It's not often that a game's most exciting feature is its tutorial, but we'd argue that's the case with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and its superb Fight Lab mode.
It's a series of mini-games geared towards teaching players the basics of Tekken - without them even knowing it. Speaking to CVG at this month's Namco-Bandai Gamers Day event, series director Katsuhiro Harada explained that although Tekken has had a practice mode for years, lapsed or experienced gamers often felt it was a pain to spend their time on a tutorial.
Thus the challenge issued to the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 team was this; create a side-attraction as popular as Tekken Bowl (which we still play on our iPhones to this day), but which also serves to teach players the intricacies of fighting, Tekken style.
So the art of side-stepping, as one example of many, is taught by an off-screen hand who hurls a succession of rolling pandas and flying sushi at your feet. Meanwhile, aerial juggling is explained by means of an ever-expanding beachball which you have to keep in the air. It's typically madcap stuff from the guys who previously brought you fighting kangaroos and wood-men.
There's a storyline tying it all together, too. Fight Lab tells the story of Violet's attempt to build a new Combot after the previous one was destroyed in a fire.
As this new Super Combot DX, you earn customisable options by progressing through the tutorial mini-games, which allows you to change the appearance and the moveset of your robotic avatar.