Review by Sour
Not the end-all, be-all of fighters, but not bad at all.
With the first Tekken game being so successful, being the first Playstation games to sell 1 million copies, Namco would go on to produce a sequel that would go on to be arguably one of the greatest fighting games of all time, commercially and critically. It differs from most other fighting games in it's game-play, attempting to be more realistic than most other games in the genre. Tekken 2 was so popular that it would go on to be featured on the PSN to download onto the PS3 and PSP.
Story: 8/10: Tekken 2 has a pretty solid story. Two years after the first King of the Iron Fist tournament, a corrupt and powerful organization known as the Mishima Zaibatsu has come to reign with chaos. They're an extensive, powerful, criminal organization headed by Kazuya Mishima. They kidnap, smuggle, steal, blackmail, etc. All of that dirty work. However this is not Kazuya's doing per se, as he's being controlled by a powerful being known as The Devil (creative, no?). Kazuya's actions have garnered the attention of many nations and powerful people who want to take him down. Kazuya eventually receives word that his father, Heihachi, whom he defeated in the first tournament, it out to seek revenge against him. Upon hearing this, Kazuya announces the second tournament, King of the Iron Fist 2 in an attempt to crush his enemies once and for all. Of course he'd have to up the ante, and promises the winner a whopping one trillion dollars should they defeat him. Alongside Heihachi is Jun, an animal rights activist who wants to take down Kazuya for his crimes.
Game-play: 7/10: The game-play isn't bad, mind you, it's just that the fighting is so generic. It's closer to real life than say Mortal Kombat or Street Figher where everybody has special abilities. This game is just punch, kick, punch, kick. They did add in some new elements though. Firstly, there are 25 characters in total to choose from which is actually a pretty decent amount, especially for a PS1 game. The arenas also all have no borders, they're infinite, so you can never really get cornered, this is great as it removes a lot of would-be cheap tactics. Some characters have some special moves, like back throws and sidestepping. Everybody can tackle and if you build up more speed you'll do more damage. You can also do some power punching and kicking but that's about all you will get as far as variety goes, making the large character selection seemingly useless. The fighting is pretty realistic which is probably where the love for this game comes from so if that interests you then this is definitely your game.
There are also a few different modes to pick from. You can play the story mode or battle against another friend in Versus Mode. There's also a team battle mode, and then there's survival mode. Survival mode like in every other game means that you keep playing until you die, with your opponents getting harder and harder each round. There's also a time attack mode so you can see how long it takes you to beat the game. There's also a practice mode in case you need to brush up on your skills or in case you're new to the game. But again, little attack variety doesn't give you much to do here.
Graphics: 8/10: The graphics are pretty decent, it's probably better that they went with hand-drawn, 2D backgrounds because the floors in the arenas are pretty laughable. There's also quite a large amount of pixelation but it's not that big of a deal. They also did a pretty good job on the character design as well. However, once in-game, the characters are awfully polygonal with the exception of a character's hair, which even then is still static unless it's a female's hair. So it's got it's strong points and it's weak points. You'll have no trouble making anything out and it certainly isn't as polygonal as Final Fantasy VII. It just felt like they could have done a bit better. The endings look fantastic though, especially Jun's and Heihachi's. They're done in all CGI.
Audio: 8/10: The game has a decent soundtrack. It's mostly a combination of techno and easy listening, some of it very Eastern sounding, especially the credits theme which is in all Japanese. That kind of irks me a bit to be honest. They went through all of this localization business, translating everything into English except for the credits song? A lot of games do this unfortunately and it comes off as very lazy. If Japanese were our primary language, then great. But come one, at least give us subtitles. Some of it's just plain dark though which is a nice change of pace. The voice acting is pretty good, though there isn't much of it. It's mainly just grunting and groaning from hitting or being hit.
Overall: 7/10: The game's a tad overrated. Not a bad game by any means, it just feels very unpolished. If they would've taken their time a bit more with this game it could have been better in many ways. But again it's not really bad and if you like a more realistic approach to fighting games, then Tekken 2 is exactly what you're looking for.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Tekken 2 (US, 08/25/96)
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