Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition Hands-on Tokyo Game Show 2012 Impressions -- Nintendekken?By Jake Gaskill - Posted Sep 20, 2012
While Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners can currently enjoy bruising knuckles in Namco Bandai’s Tekken Tag Tournament 2, prospective Wii U purchasers can look forward to getting their GamePad-loving hands on the latest quirky brawler as well when the game launches for Nintendo’s new system later this year, complete with new features and options entirely unique to the Wii U.
Tekken game director Katsuhiro Harada-san made sure to reiterate during our roundtable session that the core gameplay experience from the 360 and PS3 version of the game--characters, stages, etc.—would all be present and accounted for in the Wii U edition. In action, you’d be hard pressed to tell the three versions apart based solely on graphics and presentation. However, Namco was able to collaborate with Nintendo to deliver Wii U-specific options to give the game its own identity as well.
- REVIEW: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review
On the hardware side, the Wii U’s gamepad obviously offers a unique opportunity for players, primarily because it allows users to play the game entirely on the controller’s screen, freeing up the television for other family members to catch up on reruns of Newhart or whatever kids watch these days. When you are using the TV, the gamepad screen contains slots that you can program to correspond to specific attacks so you don’t have to put in the full button combination if you don’t want. This basically lets you create combos by tapping the various moves. There are obvious logistical disadvantages to using these quick moves since you have to glance down to see which one you want (unless you memorize their placement and where each falls on the screen), but it can also help more novice players pull off big combos than they maybe would have otherwise, lowering the barrier to entry, which is especially appreciated given Tekken’s slightly less button mashing-friendly combat design.
In terms of actual content, Namco has incorporated quite a bit of Nintendo fandom into the game. First, there’s the Wii U exclusive Mushroom Battle mode, which not only features character growing/shrinking mushrooms and energizing stars, but also includes a remixed version of the Super Mario Bros. themesong and the energy star theme whenever a character picks it up. The sound effects of the pickups are also here. There are also classic outfits that various characters can wear. Namco has yet to confirm all of the Nintendo characters included in the game, but during my session, I saw Mario, Luigi, Samus, Zelda, and Fox.
To be honest, it was super bizarre seeing a bear dressed like Mario and a regular dude with a fox tail, but given how kooky the Tekken universe is, they definitely fit right in. Then again, playing as a giant Samus (picking up multiple mushrooms grows you beyond the top of the screen) and beating up on a miniature sized panda is something that my brain just couldn’t fully comprehend; this probably explains why the other people who had gathered around to watch me play were cracking up behind me.
One of TTT2’s biggest new features is the World Tekken Federation, the online service that tracks all of your in-game progress and serves as the online hub for all things Tekken, is still a question mark with regards to the Wii U edition. Harada-san said that while the team would like to ensure all equity across versions, the team realizes that the 360 and PS3 attract a much different audience than the Wii U, so the expectations will shift accordingly. Still, Harada and company reiterated that they have approached the Wii U with an eye towards tailoring the experience to the console’s strengths, and from what I saw, this definitely seems to be the case.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition will be available November 18, 2012.