The Tekken series has always embraced its zanier side. It is a fighting game with a panda and a kangaroo in the roster, after all. The upcoming Wii U release of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 may be the craziest entry in the series ever, thanks to a Nintendo-inspired exclusive mode.
Mushroom Battle mode is exclusive to the Wii U version for obvious reasons. It features a 1v1 fight between two opponents in an arena filled with various power-ups from the Mario universe: mushrooms, super stars, mega mushrooms, and poison mushrooms. It's all about the 'shrooms, man.
The sheer hilarity of seeing a gigantic Jin attempting to kick a tiny Yoshimitsu will probably never get old. And while its existence is already justified by fanservice alone, Mushroom Battle Mode does offer some interesting tactical twists. Obviously, you'll want to go out of your way to get the best power-ups. However, in an intimate fighting setting like that of Tekken, it's more about getting your opponents away from the prized goods. Juggling will be important, as will attacks that send enemies flying into poison mushrooms.
Perhaps my biggest gripe with Mushroom Battle Mode is that the fights are much too short. Given how absurdly powerful some of these characters can become, fights can be over as soon as they start. Also, there's no tagging in this mode, meaning fights are (essentially) half as long as they could be.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is one of the most compelling third-party games on Wii U due to its content, not due to the way it utilizes the GamePad. The implementation of Nintendo's tablet controller is rudimentary at best, giving you access to quick touch combos a la the Vita version of Street Fighter x Tekken. It's not particularly inspired.
Still, with the exclusive Mushroom Battle mode, and access to Nintendo costumes, the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is looking to be the most fun version available. If you're not convinced, this quirky Japanese trailer should help persuade you.