EVO: Harada Details Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue

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EVO: Harada Details Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue

I spent the weekend at the EVO Championship Series, a mecca for fighting-game competitors and home to the biggest Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tekken 6, Mortal Kombat tournaments in the world . This year, I’m told, EVO attendance spiked sharply to nearly 8,000 attendees — enough to strain the confines of the biggest ballroom in one of Las Vegas’s larger resort hotels.

With EVO’s popularity soaring in recent years, it’s become common to see legendary figures in fighting game design prowling the demo stations, studying player reactions and answering questions. At EVO I caught up with Katsuhiro Harada, the outgoing game director for Tekken since its inception on the PSone. I particularly wanted to discuss this November’s PS3-exclusive Tekken Hybrid, the upcoming Blu-ray compilation that will include CG film Tekken: Blood Vengeance 3D, an enhanced version of the seminal PS2 fighter Tekken Tag Tournament, and an appetizer in the form of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue.


PlayStation.Blog: How are you managing the creation of producing so many Tekken projects? It seems stressful: You’re working on Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken X Street Fighter, and now Tekken Hybrid which includes a new Tekken CG film and Tekken Tag Tournament HD.
Katsuhiro Harada, Tekken Director: It is tough to manage all of these projects. But rather than having some sort of special method, the secret has more to do with the core team working on Tekken for so long that everyone knows what needs to be done. We’re right on top of things.

PSB: I think a lot of Tekken fans are going to be excited to hear about Tekken Tag Tournament HD, which comes with Tekken Hybrid this November. What has been enhanced?
Harada: We wanted to keep the feeling of the game itself from the PS2, so we haven’t changed a lot there. The graphics aren’t just upscaled or anything, we actually re-created a lot of the in-game textures. A lot of work went into refining the graphics. Another reason we’re doing it now is because a lot of people in Europe played the PAL version, which was a slower version of the game. Now they’ll be able to get the full experience here. There are also younger players out there who never played it, and I think it will appeal to them.

PSB: Tekken Hybrid will also include Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue. How many characters will we be getting, and which ones?
Harada: Ahhh! [laughs knowingly] Well, for Prologue, we’re mainly focusing on the characters lineup that appears in the movie, Tekken Blood Vengeance 3D. We want them to have the spotlight. But we can’t say all of the characters that we have planned yet….but as you’ve seen with Devil and Ling Xiaoyu, we matched their costumes in Prologue to the movie. We also include a 3D model viewer in Tekken Hybrid. It’s a good package.

PSB: Do you plan on supporting stereoscopic 3D in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue?
Harada: Yes, we do. We haven’t really announced a lot about it yet, because we’re still working on it. We weren’t quite sure if it would end up in the final version. But…we’re about 85% sure that 3D will make it into the final version.

PSB: What made you want to add stereoscopic 3D support for Tekken?
Harada: There are several factors. The movie, Blood Vengeance, is also in 3D on Blu-ray. Not only that, but our programmers and core staff were quite interested in 3D as a new challenge to tackle. So it all came together. Since Tekken is a three-dimensional fighter [in terms of fighting and movement style], I think a lot of people will like seeing what 3D adds to our gameplay model.


PSB: I remember Tekken 6 being a bit controversial when it first came out — with walls hits and juggles and bounds, some people were annoyed by how long combos could go on. How will you balance this juggle-heavy gameplay with the addition of a tag partner?
Harada: There are some people who say the combos are too long and that it gets out of hand. The flip-side is, if you’re the person doing the combos, it’s really entertaining and fun. But you have to look at it in a new light with Tekken Tag 2. A lot of tag combos aren’t as long as those in Tekken 6 but they’re of strategic value: they reduce your opponent’s red recovery gauge. So you may wish to play that way. Also, after the bound, you can do a “Tag Assault” where you and your partner pummel the opponent. It looks really over the top, and it does a lot of damage, but the flipside is that you lose your red recovery gauge. So there’s a strategic element to the tag juggles — the goal isn’t to just perform the longest combo possible. You really have to choose the best time and place for each combo that you use.

