I’m not doing the anniversary thing anymore. It was a one-time thing that no one cares about anymore. But that doesn’t stop me from reviewing an awesome sequel to a dated game. Tekken 2, developed and published by Namco and was released in 1995 for the arcades before getting a port of the PlayStation in 1996. Now think about this, the original arcade version of the first one was released in December of 1994, the sequel was developed and released in 8-9 months, in August 1995 and was still able to make huge improvements to the formula in that short amount of time.
So story-wise, if you played as the main character Kazuya Zaibatsu and somehow managed to defeat Heihachi in the first game, Kazuya managed to throw his father off a cliff the same way Heihachi did to Kazuya as a child. 2 years later, the Mishima Zaibatsu business is now owned by Kazuya. However, not all is bright since he’s been doing some pretty corrupt stuff and may have become too powerful for his own good. Animal activist Jun Kazama finds out that he has kidnapped endangered animals for experiments and sets out to arrest Kazuya. Despite fighting games story-wise usually being invisible but Tekken and the sequel have always had decent stories, though once you start fighting, you do eventually forget about it.
So the game has some similar features like the buttons being based on the fighter’s limbs like left punch, right, punch, left kick and right kick, the graphics look similar to the first one with 2D backgrounds, they pretty much look like photos and eventually pixelated to the nth degree. The gameplay however is SO much better; it’s much smoother, more responsive and more user friendly, not to mention fairer. There are new attacks like attack reversals for some of the characters, back throws, chain-throws and even side-steps with special ones for Kazuya and Heihachi. The attacks have improved immensely, and what’s better than pausing the game and looking at the command list to see what attacks you can do, this is what you need if you want to perform very strong attacks as it gets difficult. You see, from what I found out, there were special attacks in the first game, though it never told you how to perform them and you had to find out yourself; I’m sure they never told you in other fighting games but home console ports did. What I’m saying is Tekken 2, thanks to the addition of a training mode, is much better because any gamer both casual and hardcore have the ability to be good at the game. When I played the training mode and practiced some of the special moves, I felt like an MLG gamer, you can be good at it if you take the time to do it; though considering that I always write stuff, hindsight is 20/20.
All the characters are here and accounted for, but there are 8 new characters, though you need to do specific things in the game to unlock them like beating the game with specific characters. Like DLC but you had to work for it, and seeing that Capcom is bringing that back with Street Fighter 5, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The music is pretty good with one of the most memorable opening themes ever made and I love it and it fits so well with the introduction of the characters.
Overall, this is a fantastic sequel and a huge improvement of the first one. The controls feel better and the attacks, also thanks to the command menu are so much better to perform. And this is where I realised why the first one has been long forgotten, like Street Fighter and the sequel being more successful than the first game, but that’s ok, as long as the improvements are…improvements. Next up is Tekken 3, how could they improve something that’s kind of already been improved.
Oh, and if you want to play the Arcade Version then get Tekken 5, and see if you can make a comparison.
You can get it on the Arcade, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 (as part of Tekken 5’s Arcade History mode) and PlayStation Network.