Tekken Tag Tournament
Tekken is back (as if you ever really thought it was gone) and better than ever. Just released in Japan on March 30, roughly a month after the release of the PlayStation 2, Tekken Tag Tournament (along with Ridge Racer V) is arguably the most anticipated title in the PS2's first-generation salvo of software. Much like Soul Calibur for the Dreamcast, Tekken Tag Tournament was originally developed on Namco's PlayStation-based System-12 hardware. What this has enabled Namco to do is hone the gameplay on the technologically dated arcade hardware, then subsequently jack up the graphics "to eleven" on the PS2's infinitely more powerful hardware.
So what does that mean for Johnny Gamer? For starters, just about every character that's ever appeared in a Tekken game (a total of 38 if you include "body-doubles" like Kuma/Panda and Alex/Roger) is assembled here. Kazuya is back from the bottomless chasm that Heihachi dumped him in at the end of Tekken 2, but novelty manga-character Gon the dinosaur has been jack-booted to the great unknown. Doctor Boskonovitch is also on hiatus, presumably lying down on his back somewhere.
As the title indicates, this is Tekken, with the ability to tag a partner in and out of action at the press of a button. This makes for some interesting strategies and intriguing match-ups. Combine power and speed? A defensive expert with an offensive powerhouse? TTT offers a multitude of possibilities, but it's all up to you to decide. It's not a fight to the finish as in games like Marvel vs. Capcom; instead, the match is decided by the first player to knock out any one of his opponent's characters.
As you'd expect, the graphics in TTT take a huge leap over what the PlayStation is capable of. While the arcade setup had loads of RAM to store the four characters, the original PlayStation could never handle this much data. The PS2 obviously is a different matter. Higher polygon-count character models, 3D backgrounds (no 2D wrap-arounds like the PS version of T3) and hi-res, 60FPS graphics are all part of the basic package. In addition to the usual versus, survival and training modes, there is also a "secret" mode called Tekken Bowl, which lets you take to the lanes with your favorite Tekken characters. Expect this to be a launch title when the PS2 arrives in the U.S. this fall.
Download Tekken Tag Tournament
Namco's first PlayStation title, due out on launch day in Japan (March 4, 2000), is none other than Tekken Tag Tournament. But this is no ordinary arcade port. If you thought Soul Calibur got a nice upgrade when it made the jump from arcade to DC, then get a load of this baby. The in-game graphics look nearly as good as the CG intros from the arcade TTT, and the backgrounds have all been completely redone. Needless to say, everything looks absolutely incredible and it all moves effortlessly at a brisk 60 fps. No word yet on any new modes or options, but we've got plenty of screens to keep you satisfied while we wait for new info to surface. (And for those of you who are doubting--yes, these pics are all real-time direct from the game.)