Most helpful critical review
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Insightful but incomplete
on September 13, 2012
Writing a comprehensive strategy guide for a fighting game with 50+ characters before release is no mean feat; let's get that out of the way first. The authors have done their best to go in-depth about the characters, their strengths and weaknesses, key moves and insight into frame data. Insights are good and the sections on tournament mentality and how the systems all work are all very helpful - more so, probably, than the in-game Fight Lab tutorials and other information. However, the guide also suffers from some serious shortcomings that an editor should have caught before this was released. Overall, it's a good book. Would I still have bought it, knowing what I know now? Cautious yes; but I would prefer to wait for the inevitable 'complete' version when the DLC characters are all out. This would have been a better e-Guide than print guide, I think.
EDIT: What you will find in each character's section: an overall analysis of their strengths and weaknesses, their bread and butter moves (main launchers and combo filler, bound moves, pokes, strings), a few high-damage combos, when to tag and recommendations for partners, areas to work on, special stances or properties and how to beat each character. The insight shown into each character is great and will be a very useful starting point for anyone just now getting into Tag, even for crusty old Tekken vets.
What could be improved:
1) Poor organization - characters are not grouped in alphabetical order but by the authors who wrote their sections. This makes thumbing through the guide in search of specific info all but impossible. Using the table of contents often becomes absolutely necessary.
2) Typos: The text has several typos, repeated words and awkward grammar. Not enough to lower the overall quality of the guide, but enough to be distracting.
3) Notation errors: I've seen this all through the Jin Kazama section; the up and down arrows are reversed for many down + input moves. For example, half the time d+3+4 shows up as u+3+4, ditto d+4, d+1+2, etc. It doesn't happen all the time, which makes it more baffling. Was this a font error that inverted the up/down arrows? Editing? It's not from lack of knowledge of the characters - the authors definitely show their stripes in that regard.
4) No full movelists: yes, these are in the game, but movelists are one of the reasons one buys a print strategy guide in the first place. And maybe I've missed something, but this means that special team-specific tag throws and tag combos are probably not all in the guide - one of the main reasons one would buy such a book. EDIT: The frame data section does, of course, have movelists, but only to present their respective frame data, not to provide move-by-move analysis.
5) Incomplete frame data: Strings only show frame data for the last move in the string. No info on stopping the string part-way, which is useful in many cases.
6) No base game unlockable info or checklists: simply not there. No list of Gallery movies, ending movies, unlockable art, how to unlock customization items or costumes, list of stages, etc.
7) No customization info: Again, no list of vanilla customizations. Maybe this is because many such items will be released via DLC and the list would quickly become outdated, but it's still a noticeable omission.
8) No DLC characters? - I've heard mixed reports on this. I remember seeing the console exclusive characters, but not the pre-order DLC characters (Angel, Kuni, Michelle, A. Ogre). Will update after I verify.