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Home Blogs Editorial Tekken Tag 2 Won't Live Up To The Original, And Here's Why

Tekken Tag 2 Won't Live Up To The Original, And Here's Why

Blog - Editorial

Written by Jayce Diaz
User Rating: / 14


Longtime fans of the series are well aware that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is currently in production, and with any luck, could be in our arms by this time next year. However, much of the nostalgia and praise we hold for the original Tag had to do with the timing and position of its original release, among other factors.

So I present to you, dear reader, a few reasons why Tekken Tag Tournament 2 won't live up to its predecessor.

I remember the launch of the original Tekken Tag in arcades, as well as its eventual release as a launch title for the PS2. Things were much different back then, both in the Tekken universe, and our own. For starters, let's look at Tekken 3, the entry that made the series accessible to everyone (due in part to button-masher-friendly character Eddy Gordo).

Tekken 3 presented major changes to the game, as well as its back-story. The smoother, faster gameplay and emphasis on side stepping completely changed the way Tekken played and felt. The new environments and music (still one of the best fighting game OSTs around) were just as memorable as the game itself. Most importantly, the character roster had done something no other fighter has done – It was almost a completely new set of faces. Counting the two hidden characters in the PSX version, only about 30% of the playable characters were from previous games – the rest were completely new to the series. This practice is so rare, that to this day we still see characters in games that by all rights should not be included, but are kept in because of the tournament scene. This is why no one dies in Soul Calibur, despite the weaponry and evil magic surrounding the story. To put it bluntly, Tekken 3 looked, felt, and played differently than either of the past entries in the Tekken series.


This change is exactly what made the original Tekken Tag so successful. Not only did it update the new roster, but it also included nearly every fighter to date. Old and new clashed together. Jin could fight his long dead (back then) father, and Alex could fight Roger! It was a giant celebration of the two different generations of Tekken, mixed together and brought to the future with the then-mysterious PlayStation 2. It was as if someone prettied up Tekken 3, added new modes, and doubled the roster to include everyone you ever loved. The soundtrack was incredible, and the environments were breath-taking (NPC's roamed in the background, a first for the series). Tekken Tag brought two worlds together, while ushering in the next generation of fighting games.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 can do no such thing.

Since the first Tekken Tag, not one main character has been removed. In fact, in the five games since, almost every fighter from Tekken 1 and 2 have returned, their ages nixed and recalculated to somehow keep them looking younger and younger. Fifteen years passed between Tekken 2 and 3 alone. By all accounts, characters like Paul and Bruce should be nearing 50 at this point.


Another problem is the apparent reluctance to add new characters. Between Tekken 4, Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 6, and Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, only 14 new characters have been added to the roster. While this may sound like a lot, remember that Tekken 3 beat this number in just one entry.

Knowing all this, you have to ask: What's going to stop Tekken Tag 2 from feeling like nothing more than an extra mode that should have came packaged with 6?

Think about it. There is no "old meets new" character list. The graphical leap this time around in negligible at best. And Tekken 6 feels exactly like every other entry since Tag. There is no big change to embrace. What's going to make this game really stand out?

Still, some notable changes and additions are coming our way. Rumors claim that the soundtrack is being "inspired" by Tag 1, which is definitely good to hear. Double team grapples, attacks, and counters are being added and emphasized. And they're even introducing new playable characters like female wrestler Julia Chang, J.C., JayCee... Crap. That's not even a new character, is it?


The main attraction here is the "Tag" mode, which has been gone for over a decade. While the long-missed feature will definitely keep the game feeling fresh for some time, I wonder if Tag 2 will have the longevity that the original had. Tekken is one of my favorite game franchises of all time. That said, I can't help but feel like this game has a chance of becoming about as memorable as every Tekken Force mode since Tekken 3.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Want to throw in your own two cents? Do so in the comments below.

Comments (7)
  • crank  - FUN in the sun!

    After playing the game in the arcades in Kagoshima, Japan Ameplaza at ChuoKagoshima station, I gotta say the game rocks.

    The double team feature is both fun and intuitive. Of course this is on the native Japanese arcade platform and may not translate as well to a console port. With that said, it is EXTREMELY FUN! Playing with a crowd of guys and girls (my girlfriend and I played as a King/Armour King team) is fantastic. For the arcade, it leaves Tekken Tag 1 way in the dust.


    Jun Kazama is the last boss again! (she was shadow in the first Tekken Tag and it explicitly shows her changing from Jun into Shadow).

    normal arcade -> Jin Kazama -> Heihachi'n'Jinpachi -> True Ogre ->
    Jun -> Shadow

  • anne 2  - No, just no

    The problem with this article is that its not written by a fan and as such its complete rubbish. I'm way more exicited about this game than I was for the first one mostly because this time TAG is not just a gimmick the 1st tag game did not do anything with this feature the new ones finding way to incorperate your partner in to combo's and item moves and stuff.

