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Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Talking Tekken Tag Tournament 2

We're on the first leg of the Namco Bandai Showcase tour and we're watching Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada lampoon colleague and Tales producer Hideo Baba from on stage.

"He's single," Harada-san delights in telling the small audience of journalists and local PRs, pointing out the developer at the front of the compact cinema, just sitting down after his own presentation.

"He likes both boys and girls," he continues, going on to explain his clearly flustered companion's like and dislikes. Five minutes later, he'll be making another barb at the expense of the Tales team as he outlines Tekken Tag 2's DLC plans ("unlike Tales, our DLC will be free").

It might seem odds with the comments, but Harada-san comes off as quiet, almost reserved on seeing him. But that's due to his juxtaposition to either overly-enthusiatic Capcom producer
Yoshinori Ono, who Harada has played straight man to for Street Fighter X Tekken promotional duties, or as today, when he stand next to a colourfully-dressed man with a huge tank strapped to his head (who is promoting Wii U title Tanks! Tanks! Tanks!).

Dressed smart casual and rarely seen without a pair of sunglasses adorning his face, the long-term Tekken producer is still enthusiastic in discussing the series, and peppers his responses to questions with dry chuckles and lightning quick exchanges with translator and right hand man Michael Murray.

We sit down with the two late in the afternoon of what turns out to be the first event of a five-day whistle-stop tour through five countries. With presentation duties done - announcing new fighters, modes and more for the game - and interviews winding down, the duo are look relatively unfazed after a day's work.

I understand you're off to Germany next.

Yea, one country a day.

You guys always look cool: relaxed, well groomed. Like the travelling doesn't effect you at all.

Maybe it's the first day? [laughs]

I see you next week and you'll be dishevelled messes.

Exactly. We've got UK, Germany, Spain, France, Italy. Five this time.

I'm glad I've got you now then so the questions haven't ground you down already.

You understand a great deal. [laughs]

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You've rammed this game full of modes. Is this just the logical step for the Tekken series, or to reaffirm that Tekken Tag is as an important entry into the series as the numbered versions?

Although story wise its not like 5 and 6 with that progression, gameplay wise there's a lot of new play mechanics that we're adding and challenges we've done there in the content. It's like we've taken everything that's ever been in a Tekken and put it in here. It's the ultimate Tekken.

Although it doesn't have as fleshed out a story as other installments, even so, it still has the character ending movies - one for each character. And they're longer than they previously were, almost the length of a movie, around ninety minutes in total.

I would have thought after the release of the Tekken movie you guys would have favoured shorter sequences.

We did include quite a bit with the movies, but not just that, but the approach we took. Up until now its just been CG, but now we have an anime taste or CG, or almost real, puppet-looking - children's storybook style. The different approaches we've taken to the movies is something new as well.

Doing that for over fifty characters is mind-boggling, and these are characters you've been with throughout the series. Are you sick of any them, and think to yourself "there's got to be a way out of doing movies for these fighters"?

[Huge laughs] (Harada-san in english) YES! Yes. That's right. [more laughter]. There are some characters that we are pretty...tired of.

But Tekken's still...the last installment sold almost four million worldwide. So even the characters who aren't used very much, like the usage that we get from the arcade data and such - when we say they're not popular, that's what we mean. But even then, when its four million in total, that's still several thousand for any particular character, fans who are going to be angry if we get rid of the character. So we do have to continue to work on that.

But in that vein, there's an interesting movie in the game that centres on these unpopular characters, so that's something to look forward to in the game.

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Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Tekken Tag Tournament 2