Developer: Namco Publisher: Namco Genre: Fighting Players:1-2 Memory Blocks: 1 Discs: 1 Analog: No Dual Shock: Yes ESRB: Teen Difficulty: Adjustable
First, there was nothing. Well, except Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat, and Fatal Fury, and--Okay, there was some stuff, but it wasn't truly amazing. Except Street Fighter. Maybe. But Virtua Fighter didn't cut it as a good 3D fighter. Gamers needed something new. Suddenly, Namco said, "LET THERE BE TEKKEN!" and the Tekken arcade units were filled with the tokens of the worthy. Or something like that. It was a hit for the genre, amazing gamers with all its features and blew by the competition. That is, until the next wave of sequels drove right past it. Next, there was Tekken 2, which was 10 times as good as Tekken, and it reigned in the arcades as the King of Iron Fist Fighting Games. Then, Street Fighter got a little more frantic and Mortal Kombat got a little bloodier, and Tekken 2 lost it's spot again. Namco was determined this time to make a game that would stay King for a much longer time. Tekken 3 was it. Even MK4 and the wildest Street Fighter games couldn't top it. In my opinion they couldn't anyway. Then, Namco announced, just like the first two Tekkens, that Tekken 3 would be coming home. Playstationers celebrated and the instant it came out, they rushed out and bought every copy EB had to offer. Actually, I'm not sure that this is exactly what happened, but I'm guessing this because Tekken 3 is by far the best fighting game ever made. Period.
Gameplay--Let me start by saying Tekken 3's gameplay is fantastic. Its battles are very fast and furiously paced, and they look right out of a Kung Fu movie. The action is fast, fun, and short as the average battle takes 20-30 seconds. This makes it really great because unlike SOME games (hack hack STREET FIGHTER cough cough), you don't want to stop the battle because it's ALMOST over when you decide you want to change modes and try something else. Of course, the fights only take 20-30 seconds if you have ANY skill at all. To help that, Tekken 3 has one heck of a practice mode to help you fine your skills and experiment with combos, which is always fun. The large range of characters makes for some pretty diverse kinds of battles also. For example, you'll have to defend a lot and strike when you see an open spot with Xiaoyu, and you'll want to constantly stay on the offense with Forest Law. Enough with the gameplay praise, and on to the graphics.
Graphics--Tekken 3's graphics are some of the best seen in a fighting game. They're a lot more detailed and a LOT less blocky than Tekken 2. Additionally, the hit effects are flashy, and each character moves realistically and fluidly. The FMVs will just blow you away, and they're a blast to watch. Some are creepy, some are funny, and some are weird, but all of them look great. (especially Gon's ^_^) There is so much detail involved in each frame of animation that it's mind-boggling --just check out Lei's ending and each strand of his hair moves realistically. The replays look great as well, and watching your character finish an opponent off in slow motion is just plain cool. I guess the only flaw in the graphics concerns True Ogre. He takes up so much space, the game has to cut the backgrounds out. Oh, a few throws look kinda weird because the victim seems to pass right through the attacker. Of course, that doesn't deter anything from the awesome gameplay. Not only everything looks great, there isn't any slowdown, clipping or anything. Tekken 3's graphics are the closest to perfect a fighting game has ever come.
Music--Tekken 3's music, for a fighting game, is just great. All the characters (22!) has their own distinct musical theme, and just about every one of them sound great in the heat of the battle. Whether it's the ancient sounding instruments in Ogre's theme or the metallic whirrs in Gun Jack's theme, every track is a winner. Plus, there's a mode which lets you listen to each individual track (including the arcade tracks)! The sound effects of Tekken 3 are awesome, too. Every rib smack, bone crack, yelp or war cry in battle sound crystal clear and are fun to listen to as well (especially the bone cracks--ouch!). In fact, the sounds are so real, you'll even flinch when you see King get you in one of his wrestling holds, Bryan finish an opponent off with his Mach Breaker, or Nina kick you in--well, you get the idea.
Control--A mark of perfection in the Tekken series, Tekken 3's controls are no exception. All special moves are easy to execute (except a couple of the big throws) and you'll find yourself whipping through every move in the Command List. The combos, as always, take practice and studying to pull off, but are rewarding when you execute them. Personally, I like to make up my own combos, which are easy to do as well with the quick, responsive controls. Oh, the buttons are not only fully customizable, but along with the LP, LK, HP, HK buttons, you can program LP+LK, HP+HK, LP+HP, LK+HK, etc. This is great because you can do a throw or special move with just one button!
Fun Factor--This is probably the most fun you'll ever have with a fighting game. All the modes are great, featuring ye olde Arcade, Vs, Team Battle, Time Attack, and Survival. Also included are Tekken Force (which is a cross between Final Fight and Tekken), not to mention the two hidden modes, Tekken Ball, a wacky game of aggressive volleyball--I'll say no more, and Theater Mode, which lets you watch all the awesome FMV and listen to the music. Oh, you can also pop in your Tekken or Tekken 2 CD and play back all the movies from those games! Not to mention the 22 diverse characters (10 regular, 12 hidden) who are all fun to play as and against. Each character even has at least 100+ moves! Due to the incredibly short loading times, Tekken 3 makes a great game to play with friends as well! Finally, when you've finished that, (well, I'VE done this at least) you can have a ton of fun making a Tekken 3 video by recording moves that you've done! No, not with the game, with a VCR. It's insanely fun to do!
Overall Satisfaction. This game is the best buy I've had all year. With all its modes, characters, movies, outfits, and moves, this game is a definite must buy title for any fighting game fan, and a great game even for those who don't play fighting games that much (ask Fritz!). With 22 characters and big combos you can make up, Tekken 3 is one game with nearly unlimited replay value. When you've mastered one character, it's onto the next, then you have to find out all the secrets, outfits, and strategies. Let me just say that I bought this game when school went out (back in July '98) and now, in the middle of February, I'm still having a ton of fun with it! That's how good the replay value is. Let me finish my review by saying this: If you don't like Tekken 3, you must absolutely HATE fighting games, Namco, or your last name must be Kisagara.
Yuffie sez: HEY!
Highs: Eye-popping graphics, great moves, tons of secrets and characters, replay value that lasts...and lasts....and lasts!
Lows: Anticipation for Tekken 4 is too great.