The end of the summer video game drought is nigh and a tidal wave of top notch titles approaches, the first of which is Namco Bandai's Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Reviews of the two-on-two brawler have gang-rushed the internet ahead of its release this Friday. The general consensus seems to be that Harada and co have crafted a game that's equal parts approachable, fun and deep.
We've gathered up some reviews and placed them in a handy list below for your perusal.
- Joystiq: 4.5/5 - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 isn't a revolution for the series, but it is proof that meditation on a theme can produce some incredible results. This is Tekken's thesis statement, in a sense - the complete distillation of everything the series ever was and everything it is now, which just so happens to be everything I could possibly want in a fighter.
- GameInformer: 8.50 - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 doesn't overhaul the franchise's format, instead opting to retain the series' already-solid gameplay and avoid extraneous modes that detract from the core fighting focus. Even with a somewhat bare-bones online offering, it's still one of the most refined fighters on the market.
- Planet Xbox 360:8.5 - Had Tekken Tag Tournament 2 come with more side modes and an end boss that actually gave you a chance to win the game without killing yourself, it would've been something of legend. But even with these flaws, it's still one of the best fighting games out there, especially when you start messing around with the Fight Lab and World Tekken Federation stuff. You'll be busy for hours making yourself a better fighter - even if Tekken isn't entirely "your thing".
- Strategy Informer: 8.5 - In mechanics though, the game soars, offering awesome new takes on systems that made the original TTT title a must-have PS2 classic whilst also adding a modern flair and polish that makes it a stellar example that fighting games don't have to all be about gaining extended revenue through costume and character DLC - it can be about packing in a great suite of impressive features from the word go.
- IncGamers: 8/10 - If you're looking for something with depth and speed, but is more accessible and whacky than your average Tekken, then Tag Tournament 2 is going to provide what you're looking for. The accessible skin blends with the sophisticated core to create what is the most enjoyable Tekken of this generation.
- VideoGamer: 8 - Namco has certainly focused on the right things this time around; an excellent training mode, surprisingly decent netcode and a vast array of characters, many of them tweaked nicely from their Tekken 6 incarnations. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the best home console version of the series to date, though the series' core fundamentals could definitely do with a shake-up by the time Tekken 7 rolls around.
- OXM UK: 8 - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 doesn't offer quite enough over its predecessor to warrant any sort of classic status, but it's unquestionably another masterful piece of work from a team who have been doing this sort of thing forever. Like Street Fighter IV before it, this is a scrapper that should satisfy the hardcore while also giving a big warm nostalgic hug to those who ditched digital fighting back in the '90s. The fight game scene might be caving in on itself, but Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has enough raw personality and fundamental quality to not be part of the problem.
- GiantBomb: 4/5 - Tekken's tag moves help freshen up the fighting and make TTT2 stand apart from the last couple of Tekken releases, and it's a solid reminder that Namco is still capable of making vibrant, exciting fighters. But it's only truly great if you're playing against like-minded, similarly skilled opposition. If you can rustle up a community of people that fit that bill, go nuts, it's a great time. But if you're a Tekken neophyte hoping to pick it up along the way, you'll probably be brutally rebuffed by what you find.
- GamesRadar: 4/5 - Funnily enough, TTT2 feels like an online-oriented package with a classic arcade air. Of course, nothing beats marshaling some buddies and throwing down in person--but if no one's around, Namco Bandai's made sure that challenging competition's just an Ethernet cable away. If you've ever found yourself enjoying a Tekken game, TTT2 won't disappoint.
- OXM US: 7.0 - As a catchall franchise compilation, Tekken Tag 2 works for fans who aren't seeking anything too radically different, delivering plenty of fighters and solid fun, even if it's traversing well-worn territory. But when another of this year's fighting games - Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken - puts your combatants to more exciting use, it may be time to consider a bolder approach.
- Edge: 7 - For experienced players, though, this is as fluid as Tekken has been for years, the tagging doing much to revitalise a combo system that, with its over-reliance on juggles and wall combos, was in danger of growing stale. But it's taken a 12-year-old mechanic to do that, and other games in this increasingly crowded genre boast a deeper level of mechanical complexity as well as a more generous welcome to newcomers. With the back catalogue pilfered, the lingering question is where the series can possibly go from here.
- Kotaku: N/A - Tekken Tag 2 continues the series' tradition in that it rewards deep study and rapid prototyping of strategy. It's still cunning and instinct-built on hours of digging deep into hundred-count movesets-that are going to win the day in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. This game unapologetically offers up tons of fan service and is simultaneously an excellent showcase for the series' core appeal and a good reminder of why you might already love it.
- Digital Trends: 9.5/10 - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the new gold standard for 3D fighting games, not because it introduces tons of new, flashy ideas to the genre, but because its developers focused on making sure that its fundamental options were as excellent as they possibly could be before offering this thing up to the general public. Propers to Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada for this decision, as it should paid off in spades, not just for Namco Bandai, but also for the fighting game community as a whole.
- NowGamer: 9.1 - With pretty much every character and mode that has ever appeared in a Tekken game and then some, TTT2 is the perfect counterpoint to Final Showdown's straight-edged technical brawls. And in terms of pure entertainment, there are few fighters that can even hope to stand up to its Iron Fist.
- Official PlayStation Magazine: 8 - For successfully melding the best of its recent ideas with the time-honoured core combat and introducing the best tutorial mode we've seen in fighters to date, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 brings renewed vigour to the fighter war. It's so much fun, we can almost look past its creepy girl-fascination, and can just about forgive it for occasionally confusing presentation.
- Digital Spy: 5/5 - Whether it's learning the ropes with Combot, attempting to best a challenging arcade mode, taking on tag teams with friends, or going global with 'World Tekken Federation', the package is always entertaining. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is undoubtedly one of the deepest and most entertaining fighting games in years, proving that like a well-oiled tag team, both quality and quantity can coexist in perfect harmony.
- IGN: 7.5 - With its gigantic roster, in-depth character customization options, and breadth of modes, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is definitely a worthy addition to the franchise. That is, if you make it past some of the more frustrating and impenetrable aspects of the Tekken universe. As a way into the genre, it could certainly do a heck of a lot better. But once you're in, it's a perfectly solid experience in which brawling fans will find a lot to love.
- Metro: 7/10 - As controversial as Capcom's crossover game may be it at least tried to inject some new ideas into the genre, but Tekken Tag Tournament 2's just wants to make things slicker and more accessible - but otherwise the same as always. That approach has lasted it through thick and thin so far though, so there's probably not much reason to suspect it won't work this time as well.