Tekken 3

a game by Namco Ltd.
Genre: Fighting Games
Platforms: Playstation PSX
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 3 reviews
User Rating: 7.3/10 - 120 votes
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See also: Tekken Games

Overview

What a great couple of weeks we have just had. First, we were graced with Hot Shots Golf. A few days later, the awesome Gran Turismo raced to the top of the charts. Now, to top it all off, we get the the third installment of my all-time favorite fighting series in Tekken 3. The one thing that these three games have in common is that they are all the best of the best in their respective genres. The only downside is deciding in what order to buy them because they are all must have games.

It is 15 years after Tekken 2 and there is a new bad guy on the block. It seems that he is capturing martial arts masters from around the world and stealing their souls. Then some other stuff happens but who really cares? Bottom line is that this is fighting Tekken style and it is the best game in the series by a long way. All of your favorite characters are back with some new ones to boot. If you thought that the first two games in the series were good then you ain't seen nuthin yet!

Gameplay

If you are one of the two or three PlayStation owners who have not seen, played or at least heard of Tekken, your time has finally come. There are no more excuses. This is the best fighting game released to date so it is time for you to pry the controller out of your hand and go pick it up. For those of us who have been around since the beginning, Tekken 3 will not disappoint.

Fighting games are usually the hardest for me to review. I mean, how much can you say about a fighting game? You try to knock the other guy down before he knocks you down. Thank you, tip your waitresses, good night. Unfortunately I can't get away with saying only this and besides, it really would not do this game justice. This game is especially hard to review because Tekken 2 was such a good game. People keep asking me what makes it better that T2 and the only answer I can come up with is that it is just better and you just have to see it and play it to understand. With that in mind, I will try to expand on things a bit more, but be forewarned - you just really have to see and play this game to understand why it is so good.

Let's start with the different game modes. Namco has done a great job in developing new game modes to keep the fighting genre fresh and this game is no exception. All of the standard modes you would expect are here with a couple of new additions. These new additions are what I will talk about because your old favorites are as flawless as ever. The first is called the Tekken Force mode. This is a side-scrolling beat-em-up ala Fighting Force. You can select your favorite character and see if you can bash your way through four different sections. This was a great idea that just did not quite click (one of the few complaints about the game). It was really cool playing outside of the traditional fighting arena but the problem was that the maneuvering of your character was difficult to say the least. They tried to make it 3D so you were supposed to be able to go in and out of the screen. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done. The second new mode is called the Tekken Ball mode. The idea of this game is similar to volleyball. You will play against another character and the object is to keep a ball from landing on your side of the court. If the ball lands on your side, your life will go down as if being hit. Also, you can super charge the ball so if your opponent touches it, they will lose some life. This was a pretty cool addition to the game but remember, it is only accessible after you finish the game with all of the characters.

Speaking of the characters, this game has plenty. One thing that has always been cool about this series is that the characters all have their own unique style, look and personalities. Let's just say that this is truer than ever. The game has a great mix of your old favorites like Yoshimitsu (who looks bad-ass), Paul, King and Nina Williams. Some of the new characters include Eddy Gordo, the reggae, break dancing fighter and Ling Xiaoyu, a hyperactive martial artist. As with the previous versions of the game, if you play through to the end with one character, you will unlock a new character. This is not particularly hard to do and it is very rewarding when you unlock the new fighters. Strangely, Jack is now only available after being unlocked. He was always one of my favorites.

This game follows the traditional Tekken move layout. That means that if you have played the other games, you should feel right at home behind the controller. Of course there are plenty of new moves to learn but your old favorites are also still here. One of the things that has always made these games good is that they don't rely on a combo system for cool moves. I hate combos because developers tend to try and one-up the last effort and the whole combo thing has gotten way out of hand. T3 follows the same formula that has made the series so successful. For some reason, it does feel like some of the special moves are a little bit tougher to execute than in the past and if you don't perform them just right, you won't pull it off. I guess this makes things a little more challenging but it may frustrate first timers a little.

The best thing about this game has to be the speed at which the game plays. Every move seems to fly directly from your fingers into the mind of your character and he or she obeys instantaneously. There is little or no lag between the time you make the move and the time that it is actually executed. If you don't have this going, you may as well pack it in because today's gamer wants that split second reaction time and split second is what you will get with this game.

Graphics

Wow, wow, and more wow. Talk about fluid and beautiful graphics. Before this game was released, there was talk about an add-on pack or something so it would be able to handle the graphics of the arcade game. Well, the developers have managed to give you arcade quality graphics with no add-on required. Sure, you lose a little in the backgrounds but the characters don't look nearly as blocky as they did in the past and their movements are all fluid and natural. It was amazing to just sit back and watch someone else play the game. The characters all reacted realistically. For example, when you hit someone in the side, they hunched over like they were hit in the side. This made the game very realistic looking.

Bottom Line

This is a beautiful game that every fighting fan should own. If you do not have any of the other games in the series, your time has come. After the first fight you will see how much time was spent on the details of making the characters look and react as realistic as possible. The two new modes were average at best but considering they are basically throw-ins, you can't really complain. All in all, this is a great game that you will play for hours and hours.

Game Reviews

When the two previous installments of the Tekken series hit the PlayStation, they had one thing in common: Both were improved over the arcade version. Still, we had our doubts over whether Tekken 3 would make an equally stunning home translation. From what we have seen so far (admittedly, only screen shots), the game looks nearly arcade perfect.

Tekken 3's story starts where Tekken 2 left off--at the final battle with Kazuya (and Devil). Heihachi has gained control of Kazuya's Mishima conglomerate and is now helping to settle wars and aiding third-world countries. During an archeological dig in Central America, Heihachi's workers dig up a mysterious life-form. Heihachi knows not what it is because communication is lost. When he gets there, all that is left are corpses.

As the strange story continues, Heihachi comes to conclusion that he must hold another King of Iron Fist Tournament. As fighters gather to challenge one another, so will PlayStation owners. Of course, no one will die (or hopefully even get hurt) when they fight each other on the PlayStation.

Tekken 3 has an improved graphics engine, more lighting effects and more detailed characters. The backgrounds have also been improved, with all the pseudo 2-D buildings and structures of the arcade game. Of course, the PlayStation version will have a rendered intro along with ending cinemas for each of the characters.

We should also put to bed rumors of Tekken 3 needing an add-on to work properly. Mike Fischer, Namco's director of marketing, says that no add-on will be needed to enjoy the PlayStation version of the arcade hit. "The development team is really pushing the limits of the PlayStation," commented Fischer. "Tekken 3 will showcase what the system is really capable of doing."

But is the system capable of reproducing the visual pizazz of the System 12-based arcade game? We'll let you know when we get a playable version.

  • MANUFACTURER - Namco
  • THEME - Fighting
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

If you're wondering what exactly is going to make the PlayStation version of Tekken 3 different from the arcade version, then this update is for you. Last issue we gave you the general info on the arcade hit--this time around, we're giving you a look at this new, PlayStation-exclusive character.

The little dino in the pics is a popular Japanese comic book personality named Gon. This small-fry may not look like much, but as you might guess, he packs quite a punch. Looking at the screenshots, you can see he's kicking the living crap out of Jin.

Chances are, the arcade secret characters will be included in the home version, but we'll have to wait and see if Namco will put in more PS-exclusive fighters. Keep an eye out for future EGMs for more updates.

Snapshots and Media

Playstation Screenshots

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