More so, you wouldn't think it, but I Tekken easier to play than Street Fighter, which is extremely technical. Ask my brother if you run into him. That’s his jam.

If you are interested in fighting games but don’t really know if you could commit, check this one out anyways. You can still rent video games at Hi-Tech Game Traders. But like all things, practice practice practice.

Fighting games are fun and competitive, they don’t make me wanna take my PS3 and suplex it through a table off the top turn buckle, unlike FPS games.

But if you don’t give two hoots about fighting games then carry on.

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