Review: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (PS3)

The latest edition to the Tekken series has a strongly plosive, alliterative title that seems to have been designed to have you spitting it at people. This may well have been the idea as this is a franchise trying to make itself known again after a few dodgy releases in a genre of gaming that has really suffered commercially in the last few years.

When thinking about the best beat ‘em ups the ones that spring instantly to mind are probably Tekken and Street Fighter. The difference in these rival franchises has always been that Street Fighter needed you to master each character’s list of moves to be able to win, whereas the Tekken series has always seemed to be more about fun; you can still muddle your way through by mashing buttons and hoping for the best. TTT2 is certainly no different.

The game’s vast array of 50+ characters spans the entire Tekken series from the absurd (Alex and Roger Jr.) to the staple characters (the Mishimas and Kazamas). It will take a very long time for players to be able to master each of these which will keep the die-hard fans going for hours – especially when you get into the character customisation, but may put off the casual gamer or those new to the series.

Herein lies the problem with TTT2; although there is a tutorial element to the game it is not comprehensive enough for complete beginners. It seems to be aimed at players who have previous experience in the Tekken universe. Also the huge range of characters could be off-putting to first timers as you have no real idea where to start. What although there is a list of commands in the pause menu for the character you are controlling to make things a bit easier.

That said, the games pick-up-and-play-ability is very good, as the Tekken games always have been; if you want to just play against the computer in arcade battle or whether you want to face seasoned pros on the internet you can just go for it. The loading times are really fast and the ease of use of the menus means that you’re in the thick of the fray before you know it.

Overall this game will be a massive hit with fans of the franchise, but may be challenging for newcomers to get on top of straight away. But for those nights in with a few mates where you need a game that everyone can get stuck into regardless of their ability, you can’t go far wrong with Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

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