On Friday of Comic-Con this year, I was already sort of burnt out on panels from being either in them or in line for them all day on Thursday. (Side note: Why in the world were all the good panels on Thursday this year?) Despite that though, I was super excited for the “Titans of Fighting Games” panel on Friday afternoon. The panel was full of big names in the fighting game world. It featured Katsuhiro Harada (director of the Tekken franchise), Yoshinori Ono (director of the Street Fighter franchise and former director of Street Fighter x Tekken), and Omar Kendall (director of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale) and moderated by Mark “MarkMan” Julio (community manager for MadCatz).
Harada was introduced first at the beginning of the panel, and during his introduction he said through his translator “Welcome to this year’s Namco Bandai Games panel.” At the time it seemed like this was Harada just being funny, but after checking around the internet after the panel it looks like the panel was indeed originally just going to be a Namco panel and they later expanded it to cover all other fighting games. Nonetheless, the focus of the panel was primarily on Tekken Tag Tournament 2, with a few general questions directed to the other directors and a small portion dedicated to Playstation All-Stars.
Ono was introduced next, and he was his usual hilarious self. He came out with his trademark Blanka doll wearing a pair of green Blanka-like cat ears and one of the DmC backpacks they were handing out at the Capcom booth, and it just sort of went from there. MarkMan asked Harada and Ono a few general questions about the fighting game genre in general, to which Harada gave somewhat serious answers and Ono gave completely hilarious, not serious answers. (Example: MarkMan asked Ono what he thought of his fans on Twitter, to which he responded that he liked his Twitter fans because they told him all of the good places to get massages. Pretty much all of his answers were like this.)
After the initial Q&A, Harada showed a couple of videos for Tekken Tag Tournament 2. There was an E3 recap video that showed off the new Snoop Dogg song and stage, and then the trailer for the DLC swimsuits was debuted. The swimsuit trailer was excellent because it seemed to catch everyone off guard. EVERYONE has swimsuits – the trailer showed off swimsuits for the women, the men, and even the animal characters. I could just see Harada stewing at his desk one evening saying to himself “The fans want swimsuits? Oh, I’ll give them swimsuits all right!!” In particular, Heihachi has a swimsuit that is almost as good as the “naked Brad” costume in Virtua Fighter. …I will let you look that up on your own.
After the first round of TTT2 trailers, Omar Kendall came to the stage to briefly discuss Playstation All-Stars and to show off Heihachi, who had just been announced as a playable character in the game the day before. To be completely honest though, I didn’t pay much attention during this part because the game sort of strikes me as “Sony Smash Bros.” and the team behind it hasn’t done much to distance themselves from that.
The panel then closed with a couple more TTT2 videos. Up first was the “Girl Power” trailer that has pretty much been all over the internet since the panel, and then the cover art and opening cinematic for the console version of TTT2 were shown for the first time. It appears that the console opening cinematic still hasn’t been made publicly available yet, so at this point I would assume you will have to wait for early copies of the game to be leaked, but it is an extended cut of the arcade version’s opening and it is amazing. The fact that Tekken Tag Tournament has the best theme song in all of video games probably helps that too. Here is the opening cinematic for the arcade version, just to give you an idea:
Overall, I left the panel a lot more excited about TTT2 than I was when I went in, which is pretty impressive since I was pretty excited about it going in. My recommendation is to go out and preorder the game immediately. You will NOT want to miss out on Heihachi in a Speedo.
…oh, and I guess the game will be pretty good too.