Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Announced

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was announced at the Tokyo Game Show today. Longtime Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada of Namco was on hand to show off the first official trailer, as well as answer questions from Joystiq.

“Joystiq: How long have you been working on Tekken Tag Tournament 2?

Katsuhiro Harada: Actually there was some talk at first of doing this before Tekken 6 came out, but when we discussed it amongst ourselves and the team we felt like we first wanted to make a proper sequel to 6 to see how far we could push the limits of our graphics engine on that hardware before going to Tag.

As you’ve seen for yourself in the trailer, we have three or four characters on the screen at once so that’s simply twice as much power needed than previously for example in Tekken 6. So obviously trying to do that right off the bat earlier on would be much more difficult.”

“If it’s running on the same technology as 6, which came not only to arcades but to consoles, what are your console plans for Tag 2?

As we announced, it will see an arcade release first. That’s where most of our efforts are focused on at the moment. But that being said, we do want to provide a chance for all of our fans abroad to be able to enjoy the game. That’s about all I can say at this point.

The first Tekken Tag Tournament came out in 1999. Why did it take 12 years to go back to a tag-based fighter?

As I said on stage, it was pretty much the result of many years of the fans giving us feedback that they wanted tag. At first, for the development team when we started out we had [Tekken] 3 and we thought the natural progression would be to go to 4 and 5 and such as a proper roadmap. Tag came about, first of, as an idea that I had after about five minutes of thinking. We were all really quite surprised when that took off and gained the popularity that it did. So we had to rethink the roadmap again once more. After working on the proper sequels and still considering all the fan feedback and how much that has just gradually increased over the years and gotten to the point where we just really had to seriously consider it.

Tekken x Street Fighter was announced recently, and today you announced this. Both are high-profile games. How are you resourcing both of these projects? Are there multiple teams?

Actually, before Street Fighter x Tekken and that whole announcement came about, Tag 2 was already in the works, so that’s something that we’ve already originally planned for. Really the question is now “so what do we want to do with Tekken x Street Fighter?” It’s getting a lot more people, and assigning them and such, as well as making game ideas on where to take that.

What do you think about the recent resurgence of fighting games, with titles like BlazBlue, Street Fighter and such?

Well, this is something that I’ve said before continuously. The Tekken series, if you look at it alone, each installment in the console versions sell about five million copies lifetime, and has continued for about fifteen years now. Plus the income from the arcades haven’t really dropped off at all for the Tekken series in general. From our standpoint, it’s not like anything has really changed much. The one thing that is noticeable perhaps is that other series, like Street Fighter IV coming back after a blank of about ten years or so, Mortal Kombat is starting to come back. I think that’s where some of the changes are occurring, rather than us. We’ve been rather constant.

Thanks for your time!”

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 does not currently have a release date, but will arrive in arcades and on consoles prior to the Street Fighter and Tekken crossover fighters in 2012.

Return to September 2010 Articles

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The Most Epic Video Game Ever

So while I was cleaning myself up for work this evening, an idea hit me for a game that transitions between genres. In essence, it would be a game that has no defining genre. Imagine the following being shown at a demonstration at E3, the Tokyo Game Show, or some other conference.

The demonstration opens with what seems to be a futuristic racing game. Heavily armored jet-tanks (think Wipeout on steroids) barrel through a jungle landscape dotted with high tech ruins. An NPC portrait appears on the screen as the player speeds through the jungle, informing them via radio to pick up “abandoned weapon cores” laying around the environment. By running over one, players acquire high powered laser/missle weapons that anihilate the opposition when fired. The NPC urges the player to “hurry and beat that bastard to the checkpoint, the safety of the world depends upon it! Use any necessary force!”

The player immediately realizes that the message told the player to throw attack after attack at their opponent. After taking enough damage, the bad guy’s vehicle suddenly explodes, but it turns out that he ejected from the seat at the last moment! The NPC on the radio tells the player to “get the hell outside and stop him from getting away!”

The player gets out of their vehicle and gives chase, quickly catching up on foot. The bad guy feels their presence and turns around. He then indicates that, “You just don’t give up, do it? Fine, let’s settle this now. Like men.”

The camera transitions out to view the two men from a side view perspective as two bars appear at the top of the screen. And then it happens…..

Round one. Fight!!

The game goes from combat racing game to what seems like a full fledged fighter! The two characters go at it, performing combos, linking moves to form chains, performing breakers and parries.. And so forth. After two rounds of highly stylized fighting, the player wins.

As those watching expect a “(CHARACTER NAME) WINS!” message to flash up, they instead witness something else.

Victory! Mission Complete!

