Monday, November 4, 2013

The Retro Video Game Addict reviews: Tekken 2 for the PS1!

     We all remember when fighting games first became popular. Who could forget? The arcades were raking it in on popular fighting titles like Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat and those two games ruled the 16-bit generation with their amazing home console releases. But that was just the beginning. In the mid 90's arcades were seeing more and more 3D fighting games with hits like Virtua Fighter and Tekken and people were exposed to a much more flowing style of one on one combat in digital form. One of which I'm going to review today, and that would be Tekken 2.
     Now, I didn't actually own Tekken 2 during the height of it's popularity, instead a friend of mine who was getting the original Playstation along with this game was the one who brought it to my attention. I had seen the ad's for the original Tekken but I was too caught up in Battle Arena Toshinden to pay it any mind. Both games were considered heavy hitters in the 3D fighting genre at the time but when Tekken 2 hit the arcades and the Playstation in late 1996 it helped to pull the Tekken franchise away to become the premiere fighting franchise of it's time. It was just heads and shoulders better than the first Tekken and sported slightly better graphics and fighters that had a crazy amount of flexibility to them while playing the game. Sure, Tekken 2 would soon be trounced by Tekken 3 (a far superior game) but for it's time Tekken 2 was considered the end all of home fighters and helped to move it's share of Playstation consoles.
     My friend was so in love with this game that when we talked about video games he often talked about Tekken 2 and how much he was playing it or how much the game meant to him. He must have played this game non-stop (along with NBA Live '97) on his Playstation for the better part of the year until he started getting more and more games, but I'll never forget how excited he was to be getting Tekken 2 and his Playstation for Christmas. Oddly enough, that Christmas I received an Atari Jaguar. Yeah, that may seem like a downer to most people reading this blog but the Atari Jaguar was a system I fell quite hard for and I really enjoyed a good chunk of it's library, despite the popular belief that the system was garbage.
     Honestly, I didn't own Tekken 2 until I re-purchased a Playstation out of nostalgia in the summer of 2007. At that time I had also purchased Tekken and far prefer it to Tekken 2, though both are really great games to own if you have a Playstation console in your collection. It was during this time that I would fall in love with the PS1 and play a huge number of games for it I've never experienced before, mainly the Tekken series and Final Fantasy VII, and I finally began to put it on a pedestal alongside consoles like the NES and SNES. It's funny too because I owned a Playstation upon launch in 1995, then I had re-bought one sometime in 2000 (getting rid of it soon after), and then got one again in 2007 out of nostalgic reasons. It was the 3rd time owning the console that did it for me and I've been playing it quite regularly since then.
     Anyhow, it's now time to discuss Tekken 2 as a game. To kick things off the game controls pretty smooth and has a nice breezy feel to it, I would rank this among one of Tekken 2's bright spots as it gives you a nice free flowing experience while engaging in combat. I wouldn't say the controls are perfect but it's certainly something that stands out when playing the game. Graphically it was probably a lot better looking back in 1997 than it is now in 2013 but that doesn't really matter one bit as I'm enjoying playing it again after quite a while and graphics NEVER sway my opinion on a game. It's blocky but it looks a lot better than the other 3D fighting games it was up against at the time like Virtual Fighter and Battle Arena Toshinden, both of which didn't have sequels as of yet when this game was released. Sure, the graphical difference between Tekken 3 and 2 are pretty vast but so wasn't the difference between part 2 and the original, so it's definitely improved upon it's previous game and that goes a long way. The music in this game is pretty standard fare as well as the sound effects, nothing really shines in this department and all in all I'd say it's nothing special and was even beat out by earlier PS1 fighters like Toshinden. That's a complaint I've always had with the Tekken games on the PS1, they just never nailed down a good audio track or gave us any good sound effects, they seemed to really want to deliver a pretty looking game and that was it. The music, if you're wondering, was not much more than cheesy sounding techno music that played while you were in combat.
     But it was fun, and at the end of the day that's really all that matters when it comes to video games. I enjoyed it, my friends enjoyed it, and it still holds up among retro gaming fans who still love to fire up their original Playstation systems. And as long as original Playstation gamers are still retrogaming on their beloved PSone's than Tekken 2 will always have somebody to play it. A timeless classic? Nah. But it's a good fighting game that was a huge system seller back in the day and a title that was a part of a franchise that helped the PS1 dominate the gaming scene in the late 90's. And that's all it needs to be.

Graphics/Visuals - 8.0
Sound/Music - 6.5
Control/Handling - 8.5
Fun/Enjoyment - 8.0

Twitter - @OfficialRVGA

© 2013 Bill Mulligan


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Nice post! I enjoyed it, my friends enjoyed it, and it still holds up among retro gaming fans who still love to fire up their original Playstation systems.