Along with some of the interesting new exclusive games, the Wii U launch is filled out by a bunch of ports, some of which are worse than their older PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 counterparts. Fortunately Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition is not one of those. It’s chock full content that should keep any Tekken fan happy for a long time.
For those looking for a fighter to round out their Wii U library this is the only one available, but it’s also probably the best of its kind this year and the Wii U Edition is a fantastic port, easily on par with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. With all the extra content unlocked from day one, the great D-Pad of the Wii U GamePad and the game’s unique content, it might even be the better version.
Tom wrote a very comprehensive Tekken Tag Tournament 2 review so I’ll just share my thoughts with regard to features in the Wii U Edition and how it feels to play the game on the Wii U. The combat system works surprisingly well on the Wii U’s GamePad, only needing the D-Pad, the four face buttons and one shoulder bumper to make all the moves you need to.
The D-Pad on the GamePad is excellent, and I can almost always pull of the move I want to. The shoulder buttons are used as TAG buttons, calling your other character in to the fight to replace the current one. Some combinations of button presses are a little difficult, especially ‘B+X’ or ‘A+Y’ (the top and bottom buttons or the left and right buttons), which makes some moves difficult to pull off, but overall the controller works really well. The screen allows you to assign four moves to touch controls, but I found it difficult to use them.
It’s really helpful to have moves showing on the touch screen as a quick reference, but I would much prefer it if I could see ten moves (or more) instead because I can never remember the various moves of the 59 characters included and can’t see myself switching to tapping on the GamePad to quickly pull off a move. Players can play with the Wii Classic Controller, the Wii U Pro controller or the GamePad, which makes it a bit easier to put together enough controllers for a four-player Tag Battle, a mode in which Tekken Tag Tournament really shines.
The Wii U Edition of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 includes some content that is unique, the best of which (to my mind) are the extra costumes for the characters. Each Tekken character has one costume that makes them look like they’re doing cosplay of a Nintendo character, including costumes for Zero Suit Samus, Zelda, Link, Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, a Koopa outfit, Captain Falcon, Starfox and Ganondorf, and they look either great or hilarious on the various Tekken characters.
Also included are Mushroom Battles, a mode in which mushrooms float around the floor of the stage and affect the size and strength of combatants when they touch them. It’s more of a curiosity and not the sort of game mode that will become standard, but it’s an interesting idea nevertheless. Finally there is Tekken Ball, a return of the game from previous Tekken titles. It’s not a massive amount of unique content, but along with the full roster available from the start makes the Wii U Edition quite attractive.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a very big game. There are modes galore (Arcade, Ghost Battle, Versus Battle, Time Attack, Survival and Practice in singleplayer plus online modes), but most importantly there is a big roster – the biggest I’ve seen at 59 – and each character comes with an ending movie ranging from full 3D rendered two minute films to sketched cartoons with various levels of seriousness. The classic Tekken sense of humour and oddness is well intact in these ending movies, too.
There are also over 25 stages and lots of music – it almost feels like a ‘best-of’ compilation. The Wii U handles all this with no problem at full frame rate and with very quick load times, making the game feel very much at home on the console, a good feat considering this is the first Tekken game on a Nintendo home console. It’s the most fully featured classic fighting game to come out in 2012 and for that alone deserves a spot in any fighting game fan’s library.
My only complaint is the difficulty any new player will have in figuring out an effective fighting style. The combat engine is complex and the tutorial mode is helpful, but not quite helpful enough and requires too much skill in its own right to complete. Some sort of challenge mode for each character that teaches that character’s important moves and combos would be a very welcome addition and allow fighting game weaklings like myself an easy route to learning the characters.
My only other caution for the Wii U Edition is that the Wii U might struggle to support a consistent online community to start with, so if online is your chosen poison then you might want to stick to another platform which has already built up an online community. For local multiplayer, however, this really is the definitive version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2.