(Namco, October 26, 2001)

Here's the first ever Tekken game to the Playstation2 and it comes with a new concept to the popular 3D fighting series. Enter Tekken Tag Tournament! The big draw here is you can now pick a parther after you select a character and when the fight starts you can have the option to tag in and out during a fight. This Tekken not only has vastly improved graphics and all new music but TTT also has most of the characters from Tekken 1, 2, and 3 are included in this exclusive PS2 fighting game.

It's weird, it doesn't make much sense, it's almost impossible really but many characters from the past Tekken games like Kazuya, Jun Kazama, and Baek Doo San are fighting with the new comers like Jin Kazama, Eddy Gordo, Hwoarang...... even though Tekken 2 takes place 20 years before Tekken 3 and a lot of the returning cast are actually DEAD storyline wise (heck, even Jun is still in her twenty's and so is her son Jin, wha ta?)! If you're a hardcore Tekken nut then you won't care about the lack of a realistic story here. Tekken is all about fast gameplay and easy to learn controls with tons of great fighting styles to learn like Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, Mexican Wrestling, Sumo, and lots more. It's really fun to see all these beautiful styles in action. The only guys missing from the huge TTT line up is the nearly forgotten Gon, the miniture dinosaur and Dr..... What's his name?

Like in the critically acclaimed Tekken 3, the controls are ultra smooth and with a bit of practice you'll be flipping and flying like crazy. The game does seem a little slower because of the game's sharper looks especially compared to the quick 60 frames per second of Tekken 3 but you get use to it.

TTT is full of game modes like Arcade where you simply beat the game, see a real time ending (and one CG ending), a tradiational Vs. mode, old school one on one battles (but no endings here), a practice to learn the many counters, throws, and combos. Pair play modes actually welcomes 3 or 4 player fights but you still have to tag in and out to fight so you can forget about any brutal multiply player action like in Super Smash Bros. Namco was also kind enough to ditch that stupid Tekken Force game and throw in a cool Bowling game instead. Sure a bowling game may seem out of place in this tournament brawler but the game is a lot of fun and it sure beats paying another $60 bucks for another title, eh?

The graphics have been totally reworked for the PS2. Gone are the blocky looking fighters from the older Playstation's Tekken 2 and 3 with the boring flat backgrounds. All the 30+ characters are very sharp looking this time and even the clothes and the facial expressions are super realistic. If you see somebody get hit you'll actually see their expression change from normal to pain. Xiaoyu looks great in spandex ......... OK, moving on. Too bad the backgrounds graphics are still non interactive unlike in the Virtua Fighter series or Tekken 4 because the backgrounds look absolutely incredible in TTT.

I had mixed feelings about sound in TTT because there isn't has many sound tracks when compared to Tekken 2 and Tekken 3 but what's there is still pretty good. There is no option for remixed music in this game neither unlike in the past games for some reason. All the characters still have their fimiliar voices and gunts but again it's nothing new to past Tekken players.

Tekken has always been a fan favorite and this side game doesn't disappoint. The new tag in and out is kinda limited though because you can not do too many new special tag team moves, just more multi-hit combos, but it's still a fun fighting game that's a great show piece for the PS2's new graphic engine over the past Playstation games. Triple T is a safe, sure fire way for hot arcade action and some may actually prefer the larger amount of characters to the Tekken 4's limited cast?



Tekken Tag Tournament
overall rating: 81/100

For 1 to 4 players
graphics: 8
sound: 8
gameplay: 8

(Ryan Genno) 2005

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