Mushrooms and character costumes abound in Tekken's Wii U port.
If you're a Tekken fan with a 360 or a PS3, there's a good chance you've already been enjoying Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for over a month now. With good reviews and decent sales, Namco Bandai probably could have just left the game as is for its upcoming Wii U release and soaked up a few more accolades for providing a solid core fighting game with a system launch. Instead, the developer opted to take a tougher route, but one that Nintendo fans will likely appreciate: the Wii U edition of the game will come with a bevy of Nintendo-themed content, a user-friendly controller interface, and the long-awaited return of Tekken Ball.
Fighting game fans are probably familiar with Tekken Tag Tournament 2's general premise by now: almost 60 characters from the storied history of the Tekken series meet and compete in typically brutal fashion. All of the game's original content will make the jump to Wii U with a few new features to take advantage of Nintendo's licenses and hardware.
From a gameplay perspective, two big changes are coming: the controls and the addition of Tekken Ball. In a move that may raise a few eyebrows, combos in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on the Wii U don't need to be memorized, or even performed. The Wii U's tablet controller will display a list of the selected character's combos and how to perform them, at which point the player can either follow the button sequence or simply tap it. While pulling off tricky combos without having to learn them sounds like it could unbalance the game, Namco Bandai wants to ensure that everyone - not just hardcore fighting aficionados - have a chance to succeed in the game. Furthermore, constantly looking up and down and tapping combos will still be less effective than committing them to muscle memory.
Tekken Ball, which first appeared in Tekken 3, will also show up on the Wii U edition. This fan-favorite feature involves two combatants smashing a beach ball back and forth with the intent of hitting the ball onto an opponent's turf. This mini-game hasn't changed much over the years, but Namco Bandai was excited enough about it to give out Tekken-themed beach volleyballs at NYCC this year.
The largest addition comes in the form of the Mushroom Battle. In this mode, characters can duke it out in traditional Nintendo style: with incredible power-ups and zany costumes. The Mario brothers, Link, Zelda, Samus, Fox, and even Captain Falcon will all make appearances as character costumes. The Mushroom Battle itself features growth mushrooms, poison mushrooms, and invincibility stars which will periodically appear and could change a match drastically. Namco Bandai hopes that this will help increase Tekken Tag Tournament 2's appeal as a potential party game for Nintendo fans.
The new modes and features in this Wii U port may not warrant a second purchase for fans who already have Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on another console, but those looking to pick up a Wii U at launch may want to check it out. It looks good, plays well, doesn't take itself too seriously, and will provide early adopters a way to duke it out with Nintendo characters until Super Smash Bros. comes out.