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'Tekken Tag Tournament' a treat for fans of the series

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(CNN) -- The calling card of the PlayStation 2 seems to be smooth animation and colorful, highly detailed graphics. If any one game could be representative of that, it would have to be Namco's "Tekken Tag Tournament."

This epic fighting game employs many traditional martial arts styles into a kind of 2-D/3-D hybrid game. The backgrounds are all rendered in a lush 3-D with details like individual blades of grass clearly represented. The fighters are also 3-dimensional but they move in a 2-dimensional plane so you can only move forward and back.

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Some will say that "Tekken Tag Tournament" is merely a highly polished upgrade of "Tekken 3" but there is a bit more to the story than that. There are an insane number of moves that can be pulled off this time around. The best thing of all would have to be the addition of the Tag Battle.

The meat and potatoes of "Tekken Tag Tournament" is the tag mode that allows you to hit the shoulder button to call in another previously chosen fighter to help you defeat your opponents. This adds another tier of difficulty to the game, as you have to carefully manage each fighter's life bar. If one fighter goes down, the match is over.

Most people skip the introductory video to games after the first viewing, but you may want to reconsider this time around. "Tekken Tag Tournament" has one of nicest computer-generated introductions ever seen. It really wasn't clear what the video was trying to convey, but it is beautiful nonetheless.

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The lack of analog stick support is the only real pitfall to the otherwise intuitive control scheme. Moving the fighters around, throwing punches, kicks and any combination of the two is done with relative ease.

Fans of the "Tekken" series who have spent countless hours learning the moves for their favorite characters are in for a real treat and should not be disappointed with "Tekken Tag Tournament." Casual fans, on the other hand, may grow tired of this game rather quickly. For all its flash and flair, "Tekken Tag Tournament" is not a huge upgrade from the PlayStation version of the game (Tekken 3), and it may not be worth a purchase for some. The best bet would be to rent this one first to make sure it's what you're looking for.



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RELATED SITES:
Namco
Tekken Tag Tournament
PlayStation

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