Katsuhiro Harada, director, told us that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for consoles wasn’t just an arcade version and was only 10% complete. I thought we’d be forced into tag matches with only a handful of playable characters fighting in one, at most two, areas. I was pleasantly surprised to see a hearty roster with over 40 characters, multiple arenas, and the ability to test out the 1-on-1, 1-on-2 or 2-on-2 modes from Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited.
For the first match, my opponent and I chose Tag mode, which meant we would use two characters. It was Roger Jr. and Panda (me!) against Jaycee and Lili. I took a few hits while getting accustomed to the control scheme, which should be familiar if you played the original Tekken Tag Tournament. Moves were easy to pull off and I could easily switch between the two characters with a tap of a shoulder button. Since I was the more inexperienced player, it gave me a chance to see how a more skilled opponent could use the tag system. As Jaycee and Lili attacked and chained combos together, I could see them whittling down my life gauge – including the red part that recovers. The other player was relentless and kept me from tagging Panda to save the day as Roger Jr. was pummeled. Since only one character’s life bar has to be depleted to win in a tag match, it wasn’t long before Roger Jr. hit the ground.
Our second fight was also a tag match, but I switched characters. I sent Devil Jin and Ling Xiaoyu against Christie Monteiro and Zafina. I faced defeat again, but this time I noticed that almost saved my team. Devil Jin was pinned against a wall and in desperation I had hit the tag button to send Ling out. I hoped to break the constant barrage of fists and feet. As Ling flew out, it provided me an opportunity to temporarily escape. That is, until Ling was cornered by Zafina against another wall. Ouch!
Since my opponent was using female fighters to kick my butt, I decided to try going into the next match using only Alisa, while my opponent went with Ogre and Hwoarang in a 1-on-2 bout. I used Alisa before so I felt much more confident but was worried I might be at a disadvantage using only one character. However, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 compensates players who choose to fight with only one character. My attacks were stronger and Alisa took less damage. Maybe it was because my opponent later admitted he’d never used Ogre before and picked him because he looked cool or because Alisa has arms that transform into chainsaws – either way I finally gave him a beatdown. Noticing the line forming behind us, I left on a high note with my win.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will be available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September.