Tekken Tag Tournament
If the quality of a game was based purely on longevity, then Tekken 3 might very well be the best 3D fighter ever made. Since its release in the spring of 1997. Tekken 3 has fostered an impressive community of gamers dedicated to competing with each other in arcades nationwide. For Namco, timing is everything. Along with Namco's "time-release" system which introduced hidden characters to the roster, an amazing port of Tekken 3 to the PlayStation made sure the game reached the maximum amount of gamers for the most amount of time. Now two years after its original release, Tekken 3 will receive a significant update.
Tekken Tag Tournament, endearingly labeled Tekken 3.5 by magazines and fansites, sits precariously between the last hurrah of Namco's System 12 arcade board and the dawning of Sony's PlayStation 2. But to say Tekken Tag Tournament serves purely as a strategic placeholder until the release of Tekken 4 would be presumptuous. Instead, Namco has designed Tekken Tag Tournament as fan service for all the loyal followers of the series. This latest arcade upgrade will have an initial roster of 20 playable characters, with another 12 slated for release at the mercy of Tekken Tag's time-release system. The 15 Tekken 3 returnees include: Jin Kazama, Paul Phoenix, Forest Law,
Anna Williams, Lei Wulong, King, Nina Williams, Yoshimitsu, Ling Xiaoyu, Hwoarang, Eddy Gordo, Bryan Fury, Julia Chang, Gun Jack and Heihachi Mishima. Back are five fighters from Tekken 2: Jun Kazama, Michelle Chang, Baek Doo San, Armor King and Ganryu. There are 12 additional question marks reserved for time-release characters. Although Namco could not comment on any time-release specifics, they did hint at the likelihood that many otherTekken 2 favorites will be joining the cast. Since the game has an arcade debut in June, Namco has set an aggressive time-release schedule--all 12 characters should be available by fall.
Tekken Tag Tournament consists of two-man team battles that last for the duration of one round. To implement "tagging," Namco has added a fifth button. One can use the tag button in a number of liberal ways.
Tapping the tag button will quickly swap your teammates in and out of battle. Fighters who are pulled from action can recover a limited amount of energy; but unlike the model used in Marvel Vs. Capcom, you don't forfeit health recovery by swapping your characters back and forth. You'll need to keep an active eye on health bar(s) though, because one K.O. is all it takes to lose the match. Namco is still debating internally whether victory conditions should require both characters on a team to be K.O.'ed before winning the match. The primary concern here is that novice players may find themselves out of a game too quickly. By forcing players to swap characters, Namco is emphasizing Tekken Tag Tournament's central purpose.
There are a variety of advanced uses for the new tag button, all of which will drastically alter the way Tekken 3 (in the traditional sense) is played. By timing the "tag," players can use it to tech roll; sidestep followed by a tag out, then dig in with a fierce combo; switch out after a knockdown to avoid ground hits; pop your opponent up in the air, then tag in your second character to carry on a juggle combo; or use the tag button as a dodging tactic in the right situation. Tekken Tag Tournament will require players to completely re-examine their playing style and adopt new strategies in order to compete against other arcade goers.
Since Tekken Tag Tournament operates on the same hardware as Tekken 3 (Namco's prolific System 12 board), it looks graphically identical to its predecessor. To give this Tekken some differentiation, Namco has supplied visual touches that give the action more realism and the animation more grace. Subtle details like new block animations for stagger hits or delay animations for blocked sweep attacks have been added for extra refinement. Many new moves have also been endowed to both Tekken 3 and Tekken 2 characters. To bring the Tekken 2 cast into a full 3D fighting arena, each of the five returning fighters will have a full range of new moves and side-throws. Aside from different colored costumes, Bryan, Jin and Anna all sport a distinctly different look than in their Tekken 3 outing.
This summer, we can expect to see Namco proactively promoting their latest fighter. Word from our man-on-the-inside is that a national Tekken Tag Tournament will take place sometime this fall. Regional winners will meet with contestants from other states to fight in the national championships. Then as a finale, the best players from the U.S. will get to challenge Japan's elite Tekken Tag players for the ultimate tag battle. To get the latest tournament dates and information, visit the Web site www.tekkentagtournament.com. Electronic Gaming Monthly will definitely be keeping tabs on the progress of this exciting event in the months to come.
MANUFACTURER - Namco
THEME - Fighting
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
2016-07-07 Tekken Tag Tournament game added.