So I decided to bust out an old favourite, the logic was sound; If I loved it as a kid, I’d love it more now, right? Wrong, dead wrong. Tekken 2 was once a great game, and still is in many ways. What I’m doing here, is trying to figure out why I don’t like it any more. Well, the most obvious reasons would be: I was just a kid & at the time (of its heyday with my brothers and I) it was the only fighting game we had! There was nothing to compare it to, no fighting game (that I knew of) had better graphics. The cutscenes were always super-cool to watch, the graphics were incredibly impressive and as tough as the game may have been, I had really no other standard to compare it to. However playing it again reveals many flaws and faults that I either didn’t notice, or didn’t think much of at the time.
Like the fact that all the ‘extremely realistic!’ backgrounds were all photos, or that Yoshimitsu’s legs looked sharper than his blade.
The graphics, while good for their day, have little worth looking back on now, neither good enough, nor stylized enough, to hold any kind of charm. Worse still is the gameplay; Tekken is a series known for its fluidity yet Tekken 2 feels about as fluid as a game of rock-em-sock-em-robots: the characters all move like they’ve got a strange mix of flexibility and arthritis, only a few characters can actually side step, though they have to use certain button combos. Jumping was another aspect of the gameplay which had changed greatly in subsequent instalments; with the fighters launching themselves high into the air above all attacks. Perhaps the worst thing for me, or anyone else coming back to this, is how primitive the enemy AI is, and the kind of measures it needed to take so it wouldn’t get completely demolished in every fight, namely, cheating, horrible horrible cheating. Now I’m all for cheating when it benefits me, and I understand the AI was not as good as it is now, but some of the moves they make are ridiculous and painful. The computer is a cheating b*****d! Launch a grab? After the sixth or seventh stage in arcade mode, it will either duck, or auto-break your grab, and punish you. Attack high, mid or low? Probably gonna get blocked, and punished! Try use an unblockable move? Punishment. Manage to land some hits? The computer controlled character will hit you either with a combo so fast and complex that no human could ever pull off! How do I know? Because I’ve tried!
The controls are so clunky and unresponsive and what’s worse, button mashing rarely works with Tekken 2. I really really hated, how tough the rubberband A.I. (actually a real term!) could be, snapping back at me as soon as I got in a hit with the craziest of combos. Then again, maybe I’m being a whinny wuss? Or maybe I was more patient back then, willing to spend much more than half an hour in Arcade mode. But when I tried replaying Tekken 2, I couldn’t stand playing It any more, especially on my third playthrough. The worst thing? Before I got Tekken 3, I absolutely loved this game! So is Tekken 2 still worth a shot? On a late night after a few drinks? Maybe. With some friends and wanting a bit of a laugh? Sure, why not? But if you’re looking forward to playing some ‘old school’ games, move on and play Tekken 3.