Tekken Tag Tournament 2 finally came out at Japanese arcades last week despite the Tokyo Game Show and also Super Battle Opera going on around the same time. Direct feed footage has been starting to roll out as of late on various YouTube channels, but don't expect too much gameplay-wise since the final version of the game is only been out for a week. The final boss in this game is no surprise being Unknown taking place in the stage above, but the difference this time is you have to beat Jun one round first in a more peaceful version of the stage seen before she transforms to Unknown. Besides Jun returning into Tekken, boss characters True Ogre from Tekken 3 and Jinpachi from the Tekken 5 games return in Tag 2, but of course they are slightly altered from their boss incarnations in their respective games (don't expect cheap sheninegans from those two, but Unknown does have Jinpachi and Azazel's stun move). Jaycee is not that new of a character in Tag 2 since she's basically Julia in a luchador-like mask and Heihachi is young again with black hair, but other than that, all of Tekken 6's roster is in with no surprise inclusions for now.
A mix of new and old stages are also present in Tekken Tag 2 as the old stages are not exactly the same, but remade for this new iteration such as Moonlit Wilderness above and the Snow Castle from Dark Resurrection. Those remade stages also get new remixes as well as the Namco Bandai did another great job with the soundtrack as Tekken games usually have good music. Some say some stages feel like a dance party even diving into dubstep territory. The graphics are definitely improved even though at its core its a better looking Tekken 6, but its the little details with the characters that count. For instance, the character models will get wet and dirty when fighting at stages involving water and mud (even the purple goo stuff in the final stage). Hit effects still look and sound the same from Tekken 6 though and that is not a bad thing along with the announcer as well.
Of course, the big question still remains whether or not certain U.S. arcades will get Tekken Tag Tournament 2. The cabinet is easily one of the most expensive cabs to buy and the Tekken.net system (with the ranking and replays) won't be working even though the developers are figuring out ways to implement it if it comes out stateside. I heard rumors about location tests at various U.S. spots concerning that, but don't expect a huge number of places getting it. Fortunately, Southern California is a hotspot for Tekken machines over the years with numerous places within minutes of each other having Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion (Round 1, Super Arcade, Video 94), so I think Tekken Tag 2 will still find its way somehow in SoCal arcades in the near future (maybe in the coming months?). Round 1 would be the likely spot for the game since they can probably afford it easily compared to Vid and Super even though games are probably will cost a buck for the first months, which will obviously suck but expected for a new game like that).
Its still early to judge how the gameplay pans out with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 once players figure out the tag assault system, where its up to your imagination to come up with some good BnB combos, how netsu is being handled in this version (I think this game's version of rage as your partner gains it if your current character is halfway dead), and of course which teams dominate tiers-wise. I'll probably come back to this topic in a month or two to see how things changed since launch week. Whenever this comes out at a nearby arcade, you'll know I'll be there in a heartbeat messing around for weeks and months.