Opinions may well be divided amongst the gaming community about this release. After all surely itʼs nothing more than a demo of the forthcoming Tekken Tag Tournament 2?
Well not quite. Bundled on this disc is a demo yes, but also a full length CGI animated movie and a blast from the past in the shape of Tekken Tag Tournament revamped and upgraded into a HD remix.
Iʼm not sure how much this will cost to buy, but providing it isnʼt way up in the upper 30-40 pound mark then there should be some appeal to buy.
Retro gaming is a popular concept and a chance to play a game like Tekken Tag Tournament in HD may well tempt most fans of the series. Tekken Tag I hasten to add, is not PS3 compatible in itʼs original format, as my ʻbread binʼ style PS3 informed me when I tried it. (Sulked, dusted off the PS2 and played it anyway!)
Anyway back to the main features of this disc. Letʼs break this down shall we?
First up, although this site is not meant to review movies, the film on the disc, is worth a mention. I wonʼt go into the details of the plot but Tekken Blood Vengeance is an impressive piece of CGI movie making.
Itʼs brought to us by the director of the CGI Resident Evil: Degeneration and the writer of Cowboy BeBop and well, it works quite well. OK so we have gratuitous shots of young ladies in short skirts, but the animation is top notch and the plot stands up a lot better than the live action movie that was done not so long ago. As said I wonʼt go into the plot, but suffice it to say itʼs action packed but a little confusing about half way through, but this IS a game site so onwards...
Tekken Tag HD: Well how does it look? Stunning? Spectacular? Well no to be honest. Donʼt get me wrong, it looks polished OK, but it doesnʼt have the visual sharpness Iʼd have expected.
Backgrounds are very nicely rendered, such as skies, trees and rocks etc. But the main characters although they move very nicely and respond to controls better than the original title, donʼt look as well detailed as you might have expected.
I can understand that they would want to stick to the original look of the first game as much as possible, but the shoulders of the characters look a little too blocky. I know that sounds like an odd thing to notice but it irked me somewhat.
However the plus side is the controls are fluid and reasponsive, and the double team combos deliver in a most satisfactory way. Indeed it seems simpler to pull them off this time around as well. Nothing is more satisfying than to see Devil Jin get levelled by two pairs of fists and feet after a grapple combo has driven his bonce into the dirt of the arena!
The music has not been rewritten, the soundtrack is the same as the original. Again Iʼm surprised that this wasnʼt improve upon but what the heck, itʼs Tekken Tag, and itʼs still the same fun it was when it first came out on the whole.
And oh joy of joys, the mini game Tekken Bowl is included as well. To be frank there were times when I played this more than the beat them up game itself! Itʼs good fun to say the least and the bowling lane calls me back to it again and again. Itʼs been polished too in the presentation stakes of course and looks damned good! (Dare I say it, it looks better than the Tekken Tag game itself?)
Music again remains unchanged and itʼs a great blast of the past.
OK downside of Tekken Tag and this I found disappointing. Everything has been unlocked for the game from the get go. All the characters and alternative costumes are all there for the taking from the get go.
This I feel takes the challenge away to some extent for the new player. Itʼs all there, and without the effort needed to get it. The players who have already played it and completed it on the PS2 may not feel cheated by this, but well, maybe there was an opportunity missed here. Perhaps characters from Tekkenʼs 3 and say 6, have been sneaked into the mix? OK so maybe it wouldnʼt have been viewed as being Tekken Tag as such, BUT this is a re release, and a reboot for the Tekken Tag Tournament title so why not give us a little something extra to work for?
Those gripes aside, it IS an enjoyable game, and a great dose of nostalgia. I appreciated it all in the end when all is said and done. Now excuse me, that bowling alley is calling!
Oh wait! Hang on a minute! Have I forgotten something? Oh yes, of course, Tekken Tag Tournament 2...
Well T T T 2 gives us four characters and four stages to battle through. We have Devil Jin, Kazuya (in demonic form) Xiaoyu, and newcomer, Alisa, who comes equipped with chain saw like gauntlets to use as a weapon!
Backgrounds are as crisp as anything and the character detailing and animations are top notch. We donʼt have the blood and guts of Mortal Kombat here, but we do have characters that react to being hit in a realistic way. Hit them enough times in the knee and the characters speed gets reduced, and movement becomes impaired so quickly tag in your partner pronto!
Controls have not been changed so you can pick up and play this without having to work out what buttons do what. The combos border from basic to brutal takedowns and now all teams have three takedown/grapple attacks and not just one. Also grapple attacks can also be used to slow your opponent down without having to tag your partner in, but once the double teams start going in, trust me, youʼll be utilizing them as often as possible so the enemy team are softened up nicely for the coup-de-grace.
Textures and physics are top draw. Itʼs a great shame that we only have the four characters and four stages. Like the Forza 4 demo on X Box 360, it teases and just wants us to have more. I cannot wait to see the final game in all itʼs glory. And if you get bored of bashing digitised characters to pulp, then thereʼs the bowling alley to go too. I wonder what the mini game will be for this one?
Tekken Bowl 2? Beach Volley Ball? (Remember that with fondness too!) I donʼt know but I cannot wait to find out. And donʼt forget the movie with itʼs bonus features as well and you have a reasonable package here.
Itʼs fun and just a taster for what I am sure is going to be a knockout (in more ways than one!) title.