    Also TTT1 was full of clones TTT2 everyone now has there own unique way of fighting. Also time and time again its been proven that the fans do not want members of the cast removed they gave jun's style to asuka and people still complained that they wanted jun back. Namco have learnt there lesson. Only change that Namco need to change is the default costumes again I am bloody sick of seeing Nina in that blue thing.

  • jayce

    Actually, I'm a huge fan of Tekken... I've owned every game (and every incarnation of every game), memorized the lore to heart, and even gone as far as to find translated versions of each instruction manual to find what (small, but notable) differences there are in the backstory of each character.

    The thing is, I'm a fan, not a fanboy. I'm perfectly capable of objectively tearing apart the things I hold dear (Tekken and Mass Effect immediately come to mind) and critically look at them for what they are, and more than often, what they aren't. I'm not saying TTT2 won't be an entertaining experience; I'm saying that it won't hold the magic of the original.

  • SugarSoSweet

    Sadly I couldn't agree more with this article. You literally took the words right out of my mouth.

    The main problem is Tekken just refuses to move forward. Tekken 6 just felt exactly like Tekken 5 and Tekken 5 DR and TTT2 is looking like not much is going to change.

    Same fighting style same clothes same win animations/ same characters/ same announcers/ same gameplay style.

    Now in all fairness Tekken 5 was quite different to Tekken 4 in terms of gameplay style but that is the last time we've seen a major change in gameplay style. Tekken 5/DR Tekken 6/BR and TTT2 all have the same combo/juggle heavy style of gameplay.

    Tekken needs to innovate keep the series fresh while staying true to the foundation of what makes it "Tekken" this can be a very difficult task but its not impossible.


    I think it's about time to remove some characters it's time to add and replace some fresh blood in Tekken. As mentioned in the article Tekken 3 added a entirely whole new cast to the game and ditched most of the oldies.

    Add a clothes/facial damage system this can add a sense/depth of realism to the game. They could also make it so characters hair/clothes get wet when they're thrown into water, make hair blow in the wind or have it so the character starts to breath heavily as they're nearing knockout/death, (purely esthetic im talking) visuals and graphics go along way

    Change the announcers voice completely why not a female for a change?

    Win poses are still done in a cutscene like sequence make everything seamless again this will help give a greater sense of realism

    Why not change the art direction? Perhaps a slight emphasis towards more photo-realism?

    Change the pace/Gameplay style, Tekken 3 and 5 did....Make it abit more accessible for beginners and casuals like the older titles not so much memorization on combo patterns and button memorization

    Why not make Jin have a son or heck even a DAUGHTER!!? that whud make things really interesting..(this a...

  • D  - So true...

    I couldn't agree with you more... I have been a looooong following fan of the series since the very first tekken, and the simple truth is that though this series has the potential to be the best fighter ever made and and still has a solid fighting engine (minus the occasional hickups) the problem with teh series has been their reluctance to innovate.

    Yes they add a few new characters with every new entry, but the should completely change the old characters..... Yes, its all about gameplay, but sometimes a fresh coat of pain is really all that is needed.

    Jin was more or less kazuya and Jun combined, who were two characters that were removed from T2. Then in T4 the completely changed his fighting style and brought back Kazuya. fine nothing wrong with that, and it worked. For ppl like paul, juts make him have a son already... or a pupil, taht way you can keep the fighting style and add a few new things to the new paul. Heihachi should be simply out of the game by now, and carry over most of his style to kazuya....

    These radical changes need to be implemented for the series to move forward. they need to be willing to cut things off.

    That aside, you will be mistaken if you think tag 2 is gonna change anything. Its really nothing more than a collectors edition. The fact that matches get played with teams is all they change they really ever need to make.

    Lets wait for tekken 7.

  • GrimmTrixX

    SO what youre saying is they wanna be DOA4... Female luchador, tag team grapple moves, every character from the series for the most part... lets hope this time, when your partner is defeated, that the match continues until both members are down. I honestly HATE the whole "one teammate loses their health so the round is over" BS. Cuz we all know we get those moments where you mash the "tag out" button and your character just WONT tag out for some reason, this making you lose the round. I will play the hell out of Tekken Tag 2 if they would just do that.
    P.S. I miss Gon

  • InitialDriftS13

    Really don't think they want to be like DOA4. That would be a step down for Tekken. Female wrestlers aren't anything new. Rainbow Mika from Street Fighter, Tina and Lisa from DOA. This new character will also probably use a mix of wrestling and Capoeira which Elena from Street fighter and Tekken's own Christie use... so none of that is new. I honestly think the thing that will be the difference maker with this game is the way the game will feel. If you play any Tekken game from Tag down you will instantly see how different and drastic the game feels compared to Tekken 4,5,6. I hope it feels like the older Tekken titles, less stiff.

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