PSB: I understand that you’re veeery early in development for Tekken X Street Fighter (the Namco-produced, Tekken-centric answer to Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken). What’s your overall vision? Have you thought about how you might implement fireballs in a Tekken setting?
Harada: [laughs knowingly] Obviously, the Street Fighter characters will have to have their fireballs. Ryu without a fireball just wouldn’t be…right. Obviously we’ll need it. When you look at executing a fireball in a 2D setting, it works almost like a jab. It keeps your opponent where you want them. When we bring fireballs into Tekken X Street Fighter, there are two different ways we could go. It could be used as something similar to keep your opponent in the place you want, or it could be some kind of a special move or powered-up version of their techniques. We’ve not decided on what route we want to take with this yet.

Another element to think about implementing fireballs in Tekken is, how do you avoid them? When you play a 2D game like Street Fighter, you obviously can’t go back and forth in the screen — you usually jump over it. But in three-dimensional fighting games like Tekken you can sidestep. So do we want players to jump over fireballs? Or is it okay to sidestep them? That’s something we’re not decided on, we haven’t had enough time to look into it. We have a lot of staff, myself included, who grew up liking Street Fighter. I’m really confident that we can come to a good balance between the two worlds.

PSB: I work for PlayStation, and I’m a huge Tekken fan, so I have to ask: Are you interested in developing for PS Vita at some point?
Harada: Oh! [laughter] I have to be really careful in how I phrase this so it doesn’t get taken out of context. But since you’re a Tekken fan…you probably know the answer to that, right? [laughs]

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13 Author Replies

  • u need to be working on tekken x streetfighter. since capcoms workin and almost done streetfighter x tekken, cuz thats goina kill the games concepts to be released too far apart

  • Can we get Tekken 3 on PSN please ><

    Details on Tekken X Street Fighter would be great.

    Can't wait for Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag is one of my favorite Tekken releases and I'm excited about TTT2. I just hope you guys bring back the various Jin Kazama's for TTT2. Would add extra depth to the game.

  • Totally getting Tekken Hybrid.

  • Sweet ! will be getting the hybrid stuff for sure. My 3Dtv is ready and waiting!

  • Is PSN down?? I can’t sign in…

  • I’m getting this on day one! Been a Tekken fan for 15 years! Tekken never disappoints.

    • I’ve also been a fan since day one. It’s come a loooong way…have you ever tried to go back to T1 or T2? 8)

  • Looks good!

  • the prologue will have trophies?? XD

  • I’m a long-time Tekken fan (since the first one on PSX!) but the last interation of the series on PS3 disapointed me…especially the graphics wich were always a strong point for Tekken…and something more “normal” for a fighting game since there is a lot less characters on screen at the same time compared to other games…but the last one was “meh”…really AVERAGE. : ( …the screen was flickering, it was not clean at all… Hope TAG2 will look as good as these screens on PS3 and be as smooth as butter.

    Can’t wait to see what they’ll do with Tekken X SF too!

    I really hope something goog will happen to Tekken to make it feel as fresh as the last MK game! Go for it Namco, just put as much stuff as in the days of Tekken 2/3/Tag! (bonus modes and all!)

  • @2 Why? Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection is much better anyway and supports online.

  • but im all over this being 3D…

  • Perfect interview Sid love the final question and Harada-San “open-ended” answer. Of course day 1 purchases for me “ALL VERSIONS” see you on the battle field.

    The PS Blog-Stalker

    • Thank you sir! ^_^ I’m greatly looking forward to Tekken Hybrid. The fact that it included TTT HD and TTT2 Prologue caught me by surprise!

  • am I supposed to know what this is about? What is EVO? I’m too lazy to look it up or read the article

  • @ Francision69 Hey man I’m with you but I been a Tekken fan for 10years…and Tekken was the first game I played on PS1…and with no doubt is the best fight game ever made…I need hybrid and TAG 2 like I need breath.AWESOMENESS…

  • I’m not sure so…where it happens EVO?

  • TEKKEN TAG??? OMG!!! me and my roommate played the original every night for like 3 years and still saw new combos n stuff ! Tekken is THE best fighting game ever ! am looking forward to it”s release !!

  • Harada sounds like he hates the vita/handhelds lol. I’m more curious to see tekken x SF then to see SF x tekken tbh cause the sf characters will probably be overpowering in SF x tekken.

  • I can’t wait to get the Tekken Hybrid on Christmas this year with 3 other games I want, and will Tekken x Street Fighter possibly be released in the year of 2013.

