The Tekken series is renowned across the world, and Tekken Tag Tournament is one of the most memorable titles in the series.
Why is it so special? Well, you can switch characters mid-combo, giving the 3D fighting formula a nice kick in the pants; but funnily enough, it only took Namco two months to develop the game (according to Tekken steward Katsuhiro Harada).
“The project took 5 minutes to plan and only 2 months to develop (arcade version),” said Harada recently on social media. Harada says the game “made a considerable profit” because the cost was low. To add more context, Tekken 3 was completed, and then management at Namco “ordered [Harada] to release” a 3.5 version “within six months.” At the time, the team was working on a prototype for Tekken 4, which was eventually released on the PS2.
Harada is now the Chief Producer of fighters at the company, and the General Manager of the Original IP games projects at Bandai Namco.
The PS2 development of Tekken Tag Tournament got weird
As for the PS2 version, Harada notes: “The port to the console version had to be done in time for the launch of the PS2 due to the lack of memory on the [PS1,]” Harada said. “The PS2’s specs at the time had too much room for drawing processing, and the 3D modelers were baffled by the number of polygons, which was even more than enough to place many mobs in the battle stages, so they elaborately created even the teeth in the characters’ mouths.”
Tekken Tag Tournament, as a result, had characters rarely opening their mouths because of a resolution problem. The PS2 fighting game is now 23 years old and released to glowing reviews. According to Metacritic, GameSpot gave a 96/100 score. “Graphically, the game has taken a very large leap, and the arcade version of the game looks downright ugly by comparison,” said the reviewer.
Looking forward, Bandai Namco will be releasing Tekken 8 early next year. It’s the beginning of a new era without Heihachi in the picture. It will also include a new Arcade Quest mode.