Home version to be based on Tekken Unlimited Tag Tournament 2 (you can find the game in certain arcades in Singapore) which lets players choose between jumping into the fight with a team of two characters (Tag) or just one (Solo). There is also a “Pair Play” mode also allows two players to fight on the same team; up to four can rumble at once.
When you play Solo and go up against Tag teams, your health regenerates, your attacks hit harder, and you have more chances to go into Rage mode during which you dish out significantly more damage.
Conversely, each character on a Tag player’s team has less health than their Solo counterparts. However, Tag players benefit from having more options at their disposal – like extended combos and a defensive manoeuvre called “Tag Crash”, where your benched partner will dive in from the top to save your point character from taking heavy damage.
In Solo vs Solo and Tag vs Tag matches, the game will function similarly to Tekken 6 and the original incarnation of Tag Tournament 2 – which came out in Japanese arcades September 2011 – respectively.
In a previous interview with 4Gamer, Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada said that the decision to introduce the option to go Solo in Unlimited was prompted by fan feedback
“When we did a survey on Tekken players, the responses returned were split in half. One half absolutely loved Tag Tournament 2, while the other half said that they couldn’t remember the move sets for two separate characters and asked for the home conversion to be released soon so they can practice,” he said.
Rather than simply acquiescing with fan requests and release a console version right away, Harada said that he thought it was a better idea to tackle the existing problem at its root.
At first the Tekken team tried simply giving players the option to pick two of the same characters.
“We tried this out, and it turned out to be extremely discomforting! (Laughs) For instance, if Lili were to launch her opponent and tag out, in comes Lili again… what the?! (Laughs) Also, suppose all four characters on both teams were Lili, we don’t even know what’s going to happen anymore,” Harada told 4Gamer.
“To be sure, we had a bunch of test players come in to give this [duplicate characters on a team] a go. The feedback received was unanimous: ‘this is just not very fun…’ So we had them try 1-vs-1 instead. As this format was pretty similar to past Tekken games, naturally it played well.”
Once 1-vs-1 was included, Harada had the testers tried 1-vs-2. All the testers found this to be incredibly interesting after about five minutes of play, he said. “Tag players who couldn’t beat their opponent would switch to Solo play. And then when they lose as a Solo player, they go back to Tag.”
Harada also talked a little about Pair Play, claiming that this will allow two gamers in a team to defeat stronger opponents that neither can defeat on their own, due to the switching of play styles in the middle of a match. Although initially the two team mates would likely step on each other’s toes (not unlike Asuka and Lili).
Tekken Unlimited Tag Tournament 2 cabinets in Singapore arcades do not appear to support Pair Play at this moment – they are hooked up in head-to-head set-ups – so we’ll just to wait till the console version is out to verify if Harada’s claim is true.
The console version will feature more characters – over 50 as opposed to Unlimited’s 44 – as well as the usual overload of modes you’ve come to expect from Tekken home conversions. One mode that’s been revealed so far is Fight Lab. In it, according to the press release, “players can customize the moves and appearance of new training character, Combot.” Sounds like the create-a-ghost-data feature in the PSP versions of Tekken 5 and 6, albeit in upgraded form.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in September this year – almost exactly one year from the original arcade release (September 2011), and half a year after Unlimited (March 27).