God is a Geek was privileged to get some exclusive time with Katsuhiro Harada, the man currently in charge of the Tekken franchise, to sit down and talk about Tekken X Street Fighter, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and the future of the Tekken franchise across other forms of media. He also divulged some exiting back story information on new character Jayce that will be sure to interest fans of the series.
Lets get this out of the way first: Tekken X Street Fighter is still a long way off. Harada-san confirmed that it was Capcom’s turn first with Street Fighter X Tekken and that Namco wanted to be respectful of that and help support the game when it was released, keeping the spotlight on Yoshinori Ono’s title.
That disappointment out of the way, it gave Harada time to confirm Tekken for Wii U and show Tekken Hybrid, a disc that contains the new 3D animated Tekken movie that Namco announced last month, and a new HD remake of the original Tekken Tag Tournament. This version of the game will include all the characters from the original Tekken Tag as well as the Tekken Bowl mini-game made famous on the PS2 title. No release date was confirmed in the interview but the scuttlebutt around the stand is that it will see a November 2011 release.
There was a large Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Arcade machine sitting in the interview room which prompted the discussion to turn to the new entry in the series. Harada confirmed that all playable characters for the arcade mode have been announced, with luche-libre wrestler Jaycee being the only new addition. He then went onto detail that Jaycee is actually a pun on the name Julia Chang, a Tekken series staple, and that the back story for Jaycee is that a friend of Julia’s is injured whilst wrestling and needs a replacement, so Julia dons a coloured mask and fights under the name Jaycee, on her friends behalf. Harada then explained that she will have a selection of new moves but series experts will see the influence of Julia’s move set on the character.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Harada said that his team at Namco hoped to include more new characters when the game is ported out of arcades and onto consoles. There is also a boss character that is yet to be announced but will not be playable on the current version of the game.
On the gameplay side, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will feel very different to the original game. The new engine will be able to render four characters on screen at once, with teammates able to work together and throw a single opponent. These can lead to four character throw breaks, with every character on screen brawling at one time. This version of Tekken includes some walled arenas and others with breakable ledges, which players can knock the opponent off into a juggle with their second character. There is also a bounce mechanic to aid juggling. Harada thought that the power of the modern consoles had removed the limits placed on players by the original Tekken Tag Tournament and this can only bode well for the final game.
On the visual front, knocked down characters pick up dirt from the environment, changing their look over the course of the fight. The effect is subtle but noticeable, giving the fights an epic feel as if the characters have been battling for days.
There is so much coming for the Tekken series over the coming months and years that it is a good time to be a fan of the series.