This game will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the first Playstation game I had. Christmas morning and I was finally able to fight my friends for hours with a modern game, without having to go to the mall and put in a ridiculous amount of quarters. Of course, unknown to the loving parents who got me the game, it required an extra piece of hardware to really get the most out of it. That’s right, the memory card. Now for those unfamiliar with the game you may be wondering why a memory card on a fighting game. Allow me to explain.
Tekken 2 is one of those rare fighting games that has more hidden characters than regular ones. Now the term hidden may bring of images of complex cheat codes or near impossible win scenarios, but not the case with this game. While the idea of giving fighting characters depth was nothing new at the time it was fleshed out a bit more in this era. And with that each character had a story, complete with protagonist and antagonist to some varying degree. This is was the start of the secret character selection. By beating the Story Mode for any character you unlocked their counterpart, as well as that character’s story.
But wait, as they say on television, there’s more. Once completing all of the new stories yet another new character appears. As a child the rabbit-hole and amount of characters seemed endless. Made more so by the fact that without a memory card for months I had to do it all in a day. Luckily I had the help of a neighbor or two to keep my eyes from drying out or losing repeatedly from gamer-fatigue. Real thing, promise.
Now while the massive character selection is nice it is important that most characters were just slight variants on the originals. But, at the time, it was cool beyond belief. As was the massive improvement in the graphics. Being the second to come out on that generation’s system usually brings such advancements but I still feel it is important not to overlook them. While arguably not as drastic as the change made from FF7 to FF8, the jump from Tekken 1 to 2 was rather impressive. The number of polygons appeared exponential and the wonderful color shading stripped away any other game, at the time, that claimed to have graphics as close to real life as humanly possible.
As far as fighting games go Tekken 2 will always hold a special place in my library as the game that brought arcades home, no offense to Street Fighter 2. So if you’re lucky enough to come across it I say give it a shot. Though crude and sluggish compared to today’s fighting games I think you will be pleasantly surprised. But that is it for this installment of Retro Review. Next time we will be looking at… Who knows. Happy gaming.