Finally, the last topic to cover the basis of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the tag system itself. This is the first sequel to the orignal Tekken Tag Tournament and Namco took major strides in making this game much more grandeur than its predecessor. Not only does it introduce a brand new mechanic which looks flashy as hell, but promotes an onslaught of creativity that will ensure the legs of this game for the future and beyond.
I. Raw Tag
Now to talk about the 2 v 2 (or 2 v 1) mechanics of this game. Since you only have control over one character at a moment in time you switch between them by pressing the 5 button. However, it’s extremely unsafe and you can easily get punished for it. In the original Tekken Tag, you could tag cancel by pressing u,u/b to instantly enter in a blocking stance to protect yourself from an oncoming attack. This isn’t the case anymore and you have to be much more careful with your tags:
You can minimize the recovery window by doing an Ukemi Tag which can be done by hitting 5 RIGHT when you hit the floor to make a quick tag which is safer than the usual raw Tag. It's still unconfirmed whether or not it's completely safe or not but this is the information provided by the Arcadia magazine.
Raw tagging in has some special properties. When you tag out, the game system recognizes the incoming character in a running state and allows you to do specific attacks that were only possible if you were already running like the head dive, baseball slide, and slash kick:
These are some great tools to have keep your opponent guessing. I couldn’t find a video of someone using the tag in Slash kick but I just put it there to make sure everyone knows it’s part of it. Also, those 3 attacks above are generic for the entire cast but the unique tag in attacks are also possible with this such as Dragunov’s WR+2, Julia’s WR+1, King/A.King’s iSW, etc.
II. Wall Tag
The brand new feature in Tekken Tag 2 is of course tagging with walls behind you since the original Tekken Tag Tournament only had infinite stages. When a character tags out from a wall, their partner comes jumps in rather than runs in so the run in properties seen above won’t be possible with wall tags. But there are several unique properties with wall tags such as better recovery and its own potential risks:
So if a character lands, they are pretty much safe from any attack, but what they have to be careful is not to get hit before landing or else you’ll be floated and eat a complete combo. The damage isn’t as severe as getting caught with a launcher when doing a raw tag, but the damage still is pretty serious.
There are also risks associated with punishing wall tags but with an equal reward as seen below:
So if you miss you will get owned by the incomming character, but if you get a happy birthday you’ll indulge yourself in beating on both of your opponents simultaneously. However, this is very different from MvC where the assists characters have the damage heavily scaled against them, but in TTT2 the outgoing character getting combo’ed has damage scaled down for them.
III. Tag Combo's
Tag combos are a returning staple from the original Tekken Tag Tournament. Tag combo essentially involve the point character landing a launcher and quickly pressing the tag button simultaneously to leave the play field and allow their partner to complete the combo. The advantage of using these tag combo’s is to eliminate the red health from your opponent so they won’t be able to recharge their health when tagged out:
The tag launchers aren't only restricted to the beginning of the combo, they can be done at the end of a combo as well for example seen with Lee and Steve. Lee has the vastly superior wall carry compared to Steve so he ended his portion of the juggle with a tag launcher before tagging in Steve to finish the combo and eliminate as much red health as possible:
The same effect applies to tag grapples. The below grabs were done by pressing hcb+1+2 with Christie/Eddie & 1+3~5 with Zafina and True Ogre as her partner. These are specific tag grabs only possible with those combination of characters but there are also the generic tag grabs which can be done by simply pressing 2+5. The rules for breaking throws still apply for tag grabs; everything depends on which limb was used to grapple you.
Lastly, there are also unique "Special Tag Team Combo's" with certain teams that only they can be capable of, these are still being discovered but Hwoarang/Baek and Nina/Anna are potential teams:
IV. Tag Assault
Tag Assault is probably the most anticipated feature added to TTT2. Tag Assault combos combine the bound properties of juggles with the tag combo function explained previously. Instead of tagging in your character after a launcher after a tag combo, you tag them in after a bound move. If you successfully inputted a tag assault, the opponent should be bounced up back in the air rather than the usual bound crumple animation seen previously. Now your tag partner can come in and input one string of attacks before relinquishing control back to the point character to finish the combo after him. There are some important limitations placed by the designers on tag assaults for the sake of balance that need to be outlined:
- Tag Assault combo’s unlike normal Tag combos do not eliminate any red health on your opponent
- Tag Assault combos consume the red life and netsu status of your incoming partner even before inputting his/her string of attacks
- If a Tag Assault connects, the opponent's tag partner outside the playing field automatically activates Netsu
Therefore, sometimes it might not be wise to do a Tag Assault combo if it means sacrificing too much of your red health which could be of use later on in the round. But in the end, you have judge each scenario accordingly:
But the most interesting part of the tag assaults is the stipulation of only 1 string allowed during the post bound juggle filler. So that does imply that you can’t simply do 1, 1, 1, jabs to wall carry during the tag assault. Only the first 1 will connect before transferring control back to the point character. However, IF you cancel the string into a stance, the tag assault combo allows you to continue as seen below:
Steve did 3 different strings in between 2 stances. The first string is d/f+1,2~1 which is then cancelled into FLK stance follwed by his 2nd string 1 cancelled back into FLK stance and then transitioning into his final string ALB+2. That basically means that you can hypothetically continue the tag assault indefinitely if you keep cancelling a string back to a stance with whichever character it’s possible with such as Steve, Hwoarang, Baek, Zafina, etc. However, there is also a timer in place you can’t perpetually remain in the Tag Assault mode, the control will switch back eventually.
