Friday, July 29, 2011

Top 50 Video Games: Number 38

Stats of Import
Platform: Playstation 2
Absurdly Specific Genre: Fighting Game (Non-Hadouken Class)
Difficulty: 3 (I generally played on Normal. The game didn't just give up, but it didn't punish you for playing, either)
Beaten: Yes. I beat the game with the hidden characters on 'hard' (not 'very hard', though... that's just absurd)

Most every gamer eventually settles on a one of the fighting game series. My friend Branny is a Mortal Kombat guru, my other friend Benno is a Street Fighter nerd. Another acquaintance loves Virtua Fighter. My friend Matt and I, though... we're Tekken folk. The nights we spent passing the controllers as we played Tekken 2 til the wee hours of the morning are some of my favorite video game times. Considering these fond memories, it was a great surprise for me to walk into a Target shortly after purchasing my brand new PS2, only to see this game, Tekken Tag Team Tournament staring up at me.

Upon bringing it home, I found it to be an absolute treasure trove of things I wanted out of a Tekken game. There were characters, tons of them. All the best ones from the other different games of the series. There was Tekken Bowl mode (which my wife and I have since spent a bizarrely large amount of time playing). Most interestingly, though, was the addition of tag team dynamics into the fighting. You constructed a team of two fighters, and could tag between them at any time, only losing when one of them was KO'd. A fighting game where four people could play at once? Ridiculous! But awesome...

Unrelated screenshot of two people fighting using capoeira.
The only downside to this glorious game is how easy the save file becomes corrupted. The little "holy crap, don't turn off your console" icon seems to pop up at times where you wouldn't otherwise expect it. I've never corrupted the master save file on any other game, I've done it in this one 5 times.

It'll be a little strange to some that Street Fighter gets left completely off the list, but I've always prefered Tekken's button based controls. If I want to punch, I use the punch button. If I want to use some crazy flurry of punches kicks and impossible energy-based attacks that attack the laws of physics and decency right in their faces, it's still mostly done via buttons, with limited D-Pad action. These are the controls I've gotten used to, and Street Fighter just feels weird now because of it. I've always preferred Tekken, and since Linds also prefers it (she's pretty good, too... this is one of the only games where she can beat me with any kind of consistency), I don't see any reason to switch it up now.

Besides, there are velociraptors with boxing gloves. It's almost too awesome for words.

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