Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Wii U) review

All the content of the oriignal release, with new content and a good integration of the gamepad.
All the content of the oriignal release, with new content and a good integration of the gamepad.
All the content of the oriignal release, with new content and a good integration of the gamepad.

Highs

  • The original content remains a highlight
  • Remote play on the GamePad
  • The new game modes are fun

Lows

  • The GamePad can be awkward to use
  • The analog stick is set to off as a default
  • The nunchucks aren't as good

With all the games appearing on the Wii U, both original and re-releases, one of the more noticeable absences has been in the fighting game genre. When the Vita and the 3DS recently debuted, both systems had plenty of fighting game options, and many more have been released since. Oddly, the Wii U is a different story.

Surprisingly, there are no signs of any of Capcom’s fighting games, no Mortal Kombat, and not even a more obscure fighting game like the recent Persona 4 Arena. No, only one fighting franchise answered the Wii U’s call for content. Thankfully, it just happens to be the biggest fighting franchise of all time.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 arrived on the Wii U with a few new features and game modes, as well as all the content that was packed into the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. When we originally reviewed it, our own de facto fighting game expert, Earnest Cavalli, loved it, and named it one of the best games of the year. While I agree that it is a great game, there are a few things that rubbed me the wrong way. I mark some of these down to personal preferences though.

The Wii U version of TTT2 contains all the content you may have seen before, along with two new game modes: Mushroom Battle, and the return of the long absent fan favorite, Tekken Ball. Both modes are minor additions, but they are welcome ones.

tekken tag tournament 2 for the wii u review same game but with 100 more mario mushroom battle

Longtime fans of the series will likely remember Tekken Ball from years back, and although it hasn’t been included in a Tekken game since 1997, fans should have no trouble picking it up in stride. For those that aren’t familiar, it pits two players against each other, separated by a line that neither can cross. A beach ball is then dropped, and it becomes active when one player hits it. The other player needs to hit it back or risk it connecting and causing damage. The more the players volley it back and forth, the more powerful it becomes. It’s just as you remember it, right down to the often frustrating hit detection on the ball, and the annoying frequency in which the ball is lobbed behind you, leaving you to slowly and awkwardly shuffle backwards to feebly attempt to get it.

Mushroom Battle is the better new addition, but it is also a very shallow one. As you and another fighter square off, occasionally mushrooms will be released into the arena. Whoever can grab them will grow in size or increase their speed, while the occasional poison object will shrink players. Adding more options would have helped really flesh this mode out, but as it is, it’s a gimmick, but a fun one.

The Wii U version also features Nintendo themed costumes for every character. Some fighters may wear the familiar plumber garb, while others will don a green Link-like cap. It is purely aesthetic, but cool.

The real difference is found in the GamePad itself. The game features Remote Play, allowing you to play the full game on the GamePad itself. If all Wii U games don’t soon feature this, it will be a crime. But when playing on the TV, the GamePad offers four preset combos that you can trigger with the touch of a button. This isn’t anything new for fighter that feature the option of touchscreen controls, but the four choices are rudimentary, and anyone playing against you on a non-GamePad controller will be at a huge disadvantage. It is a nice option for beginners, but it also feels a bit cheap. this also highlights something inherently wrong with games like this on the Wii U. If you and a friend want to play on the TV, one will have the GamePad, while the other will have a nunchuck or the Pro Controller. whichever you prefer, it is an uneven experience, and limits the versus options.

During menus, the GamePad offers bios on each of the characters, which is a nice touch. Strangely though, the game has a bizarre issue that stops you from opening the Wii U’s menus or exiting the game during certain sections.

tekken tag tournament 2 for the wii u review same game but with 100 more mario

But where the GamePad is more keenly felt is the gameplay itself. For some perplexing and almost inexcusable reason, you cannot use the left analog stick to move your player, forcing you to use only the D-pad. Taking away that option is pointlessly prohibitive. It also makes it harder to try to pretend that the GamePad is an arcade controller, which makes the placement of your right hand on the buttons awkward. The Pro Controller is the better choice, but if a game’s design is such that the primary controller (not to mention selling point of a new system) is not the best choice, there is something wrong.

Conclusion

In all other regards, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is an identical port of the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, just with a few new game modes, and – sadly – a much smaller online community that will hopefully expand.

While I did not enjoy the core game quite as much as Earnest, I can understand his passion for it. It’s packed with enough competitors, game modes, and moves that fight fans should happily embrace the Wii U version. Just be prepared to learn how to move all over again via the GamePad.

Score 9 out of 10

(this game was reviewed on the Wii U thanks to a copy provided by the publisher)

Gaming

Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece

Despite my experience and love of From Software’s Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, I never played the original Dark Souls. The new remastered version gave me a chance to remedy that, and it was glorious.
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…
Gaming

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.
Gaming

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.
Gaming

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.
Gaming

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Gaming

PlayStation does the smart thing, stops selling digital codes at physical stores

Sony will no longer offer PlayStation digital full-game downloads at retail stores. The game downloads will now only be available directly from the PlayStation Network's own digital store.
Gaming

Atlus reveals Persona 5 The Royal, teases mysterious new female character

Atlus revealed Persona 5 The Royal in a trailer that features a mysterious new female character. It appears that the redhead will be an antagonist to the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, but many details about the upcoming game remain unclear.
Gaming

Save big on Corsair gaming headsets and a premium keyboard

From March 24 to 30, you can pick up one of two models of the great Corsair's Void Pro gaming headset on a sweet discount. One of Corsair's best mechanical keyboards is also on sale this week -- at a steep discount.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Gaming

Blizzard says Overwatch endorsement system helped slash toxicity by 40 percent

Blizzard said that toxicity in Overwatch is down 40 percent, partly thanks to the addition of the endorsement system. The feature allows players to reward teammates and opponents who show good behavior during a match.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 to add Shang Tsung, in likeness of 1995 movie actor, as DLC

Mortal Kombat 11 will add Shang Tsung as its first DLC character, and he will be in the likeness of and be voiced by the actor who played him in the 1995 movie based on the series. Noob Saibot was also revealed as a part of the roster.