Tekken 2



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Above the cliff, the dark sky streaked by bright jagged lightning had a threatening look, and the cold and pouring rain falling over the mountains was like an inviolable tomb's seal. Indeed, when Kazuya Mishima dropped his father into the void at the end of Tekken, this cliff could have been Heihachi's graveyard, but this was not to be his last hour! Emerging suddenly from the sea of mist below, Heihachi's face appeared in the semi-darkness, the wrath deforming his face with a hideous grin. Strived by the strongest desire of vengeance, he painfully climbed up the wall of rock. Suffering on each move, it was nothing compared to what Heihachi had planned to punish his son's crime.

Jun Kazama
These few lines resume the first images of the fabulous introduction of Tekken 2. Besides introducing the characters, it also briefly shows the characters' background and even provide the player with pictures of some of the bosses encountered later in the game. The computer rendered animations are without a doubt, the most beautiful ever done for a video game, even surpassing in beauty and realism those presented in computer games. The introduction is not the only cinematic sequence in Tekken 2. New animations will reward players as they complete the game, Tekken 2 offering 24 different ending sequences, one for each character. Although their length is not comparable to the opening introduction, they all feature exceptional graphics coupled with movie-like camera effects. The best sequence is undeniably the one from Jun, one of the new Tekken 2 characters, showing her walking into the forest with amazingly life-like animals.

To the previous cast of Tekken were added two new fighters, Jun, an eco-warrior and Lei, a cop. From his Chinese origins, Lei Wulong kept a rapid Kung Fu fighting style, while Jun Kazama with her grace and agility excels in the Bu-Jitsu martial art. New to Tekken 2 is the presence of Heihachi among the twelve characters, after his son took over his position of Tekken's ultimate boss. Consequently, Kazuya is now the character to beat before you can fight with the all-powered Devil. Overall, Tekken 2 counts no less than 24 characters for an unparalleled diversity of fighting styles such as karate, judo, kung fu, kempo, and even boxing. But before you can play with one of the new bosses, you will have to finish the game first. For example, if you beat Devil with Nina, Anna (her sister) will become available. If you do the same with all the other characters, you will be able to play with Kazuya, and ultimately with Angel. Just make sure you have a memory card to save your characters!

Lei Wulong
As in the first Tekken, character movements are extremely realistic, and you can see why motion capture has been used intensively in the development of the game. The fluid and precise movements of the characters were in fact executed by martial arts professionals before being faithfully reproduced in the game. Each character has a plethora of possible movements, combos and special attacks, all more impressive than the others. To facilitate their use, the game features a list of attacks with corresponding key combinations that can be accessed anytime during a combat. There is also a very thoughtful practice mode in which you can learn the characters' skills with pressed keys appearing on the screen as you are practicing.

The characters in Tekken 2, like in most other 3D fighting games, are drawn with texture-mapped polygons. The novelty in Tekken 2 is that they are light-sourced, which in other words means that according to their position they receive more or less light on a specific area of the body. To take an example, if the light source is in front of the character, you will see the shadow in behind the character, and it will change as the character moves around. Also featured in the game are the shadows on the ground that follow the silhouette of the fighters, and remarkable lighting effects during combats.

Combats will take place in several regions, offering a wide variety of sites such as the Acropolis in Athens, Manhattan, the Great Wall of China, the Taj-Mahal in India, and other beautiful locations. The computer rendered backgrounds represented in 2D, scroll horizontally according to the movements executed by both adversaries. Like in Virtua Fighter 2, the choice of 2D versus 3D backgrounds allows a higher frame rate which for Tekken 2 is 60 frames per second for the NTSC version and 50 for the PAL version. Besides, as the backgrounds blend nearly perfectly with the 3D texture-mapped ground on which the characters fight, it was not necessary to feature 3D backgrounds that would have inevitably reduced the game speed.

New game modes have also been added to Tekken 2 such as Survival, Team and Time Attack modes. In the Survival mode, you select a combattant and try to defeat as many adversaries possible in a row. The difference with the arcade mode is that when you win a fight, your health bar will not be entirely restored, hence adding to the difficulty. The team mode allows you to choose from two to eight fighters which will combat a team of the same number chosen by the CPU. The last mode, Time Attack, is similar to the Arcade mode with the difference that the goal is to reach Devil in the least amount of time.

Tekken 2 not only shines with its graphics and game play, but also with its soundtrack that goes perfectly with the fast-paced action. There are several options to choose, for example between stereo and mono modes, original Tekken tracks or newly arranged versions. Mostly based on percussions, guitar, and synthesizers, the several musical styles emphasize on the personality of each of the characters, and you will also hear vocals in some of the ending sequences. During the game, characters will also shout and yell when they fight and are hit by your attacks, and contrary to Tekken where sounds were not always clearly audible, Tekken 2's voices sounds perfect.


If there was only one game for the PlayStation you should own, that would be Tekken 2. Namco simply made the best fighting video game ever, and it will be some time before it encounters any serious threat. Virtua Fighter 3 which has been announced on the Sega Saturn for late 1997 will, of course, be the most serious competitor, but until then, Tekken 2 is definitively your best choice on the PlayStation.

Written by Frederick Claude

For special moves and characters' profile, check out Tekken 2's website here


Overall: *****

In North America:

Namco Hometek, Inc.,
150 Charcot Ave., Suite A,
San Jose, CA 95131-1102

Web site: Namco

In Europe

In UK:

Namco Limited,
25/27 Mossop Street,
Knightsbridge, London SW3 2LY

In Asia

In Japan:

Namco Limited,
2-1-21, Yaguchi, Ota-Ku,
Tokyo, Japan

Web site: Namco Japan

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