Liam: When Bryan Adams sang that he played it til his fingers bled, I always assumed he was talking about Tekken Tag Tournament. I certainly am, when I get drunk and sing karaoke.
Smashing our way into the naughties – Tekken Tag hit a perfect sweet spot with me. Tekken 3 was probably the finest fighting game up until that point, TTT took it just a little step further utilising that same engine with the PS2 hardware and expanding the roster. The tag team fight system created an element of strategy to the fighting that brought an extra level to the game – not enough to detract from the core mechanics but enough to make it more interesting.
Myself and Joel were both pretty handy at this back it the day and one thing is for certain, neither of us are anywhere near as good as we used to be at this game. We actually managed (playing as a tag team) to beat the game on the hardest difficulty multiple times with me playing as Hwoarang and Joel as Yoshimitsu. We had the benefit of literally hours of this game non-stop always playing as random characters. That was the best thing about a cast of around twenty or so fighters meant that no two fights were the same and we got to learn the relative merits of all the fighters. Sadly it also meant every once and a while someone drew Eddy – fuck Eddy.
I actually used to think I was quite good at Tekken, that was before I saw the level people play to online. People take this game very seriously with frame timings down to split seconds making all the difference. Personally I always feel that momentum has a large part to play in games like this. The winner of a fight is the one that controls and bosses the momentum with even fights few and far between.
Joel: For me, this is the crown jewels of beat-em-ups. I haven’t played a better one than this.
Featuring just about every character (to-date) from Tekken lore, this game had more player choice than anything before. That, coupled with a kick-ass soundtrack and upgraded graphics, meant this one was in for the long haul. If you were in my circle of friends in the early 2000’s, you had to be good at Tekken and Tony Hawks PS – that was about all we did in those days. The feeling of absolute superiority when “Doing a room” (beating everyone present, back to back, without a loss) was great, especially when you had four or five people playing. The only downside was having to relinquish the controller afterwards, though that did free up your hands for a victory celebration of your choosing.
It got to the point where we decided that we would always have to play with randomly selected characters rather than our chosen favourites – this added an interesting new dimension – and meant learning a lot of moves. Given that Liam and I have pre-chosen our teams for the 8-man team battle, some of that challenge should be eased but for the rest of the hour I suspect we will be doing randomly generated tag teams so it will be very interesting to see how many of the moves have stuck in memory.
Given that I’ve been playing TTT:2 since xmas AND Tekken Revolution comes out TOMORROW :D, I have much more recent play experience than Liam so I’m hoping this will give me the edge, but I’m going to need any advantage I can grab, as Liam is certainly a formidable Tekken’er. Time will tell…