The original Tekken came out swinging in 1995, and marked the beginning of the end for rival series Battle Arena Toshinden. Tekken showed PlayStation gamers how a 3D fighter should play, and as a first generation PS1 title, it helped put Sony’s new CD system on the map.
Fast forward to about a year later. Tekken 2 – and liberal amounts of Duke Nukem 3D on the PC – wrapped up another great summer of gaming in 1996. The upbeat soundtrack of Michelle’s stage is bittersweet, blending the joy of a great new game with the sorrow of returning to the stuffy halls of middle school life. Nearly two decades later, the tune still elicits a feeling of finality, excitement, and a hint of woe.
That last day before classes began, I rented Namco’s newest fighter, and was blown away by the jump in graphics quality, the variety of fighters, and a myriad of tiny tweaks that made a great game even better. I played for as long as I could before the last of the summer sun sunk over the horizon.
My only regret is that I didn’t have more time for Tekken 2 before an onslaught of assignments designed to prepare me for high school and drain my free time all at once.
The game still holds up to this day, and for me, it was the last great Tekken game until the sixth installment of the series about a dozen years later.
And if I want to go back in time, all I have to do is listen.