Developer(s) – Namco
Publisher(s) – Namco
Director – Masamichi Abe
Producer – Hajime Nakatani
PEGI – 12
Making significant improvements over the original game, Tekken 2 was a best-seller in the UK in particular but is also often regarded by most critics to be one of the greatest fighting games of all time; including me. Back around the time of its release, I spent a lot of time playing this game, since not only was there more to do and unlock than in the first, but it also seemed a lot more accessible.
Graphics – 7/10
The first of many enhancements made by the developers with the second game was in the graphics; most notably, the increased diversity in both level and character design. In many ways, it reminds me of the transition from Mortal Kombat II to III; only, in this case, there was less for the developers to worry about, since there were considerably fewer palette-swapped characters in the original Tekken than in Mortal Kombat II. But regardless, they still managed to branch out in very different artistic directions in the way Midway did with Mortal Kombat III.
Gameplay – 8/10
As well as there being new modes added to keep things fresh compared to other fighting games of the time, there are seven more characters to unlock than in the first, with the introduction of a few new faces, as well as the classics. But with new characters also came new move sets for players to become accustomed to over time, which in itself added more variety to the game than before. Though many of the move sets are simply recycled for all of the secret characters to use, unlocking them still felt particularly rewarding.
Controls – 10/10
I’ve always found it impressive how seamlessly fighting games made the transition from 2D to 3D throughout the fifth generation of gaming. The first Tekken had a particularly impressive control scheme, which presented no complications whatsoever. But the second game perfected this formula, as combat and movement were made a lot more fluent and even easier to cope with; which to me, is most probably the reason why the second game is a lot more accessible than the first by proxy.
Originality – 7/10
The developers also did relatively well to differentiate the Tekken franchise from other games in the genre; especially considering the fact that the franchise was not originally intended to be a fighting game at all. It was one of the first to establish a stable storyline, as well as being one of the first to include 2D backdrops in 3D environments, which is still one of my favorite forms of graphical rendering to this very day. The second game built greatly upon what had already been accomplished with the first game, making it one of the most standout titles of the fifth generation in my opinion.
To summarize, Tekken 2 went leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, and still remains a very entertaining experience, which I would recommend to any fan of the fighting genre who may not have played it yet. As well as being one of the best fighting games I’ve ever played, it’s also my favorite in the Tekken franchise overall.