GAME NAME: Tekken Tag Tournament 2
PLATFORM(S): Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): 30 November 2012
In recent times we’ve seen somewhat of a love letter from Namco to Nintendo. Along with seeing Tekken 3D: Prime Edition on the 3DS they have made much effort to produce exclusive titles in other genres for the respective Nintendo platforms. This might not be an exclusive, but they’re at it again and once again you’re the winner.
If you’ve not yet played Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on any other platform I’d advise you to read my original Xbox 360 review over here. It’s exactly the same thing, though it does seem to run a little smoother because of the slight improvement in hardware. You might find that the ability to buy Tekken Tunes from previous Tekken titles have magically vanished from the list and that the gamepad is merely used to show character moves. Tap any of the limited selection of moves and your character will gracefully pull off the action. The integration ends there. Where Namco has made the right choice and where so many others have failed, is that they’ve looked at improving the game experience. Instead of focussing on how to combine the gamepad with the game they’ve worked on new game modes. What you have here is pure Nintendo fan service.
Two modes (one new and one re-imagined) have been introduced, namely Mushroom Battle and Tekken Ball. In the former you’re tasked at beating your foe to a pulp with the aid of mushrooms that randomly appear and provide you with new abilities. Touch a normal mushroom (that’s the red and white kind) and your character will grow in size. Then, you can pummel someone in seconds as each punch, kick and special move comes with increased damage points. Eat another normal mushroom and you again increase in size and strength. Eat a giant mushroom and you become a character so huge that you can only see his or her legs, which makes it very difficult to hit crouching opponents. Connect a hit however and it’s toast for your competitor. You get items that improve your speed, one that shrinks you in size as well as an invincibility option by touching a star. It brings something fresh to the table that can only ever be experienced on the Wii U, but it unfortunately lacks substance after a few bouts.
Tekken Ball is where it’s at. You might remember playing this back on the PS1 when it came bundled with Tekken 3. It’s as fun and exciting as it’s ever been. Your aim is to punch, kick or special move the ball towards your opponent court in hoping that the ball falls over the halfway line on his or her side of the court. Drop the ball in your half or let it hit you and you lose valuable health. The drawback is that you can’t play this against the CPU but should you have a friend nearby it’s likely the friendship will go bust before the ball does. It’s incredibly competitive.
There’s more. Each and every character in the roster can be outfitted with special Nintendo-character-based clothing. While Heihachi looks like a complete loon with a Mario suit Anna looks rather dashing in her Zero Suit Samus spandex outfit. I found that this feature, hilarious as it might be, distracted me while fighting. It’s great for showing off to friends but not advised for those who take their battles seriously.
Other than that everything else is intact. Namco has gone as far as to include Tablet controller, Pro controller, Wii Remote and Classic controller support, which instantly opens this up to multiplayer mayhem at home should you still own a Wii. It’s a good thing as the tablet controller does not function all that well when you’re pulling off a complicated Tekken combo that requires one hand to hold the tablet and the other to input the combination. I highly recommend you buy the Pro Controller if you’re interested in playing this on the Wii U. Should you buy this over the other versions? If you own a Wii U and never bought it on any of the other consoles I’d say yes. It comes with extras you won’t find elsewhere and you’re not losing much outside of the classic Tekken Tunes. If this is something you played before then it’s best you tag your way back to a platform you’re familiar with.