Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Preview
Perhaps the biggest reason to own a PS2 at launch? Tekken Tag Tournament. It was quite the phenomenon when it hit Sony’s new console back in 2000; the combination of the already-gigantic Tekken following and the arrival of a new PlayStation made TTT an instant classic. And now, the sequel is finally slated to drop nearly 12 years later, much to the delight of hardcore franchise fans everywhere. And with over 50 characters, one-on-one combat, and the patented tag-team battles, it’s destined to deliver.
You’ve got Pair Play mode, which lets four players into the action; each will control one character and it’s bound to be a hot option for parties. And it’s great to get more people involved because TTT2 is all about personalizing your approach; it’s not about locating the combos that everyone can do, or the cheesy attacks that let even the worst button-mashers win a bunch of matches. This is going to be about engaging in a flexible, continually evolving mechanic that is begging to be explored and experimented with. So what’s your style?
One of the biggest additions is the Fight Lab, which is great for the newbies. This time around, Namco’s goal is to allow for more accessibility, and that will require some training in the Lab. You will control the Combot and Violet will instruct you in the ways of battle; you’ll learn everything from the basics like simple attacks and guarding, to longer chains, juggling, and the intricacies of timing and execution. They’re gonna make this fun, too, as the first enemy you face is a golden knight who drops coins as you land blows, and a successful bound smackdown destroys his armor.
Skill-specific tests, mini-games, and bizarre visuals (like a couple Kumas dancing in the background) will make it even more entertaining, which is good…usually, nobody likes training because it feels like a chore. And when you’re done, you can use the Combot in regular matches (if that’s a big incentive for you). The point is to provide fans – and newcomers – with an invigorating, in-depth, always engaging fighter that gives you everything you could want. Here’s what director Katsuhiro Harada had to say when this sequel was first confirmed for September:
“Tekken Tag Tournament is one of the most beloved entries in the Tekken series – not just among fans but also for myself and the entire development team, so crafting the sequel has been a labor of love for everyone here. To truly make this game stand up to the high benchmark set by the original, we have injected some exciting features and modes that will revolutionize the online fighting game community and allow new players to enjoy and master the game – so there will be something for everyone.”
On a related note, it’ll be interesting to see how the duel goes down in September. Both Dead or Alive 5 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 hit in the middle of that month, so there will most certainly be a battle outside the virtual ring…which will you spring for? Don't forget about the 100-bikini pre-order incentive...sweeeet.
7/16/2012 Ben Dutka