Thursday, September 23, 2010

Know Your Tekken: Tekken Tag Tournament

Since Harada just announced it sequel, let us examine the original Tekken Tag Tournament. Released to arcades in 1999, TTT was a follow-up to Tekken 3. The arcade version was sold as an upgrade kit for Tekken 3, and the two games utilized the same graphics engine. The home version was the first Tekken game released for PlayStation 2 and featured an updated graphics engine. The game features two-on-two battles, with the ability to tag in a partner character, even mid-combo. Each character has a separate life bar, but if any one character is knocked out, the round is over. The game also features a precursor to Tekken 6's Rage system called Netsu Power. To activate Netsu Power, a player had to tag in a partner whose life bar was flashing red. This would occur when the current character had taken a certain amount of damage. The character tagged in with Netsu Power would deal more damage.

Tekken Tag differs from the mainline Tekken games in a few subtle, yet important ways. The plot of the game is a what-if scenario, separate from the main Tekken storyline. This allows for dream-match scenarios and unlikely teams, much like Capcom's versus games. Also like the versus games, it features tag-team gameplay. Where the versus series metaphor breaks down is in the character movesets.

In TTT, the characters' movesets are essentially the same as Tekken 3. TTT does not include over-the-top additions like super jumps and screen-filling supers. In spite of the similarities to Tekken 3, the tag mechanics provide variety and excitement for TTT fans. Just as Marvel fans are extremely enthusiastic about their favored series of games over the "regular" Street Fighter games, so are TTT fans more hype-prone than "standard" Tekken fans. The fast pace of Tekken Tag, the tension of managing both characters' life bars, and the variety of teams available made the game an obvious fan favorite. Over eleven years later, will Tekken Tag Tournament 2 prove a worthy successor?

Data and details from Tekken Zaibatsu.

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