For those of you who have not played the Tekken game series, it is a 3D 1-on-1 arcade fighter. What makes Tekken different from other fighting games are the moves, smooth animations and its control simplicity. You have two punch buttons, two kick buttons, up is to jump, down is to crouch. Pressing the two punches or two kicks simultaneously results in a grapple, throw or takedown.
When you begin arcade mode, you select a character and when you beat the game, you’re rewarded with a cinematic ending. These endings are always a high point of the game and there’s one for each character. These endings are such a high point that in my mind it becomes the point of Tekken 3. Each character’s movie unravels part of a mystery (as to why your even playing the game).
As a fighter, its pretty easy and I can’t say that you need experience or skill to get through the game against the computer. Each fight is pretty fast paced. The fights go by quick, in only about 20 seconds, so you can plow through the game in around 20 minutes. Then wash, rinse and repeat with different characters. For each starter character that you complete the game with, you unlock a new fighter. I enjoy seeing the quirky new characters and having to unlock them means that I wasn’t overwhelmed with who to play as.
When you’ve got everyone unlocked, you’ll have 20+ fighters. You’ve got fighters that people take seriously like Jin, Julia, Nina and Law, but then you’ve got the crazy, quirky ones too. You’ll fight as a short dinosaur named Gon. A giant wooden man, a giant panda and a cheetah headed wrestler. The game’s characters have a lot of flare and substance. Each fighter has their own style too, from Gun Jack’s Russian dance kicks to Eddy’s dance fighting. Its all interesting and there’s someone that will fit your personal preference.
There are a few modes like arcade, fighter, time attack, survival and practice. Tekken Ball has you against an opponent keeping a ball up off the ground. There’s even a new beat’em up style mode called Tekken Force that has you brawling through enemies. Its a very nice tacked on mode that gives you a break from the one-on-one fighting. Its an experiment that Mortal Kombat should have learned in the 16-bit era before they released Mythologies: Sub-Zero and Special Forces. Tekken Force is fun and one day I’d like to see it be a full fledged game, even if I know it wouldn’t have the same broad appeal as Tekken’s fighting series.
In conclusion, its a fun game that non fighting game fans can still enjoy. While it might feel like more of Tekken 2 goodness, they’re both great games and Tekken 3 offers more of the same.