Tekken Tag Tournament presents fans of Namco’s venerable beat-‘em-up series with the opportunity to play as virtually every character to have ever graced our screens, even if the canon states they are brown bread. More importantly, it also lets us create our dream teams by pairing up characters, who in the main story arc, would rather dropkick each other in the face than cooperate for a common purpose -- in this case, give the other team a good pummelling.
Tekken’s convoluted and often ridiculous plot is positively oozing with long-running feuds among its colourful cast of combatants. Whether it’s fathers despising their sons as seen in the Mishima bloodline or rivalry between a hot-headed brawler and a giant grizzly bear (hello Paul, Kuma), you’d be hard pressed to find another series that exudes such bitterness and hatred than Tekken. And that’s why we love Tekken Tag so much, and are even more stoked that it’s got a sequel after all these years; because it eschews all sense of continuity in the narrative and gives us a chance to just enjoy a good punch-up with our favourite Tag Teams.
With Tekken Tag Tournament 2 now shipped to retailers around the globe, PSU.com thought the time was ripe to pick our Top Five Tekken Tag Teams. But this isn’t just any Top Five. Nope, this is a Top Five consisting of pairs who simply can’t stand each other, but nevertheless make for quite a devastating combination.
Got a favourite? Then let us know in the comments section below. Here’s ours.
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Kazuya and Heihachi Mishima
As father and Son, Kazuya and Heihachi represent the most iconic and perhaps longest-running feud in Tekken history. Those of you who aren’t up to speed should probably catch-up on your Tekken lore, but suffice to say it involves Heihachi’s abusive upbringing of Kazuya, some epic rucks, and the odd person being thrown off a cliff/down a volcano. As such, while you won’t find Kaz and his dad going to the footie together or discussing politics, Tekken Tag give us the chance to forget about all those squabbles and put their meaty fists to good use. Kaz and Heihachi are powerhouses and, as practitioners of Mishima-style Karate, make for a near-unstoppable Tag Team in the right hands. While their styles are very similar, there’s more than enough unique moves between the two to differentiate them and mix things up; crucially however, they’re both deadly jugglers and can decimate an opponent’s health bar in seconds if given the chance. Pity they don’t get on, eh?
Bryan Fury and Yoshimitsu
Cyborg psycho Bryan and ninja Yoshimitsu have been at logger heads for some time now, with their rivalry originating from the fact that Fury gave the good Dr. B a pasting and decimated members of Yoshimitsu’s Manji clan. As a result, the pair has tried to kill each other on numerous occasions; in fact, Tekken 5’s ending FMV for both characters ends rather unambiguously with one of them ending up a bloody mess on the floor. That aside, the duo makes for a tantalizing combination of raw power and technical marvel. Bryan is your heavy hitter, with his meaty kicks and punches delivering some health-zapping blows, while Yoshimitsu can confuse and abuse his victims with some intricate juggles and mix-up combos. This is perhaps a more challenging Tag Team due to the fighting styles, but the diversity on offer makes for a satisfying combination. Go on, give it a go.
Lili Rochefort and Asuka Kazama
Feisty females Lili and Asuka are hardly the best of friends, not after Lili suffered a battering at the hands of her college student rival during the King of Iron First Tournament 5. As such, the posh lass has sought revenge ever since, kicking off a feud that continued into Tekken 6 and presumably beyond. As a Tag Team however, they’re one of the best, and shouldn’t be underestimated. Lili’s quirky yet ultimately unique style provides ample opportunity for juggles and she can mix it up with the best of them thanks to an arrange of low-mid attacks. Asuka, meanwhile, isn’t quite the brawler her rival is, but her style – derived from her relative, Jun – is both confusing and surprisingly damaging. The pair complement each other well, and it can prove difficult to keep up with their whirlwind of feet and fists if you can string attacks together and mix things up. Both characters also boast some easy launchers, setting up your opponent for some potentially health-draining juggles – Lili’s hop kick and Jun’s uppercut in particular are great for taking your foe by surprise.
Armor King II and Craig Marduk
Masked Mexican wrestler King has had it in for the hulking Craig Marduk after the latter accidentally killed the original Armor King in a bar brawl some time before Tekken 4. While King II managed to eventually forgive this crime, the second Armor King wasn’t so lenient with his feelings, and swore revenge for the death of his brother. But for a Tag Team, they’re brutally effective. Armor King is more of a brawler than his masked cousin, though still has his fair share of devastating grapples to make mincemeat out of his opponent with. Marduk on the other hand is an absolute tank, and packs equal measures of health-draining blows and some meaty grapples of his own. Both characters are pretty swift too despite their bulky nature, and have some particularly nasty setups for tag-based combos, as a lot of their attacks stun their victim for a good amount of time. Between the two, this Tag Team boasts a fine array of great throws, mid-low attacks and some fantastic juggles, making them one of the best power-based combinations around.
Jin Kazama and Hwoarang
Jin and Hwoarang developed a strong rivalry after the pair battled each other to a draw during the events of Tekken 3. After this, while Jin remained apathetic towards these events, Hwoarang strived to defeat the young Kazama, and would face his opponent again in future tournaments. This culminated in him taking a beating at the hands of Devil Jin. As such, you won’t find the pair going for a pint down the local boozer together anytime soon, but they make great partnership in the ring. Jin’s traditional karate style marries well with Hwoarang’s fancy footwork, and the disparity between each style – Jin’s a bit of a bruiser while Hwoarang’s style is more intricate – makes for a devastating combination of tactics when used correctly. As a result, your opponent is going to have a tough time adapting to these radically different styles; throw in the fact both Jin and Hwoarang are excellent jugglers, and this is one Tag Team that is sure to cause more than a few headaches.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is available now for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.