    • Tekken X Street Fighter (the Namco-created game) is extremely early in development. No clue when it will hit, so keep your eyes peeled for what Harada says next. I’m definitely not expecting it in 2012.

  • Can we get Tekken Kinect/PS Move sometime in the future please Namco? I can Imagine that kind of stuff going on Kinect. Also can you make a Tekken fighitng simulator or something like that for all casinos worldwide, a new way of gambling to win something like $70, 000, 000. As long as we have Live monitors in Las Vegas, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, etc. I’m Game. Thank you.

  • Any chance we can get Death by Degrees HD Remake or upleaded to PSN? I only ask because Tag gets a HD Remake and i love that but Death by Degrees was a good game, at the very least good enough to be uploaded to PSN.

    • I haven’t played that game in ages! Haven’t heard a thing about it, Namco would be the only group to make something like that happen.

  • It’s strange that there’s no a Tekken HD Collection including Tekken 4, Tekken Tag and Tekken 5(DR Of Course) on a Pack… with Tekken 3 as Extra with new visuals… That’s my favorite title of the saga together with Tekken 5…
    For the while I’ll pre-order The Hybrid so I can test by my self how is developing the new game

  • Can’t wiat for Tekken Hybrid…

    Oh Man! i hope they get Tekken x Street Fighter out soon the wait is taking so long… AWW!

    Also lets get TTT2 on PS3 STAT! LOL!

    Go TEKKEN!

    by: DCS

  • Wait, you were there? But I didn’t see you at the Tag 2 line at all. I guess our match will have to wait, again. Maybe at next years GDC since i live in the bay area!

    • I was! I was busy doing interviews and the like, so I didn’t have a lot of time to stand in line unfortunately. :) Next time! I’d love to play against you. My Dragunov is unstoppable :)

  • Its feels good to be a Tekken fan right now. Can’t wait for TTT2 and Tekken X Street Fighter to hit PS3.

  • Finally no more super juggles. Tt took a while to learn but i really didn’t like it. it seems when they added that Tekken became the fighting game where the winner is determined by who has the longest juggle. Before it was just like who had the best strategy. I’m Glad to see they brought that back

  • Tekken tag hd alone makes this a must buy. It’s a shame I have to wait till December to play this.

  • I play Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Blazblue, but for many years my favorite fighting game franchise has been Tekken. If a fighting game is the undisputed leader of the asian competitive scene for 4 years straight (arcade release for Tekken 6 was in 2007), you know it’s doing things right.

    I think Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a step in the right direction. It takes everything that was good in Tekken 6, and improves upon it. So we have pretty much all of the characters in Tekken 6, plus returning characters (Ogre, Jinpachi, Jun). We have all the mechanics of Tekken 6, plus new mechanics that add extra depth to what already existed: tag assault for juggle variation, tag crash for new oki mechanic, netsu for adding more complexity and fairness to the rage system, tag throw, tag throw break and devil transformation, among others.

    Regarding Tekken Hybrid, day one buy for me. I would buy the bluray of the movie alone, but having an HD remix of TTT and an exclusive demo of TTT2 in the same disc? That’s a lot of incentive!

    P.S.: Hey Sid, you still owe me a Tekken 6 match! Your Dragunov is no match for my Alisa!

  • I love the answer to the last question. Will Tekken come to PSvita? My PSP is my portable tekken machine.

  • What did he mean by that?
    PSB: I work for PlayStation, and I’m a huge Tekken fan, so I have to ask: Are you interested in developing for PS Vita at some point?
    Harada: Oh! [laughter] I have to be really careful in how I phrase this so it doesn’t get taken out of context. But since you’re a Tekken fan…you probably know the answer to that, right? [laughs]

    I hope that means yes, I’m looking forward to PS Vita more than i did the PS3!!

  • All I have to say is it will be EPIC

  • all this Tekken talk, i had to boot up Tekken 5:DR last night ^__^ first to 20 sparring with a good friend…. he got to 20 before me tho : (

  • I know I’m late but does Tekken Hybrid come with Tekken Tag hd and the CGI movie?

  • tekken my all time best fighting game franchise i have almost every game of it :) im hyped for these ttt2 looks promising and i kinda miss playin tekken 6 athough its like juggle mania witch is kinda annoying but il learn it and best wishes to namco and the tekken comunity :)


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