'Tekken Tag Tournament 2'
Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3)
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 4.5 stars
Many fighting games have come and gone over the years, but the "Tekken" franchise still remains as popular as ever. As one of the original 3D fighters, the series has undergone many changes but has still managed to keep combat fast and fluid. Sporting a huge roster of fighters, great visuals and awesome team-based game play, "Tekken Tag Tournament 2" is an excellent fighting game for this generation.
More than fifty perturbed pugilists are available to team up and assault competitors with a virtual cornucopia of devastating martial arts maneuvers. Old favorites like Nina Williams and Paul Phoenix join surrealistic combatants that include demons, velociraptors and panda bears. Only the boss character, who starts out as Jun and ends up as the unbelievably annoying Unknown, is new. Sadly, she isn't just difficult to defeat, she's also nearly impossible to hit because she blocks almost every move thrown at her!
Unlike past Tekken games, "Tekken Tag Tournament 2" eschews frivolous single player modes in favor of basic single and multiplayer modes. Fortunately, a new mode called Fight Lab makes up for this. Fight Lab is basically a complex teaching mode that focuses on five stages of combat to improve the player's skills. Let's face it, "Tekken" may be known for 'tap tap' game play, but promising pugilists won't get far with simple button mashing!
I also like how nearly everything is customizable in this game. For starters, Tekken Tunes lets players change the music for each level, and it's also possible to alter the game's loading screens. However, my favorite customization options come from the ability to tailor each character's clothing and appearance.
"Tekken Tag Tournament 2" isn't perfect, but it's sure to please fighting fans with its deep combat, team-based game play and robust online modes.