In anticipation for the release of Tekken 7 early next year, we here at Untoldgaming.com are looking back at the Tekken series in our very own retrospective. If you missed Round 1 you can check that out right here! If you are returning, then let’s get started! ROUND 2! FIGHT!
So as we are now aware after last month’s entry, Tekken was a ground-breaking fighting game, it had it all. Good (for the time) graphics, tight martial arts gameplay, a crazy as hell cast and a silly story about people getting thrown off cliffs. Namco had struck gold with the release of Tekken. Namco almost immediately started their engines revving up for the release of the next title in the series; Tekken 2.
Tekken 2 dropped in North American arcades a mere 11 months after the first game hit arcades around the world and essentially re-revolutionised the fighting game market by not only replicating everything that was loved with the first Tekken but by revamping and improving it! (It is safe to say Namco had some raw talent working for them!)
But enough of that for now! We have Tekken‘s totally rad and not at all hilarious story to return too!
What is interesting is that the console release of Tekken contained FMV endings for each of the games characters showing them winning that “dolla dolla” which would become a series tradition, however only one or two of these endings were considered cannon. In this case it was Kazuya Mishima whose ending was the canonical continuation of the series.
So after knocking the piss out of his papa, Kazuya Mishima threw Heihachi from the same cliff that his papa threw him from as a child. Kazuya took the reins of the Mishima Zaibatsu and proceeded to be a massive dickhead. Dumping money into all kinds of illegal ventures including kidnapping and experimentation on endangered animal species (more on this later) and just in general being a bit of a tosser.
During all of this an animal rights officer; Jun Kazama is out to arrest Kazuya for those illegal tests he been running and to free him of the mysterious power surrounding him. Also Heihachi climbed back up from the cliff that Kazuya launched him off and is out to get some payback and also get his company back.
Kazuya, noticing all the attention he is getting, announces The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2 with a whopping one trillion dollar prize! As Kazuya anticipated, it is enough to draw out his enemies and anyone looking for the stone cold cash. Sometime during stomping contenders into dust, Kazuya made some sweet love with Jun Kazama (the details are a little hazy on this) and prepared for the final challenge.
This was none other than his sweet old papa, Heihachi Mishima. Possibly on tilt by the fact that Heihachi survived, or maybe out of practice from beating scrubs for the whole tournament, Kazuya got his ass kicked. During this brutal beat-down, Kazuya released his Devil Gene which transformed him into the winged, purple skinned, laser firing monster known only as Devil… Who got his ass stomped by Heihachi once again. Taking their family tradition of throwing each other off cliffs one step further, Heihachi threw Kazuya into a live volcano and took his company back… I mean shit, talk about overkill.
Tekken 2 not only raised the stakes of the story with volcano death but they also put plenty of time and effort into making the game look much better. The graphics saw a significant update, the stages while still being a 2D image printed onto 3D space, looked much better with vibrant colours and each stage having its own unique soundtrack. Which was in the original game but for Tekken 2, there were more stages and more characters. Character models looked crisper and less blocky, and the animations that were rather stiff in the original looked so much smoother, overall making a far more visually pleasing game.
Not content with just delivering an improved experience, the team over at Namco refined the gameplay giving characters access to a running charge which would knock opponents off their feet, and the addition of what would become a series staple: “The 10-Hit Combo String,” which allowed players who knew the string to decimate their enemies with a brilliantly animated, and devastating long combo.
On top of refining everything that could have been refined from Tekken to Tekken 2, Namco also put tons of time and resources into the home console port of Tekken 2. On top of the standard Arcade battle which, like the predecessor, rewarded completion by unlocking the FMV ending of the character you beat it with, the game had “Team Battle” where you could assign up to 8 characters per player and attempt to decimate your enemy’s team. There is also a survival mode which had you fighting an endless wave of opponents to get a high score, a time attack which had you play through a series of fights for time, and the game came with a rather in-depth training mode which had command lists for the large list of combos each character could perform.
On top of all of this content the game had secret characters to unlock from the final bosses- “Kazuya” and “Devil”- to the middle bosses, like “Bruce Irving” and “Kunimitsu”. However, on top of these unlockable characters, Namco was able to sneak in some hidden characters which could be fought by meeting a target in Arcade Mode, something akin to other games in the genre, like Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter. These warriors were “Roger” the boxing Kangaroo, and “Alex” the boxing raptor! Those animal experiments mentioned earlier were to create “Roger” and “Alex”… Just let that sink in.
Tekken 2 packed in all of the content that its predecessor had and more. The effort of the team over at Namco was well received as Tekken 2 was a best seller in the UK. The game was rated extremely highly among critics and was even praised as being better than the arcade release, which was a rare accolade to be given to a fighting game at the time.
And on top of all that, Tekken 2 still holds up today! Yeah it feels a bit on the dated side, but the characters, music, and stages all bring back heaps of Nostalgia. I can honestly remember sinking probable days of play time. Spamming Marshall Law’s back-flip kicks and playing the game so much that the FMV endings became unwatchable due to over-use. I cannot recommend enough that anyone with a PS Vita, PSP or PS3, go and download Tekken 2 immediately! Go and enjoy yourself a slice of nostalgic gaming from a simpler time when the craziest thing in a Tekken game was a boxing dinosaur.
Enjoy that? What are your fond memories of Tekken 2? Drop your thoughts down in the comment section below and check back next month for the next instalment where we are going to tackle Tekken 3… It’s going to get crazy! Do not forget to follow us on twitter @UntoldGaming_ in the meantime, for all of your latest in the world of gaming visit untoldgaming.com