Other neat info is that every character has a generic tag assault move with 1+2+5, it’s a downward hammer fist that has a pretty lenient hitbox yet small damage but it should work in every character’s juggle. This is something put in place to make it easy for beginners to be able to do a tag assault in case they never memorized the specific spike moves that can bound and hence tag assault. Another thing, is that many people might look at the tag assault combo's above and feel like it's a very daunting task to pull one off, the Tekken team has you covered there as well. Beginners can just hold the 5 button during the tag assault and the incomming partner will do an automated juggle filler for you. This simplifies things for people who still want to enjoy these technicques that are relatively high level.
The other neat info is that Tag Assaults can also be used as a form of tagging in a character. After inputting the tag assault string, and the control switches back to the point character and you don’t input any command, the point character will tag himself out so it is a safe method of tagging if you don’t want to risk going for raw tags.
V. Tag Crash
The Tag Crash feature is also very foreign in the realm of Tekken and is the first time any sort of meter management has come into play for this series. Tag Crash is essentially a safe method of raw tagging your partner into the play field with the condition that your partner has netsu activated. If that is the case then you can “Tag Crash” your partner in from a knockdown position by inputting 2+5 to safely tag your partner into the play field at the expense of the netsu status & the point character's red health.
However, Tag Crash has been discovered as punishable if it whiffs and can be sidestepped, but alas Tag Crash is pretty much considered an unblockable attack with great range that forces your opponent at neutral:
The launch punish carried out by Zafina at the end of the gif above is very unique to her since she has a move (d/f+2) that can connect with the crouching hitbox at a certain frame of execution. Definitely shouldn't be considered a widespread means of countering a Tag Crash. Always go for a sidestep when anticipating it.
IV. Stage Gimmicks
Stages in Tekken play an enormous factor in the game much like say Dead or Alive. Every stage is unique and due to the various types of hazards present, they can insanely change the outcome of a match.
- Regular Wall stage
Like showcased ealier in Unit 3, the presence of walls give access to a lot of damage. Characters with superior wall carry and wall combo's always get an advantage. Stages like these are completely enclosed and you are very likely going to hit a wall at some point.
- Infinite Stage
Infinite stages are the staple stage types that have been a trademark of the series since its inception. No matter what you do you'll never hit a wall. Players that are massive turtles and have awesome and full control of their backdash cancels are going to be forces to reckon with in infinite stages.
- Wall Break Stages
Also another returning stage type from Tekken 6 where you can do any move that causes a wall stun at a breakable in wall causing a Wall Break. And from a wall break you combo will continue. This is another means of extending your combo. However, sometimes many characters do more damage simply using a generic wall combo that doesn't involve breaking it. Different factors will help you prioritize on a decision to make. Experiment and discover.
- Floor Break Stages
A returning stage type from Tekken 6 where there are various pressure points across the top floor of the stage where any spike move (not necessarily just a bound move) will cause the floor to crumble and send the opponent into a bound state to continue your combo. This, along with the balcony break explained after, are the only instances where double bounds are possible.
- Balcony Break Stage
This is a new stage dynamic specifically in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 which utilizes both characters in your team. This takes place in stages with a balcony like Snow Castle, Tekken 3 Jin Redesigned Stage, Oil Refinery, Paris, Barcelona, Desert, and more stage. If a wall stun move is done at a balcony then the opponent will fall off the balcony and instead of you falling down with the opponent, your partner will be waiting downstairs and continue the combo for you.
A very interesting feature of the balcony breaks is that your partner downstairs can attack the opponent either before he/she falls to the ground or after he/she fall to the ground. You have to prioritize how you want to attack based on what moves were done on the opponent to have them fall of the balcony in the first place. If a long juggle was inflicted before then it’s better to wait for the opponent to fall and get into a bound position and complete the juggle. But again, this is a case where you need to experiment to see how you can make the most out of the situation. Something to take into account is that solo players will not be able to interrupt the fall since their decent takes longer than the opponent.
That covers all the basics involved in Tekken. Now you should have an at least modest understanding of the rules, properties, and mechanics of the game. However, like the title said, this is just a beginner's guide. This whole guide is but a drop to the ocean of content and competition present in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Start applying these basics and your window will expand to different types of mindgames, get some practice to improve your execution and control your character like they are an extension of your own limb, and most of all have fun while doing it.
Thank you to Everyone that uploaded/participated in the videos used to make the content in this guide, contributed with information, and all the Tekken players everywhere. Without you guys there wouldn't be any point to all this.