An experience bar appears as a score that is calculated basd on performance in the race and then the fight are converted into experience points. The bar fills. LEVEL UP!

The screen fades to black and the player receives a save prompt. After saving, a cutscene plays with the player character entering what looks to be a military operations base. The NPC who previously spoke to the player in their racer is here, revealing himself to be “the General” and the guy who tells the player what to do. The General informs the main character that they may have taken one one of the evil corporation’s main henchmen, but there are still several out there. The General brings up a map, pointing to an area of structures and saying “this is where we are, in this base.” He tells the player that they have to push northwest to a research station that likely holds some valuable information that they can use against the evil corporation. The main character tells the General that he can count on him and leaves the room… And then the game loads into what appears to be an RTS map. The player takes control of the base, building structures and training units to destroy the evil corporation’s defenses near the research station. The main character, as a unit, must survive and be the one to capture the station.

After capturing the research station, the main character enters and finds one of the evil corporation’s henchmen inside. He is waving a disc and saying, “looking for this?” he escapes in a racer. The player hops in one as well, and a sequence similar to the jungle race plays out. After the player fires enough power-ups into the bad guy, his ship will appear to start exploding. The bad guy laughs and says that he isn’t going to give up and… ESCAPES IN A POD INTO THE SKY! The General orders the player to pursue! With the press of a button in the racer’s console, it turns into a flying vehicle and flies into the sky!

The camera angle shifts to the side as the player gains control of the vehicle in the air. Reinforcements from the evil corporation arrive in the form of enemy aircrafts. The player, flying forward the entire time, must shoot them down and salvage their weapons before they explode. After destroying several waves, the player finds the bad guy in a giant robot that he retreived from the evil corporation’s base. Resembling a ship at least a dozen times larger than the player, the bad guy’s ship is capable of firing huge volleys of deadly projectiles. After getting in enough shots, the bad guy’s ship begins exploding. The General begins to congratulate the player when the bad guy cuts them off with, “NOT SO FAST! I’M TAKING YOU WITH ME!” The bad guy fires one last shot before exploding. The shot hits the player’s ship as the begin to spiral out of control. The General urges the player to land safely, but it is impossible. After spinning well of course, the player makes a light crash in an abandoned area.

The player crawls out of their ship to survey the damage and see where they are. As they are examining the hull of their ship, there is moaning… Shuffling feet… The player turns and looks back and there it is! A zombie!!

Suddenly playing like Resident Evil 5, the player is tasked with getting the hell out of what appears to another research station where all hell broke loose. With each zombie killed, a “+1 XP” message flashes over the fallen corpse. Eventually the player gets to the end of the station. Just as they are about to leave, a huge zombie horde attacks! As all hope looks lost, suddenly two people burst in and push the zombies back. Allies from the command base! After defeating the zombies, they introduce themselves as Sergeant Brock and Captain Sharp. They agree to get the hell out of there with the player and then this message appears..

– BROCK AND SHARP HAVE JOINED THE PARTY –

The party then leaves. Victory! Mission Complete!

An experience bar appears once more as a score that is calculated basd on performance in the race and then the fight are converted into experience points. The bar fills. LEVEL UP!

An overworld map appears. The research station they were at is greyed out. Ahead is a sparse plain. The player selects it and enters. The game shifts to a location that looks and plays like the Archylte Steppe from Final Fantasy XIII. The player’s destination is marked on their map as they must traverse through the open wilds. If they are unfortunate enough to bump into one of the local critters, a dramatic battle transition occurs. Rather than going to an RPG battle screen, the fighting system from before returns! Brock and Sharp appear as what seems to be tag-team partners (think Marvel vs Capcom). The creatures that the player is fighting? A series of wolves! While the player has three characters to alternate between, each with diverse move sets and special attacks, the opposing force is made up of approximately twenty wolves. The player characters seem able to take about ten hits from a wolf before dying (though it would be more if they gained more levels), but each wolf can only appear to take about four or five hits. After defeating all the wolves, each character is awarded experience points based upon how much they were used and how beneficial they were in determining the outcome of the battle. The player then continues, trying to avoid as many fights as possible….

And that is as far as my imagination went. So, what did we include here?
Racing? Check.
Fighting? Check.
RTS? Check.
Retro shooter? Check.
Survival horror? Check.
RPG leveling mechanics? Check.

How would something like this be defined? What genre would it fit under? I had an idea to add in a sort of Civilization or Sim City element to this game idea as well. Would that have been overkill? No, the “playable sports league minigame/diversion from the main story” probably would be, though. Or maybe functional online multiplayer?

Okay, that’s enough. I’m stopping now, I promise.

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