PlayStation cover art
August 1995 (TES2/VER.A)
September 29, 1995 (TES2/VER.B and TES3/VER.B)
|Mode(s)||Up to two players|
|Arcade system||Namco System 11|
Tekken 2 (鉄拳2?) is the second installment in the Tekken fighting game series. It was first released in arcades in 1995, and later released for the PlayStation in 1996. The original arcade version of the game was released in Tekken 5's Arcade History mode for the PlayStation 2, in 2007 for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable via the PlayStation Network, and in 2009 for Zeebo.
There are ten playable characters in the game's arcade version and up to twenty-five fighters, including eight new ones in the console version. The home version also introduced new, now-staple game modes to the series. Tekken 2 was a massive critical as well as commercial success. It was succeeded by Tekken 3 in 1997.
The gameplay in Tekken 2 is much like its predecessor with a few additions. It continues to use 2D backgrounds in its stages, an infinite playing field, and a fighting system that utilizes four buttons: left punch, right punch, left kick, and right kick. Distinct additions included attack reversals for some characters, back throws, chain-throws, and a sidestep unique to two characters, Kazuya Mishima and Heihachi Mishima. However, Yoshimitsu has a spinning sidestep move that lowers his health. Tackles were also modified to inflict damage when running from a greater distance. Each time the game is beaten with one of the default available characters in arcade mode, the associated sub-boss character becomes selectable.
Tekken 2 also introduced various modes that would become staples to the series. These include Survival mode, Team Battle mode, and Time Attack mode. Survival mode takes the player through an endless number of matches to see how many opponent they can defeat without being defeated themselves. In addition, any health lost during a match will carry over to the next match, but the player would regain a little bit more health. Team Battle mode is a two-player mode which up to eight characters can be selected by each player. Like Survival mode, any health lost during a match will carry over to the next match, but the player will regain a small amount. Time Attack mode is similar to Arcade mode, except it is played to see how fast the player can go through it and beat records.
The game features 16 characters from the previous game: Anna Williams, Armor King I, Ganryu, Heihachi Mishima, Kazuya Mishima, King I, Kuma I, Kunimitsu, Lee Chaolan, Marshall Law, Michelle Chang, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, Prototype Jack, Wang Jinrei, and Yoshimitsu while removing Jack. Characters previously appearing as sub-bosses (such as Anna being Nina's sub-boss for example) are made into playable characters and given more distinct move sets, although they still share many moves with the originals. Devil Kazuya, originally a bonus palette swap of Kazuya reserved for the home console version of the first game, is also made as a full playable character and serves as this game's final boss.
In addition to the returning fighters, the game also introduces eight new characters: Baek Doo San, a Tae Kwon Do practitioner who participates in the tournament to challenge Marshall Law, Bruce Irvin, a Muay Thai kickboxer who suffers from amnesia and is now serving as one of Kazuya's personal bodyguards, Lei Wulong, a Hong Kong cop practicing Five Animals Kung-Fu who is sent to arrest Kazuya, Jack-2, an updated Jack model who replaces the previous Jack and is sent to battle P. Jack, Jun Kazama, a mixed martial artist and animal rights activist also sent to arrest Kazuya, Roger and Alex, a duo of genetically-altered boxing kangaroo and dinosaur respectively and serve as palette swaps of each other, and Angel, a mysterious entity connected to Kazuya who serves as Devil's palette swap and is also his final boss.
Two years after the events of the King of Iron Fist Tournament, the Mishima Zaibatsu, under the leadership of Kazuya Mishima, has become even more corrupt and powerful than ever before and involved in many illegal operations. These include kidnapping, extortion and smuggling endangered animal species for illegal experiments. Kazuya is backed by the Devil, which inhabits his body and is trying to take over his mind. Meanwhile, animal rights activist and operative Jun Kazama is sent to arrest Kazuya for his experiments.
Kazuya's father, Heihachi, whom Kazuya had defeated and thrown off a cliff after the previous tournament, has climbed back up and is training himself, plotting to overthrow Kazuya. In an attempt to rid himself of Heihachi and his enemies once and for all, Kazuya announces the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2, with a large cash prize of one trillion dollars, knowing that Heihachi would appear.
Jun eventually comes face to face with Kazuya, but rather than arresting him, she finds herself drawn to him. She later becomes pregnant with Jin Kazama, Kazuya having fathered her child. Meanwhile, Heihachi arrives at the tournament, winning against the opposing fighters and eventually reaching Kazuya.
In the final round, Heihachi confronts Kazuya and they battle once again. Devil takes over Kazuya's body, resulting in Kazuya becoming a Devil creature. Despite his advantages, Kazuya is defeated by Heihachi because of the internal conflict within him (between his evil side - represented by Devil - and his good side - represented by Angel - which was brought forth after his meeting with Jun Kazama). Heihachi then takes Kazuya's body to a volcano, and drops him into it to kill him. Heihachi then escapes on a helicopter as the volcano erupts behind him, having finally taken his revenge and regaining the Mishima Zaibatsu back, with Kazuya presumably dead.
Development and release
Each of the characters in Tekken 2 is composed of roughly 800 polygons and took between three days and a week to model. Roger the Kangaroo originated as a pet project of one of the development team members, who designed and modeled the character in his free time. When he showed Roger to some of his colleagues in the development team, they pushed to include the character in the game. Much of the time developing the PlayStation conversion was devoted to rewriting the code to fit the console's memory, which is roughly half the size of the game data used in the arcade version.
Tekken 2's port to the PlayStation includes unique CGI endings for every character and numerous modes such as Survival, Time Attack, Team Battle, and Practice mode. It also contains remixed music, like the port of the first game. The PlayStation 2 version of Tekken 5 features the arcade version of Tekken 2 (Ver. B) as a playable bonus. Tekken 2 standalone is available for PlayStation 3 users to download onto the PlayStation Portable. However, multiplayer options have been removed. As of system upgrade 1.70, Tekken 2 can now also be downloaded onto and played on the PlayStation 3 and on Zeebo via ZeeboNet.
Tekken 2 was a best-seller in the UK. It was also acclaimed by game critics, with a 93% rating at Game Rankings. GameSpot, which gave the game 9.2 out of 10, praised the game's graphics and fluid character movement. It received a number of Game of the Year awards from various publications.
In 1996, Next Generation ranked it as the 22nd top game of all time overall. In 1997, PSM named the PlayStation port of Tekken 2 one of the "Top 25 PlayStation Games of All Time" at number three, describing it as better than the arcade version" in many regards due to added features, and "one of the best fighting games ever." Tekken 2 placed 59th on Game Informer's "Top 100 Games of All Time" list in 2001. It has also been listed among the best games of all time by Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1997 (by both staff and readers), GameSpot in 2006, Empire in 2009, and Guinness World Records in 2009.
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