Developer(s) – Namco
Publisher(s) – Namco
Director – Katsuhiro Harada
PEGI – 12
Tekken 3 is not only considered to be one of the greatest fighting games of all time, but many so regard it as one of the greatest games of all time. Receiving almost perfect scores from most publications at the time, citing its inclusion of a more diverse character roster, and its improved soundtrack and graphics over its predecessors. Overall, I think Tekken 2 is the better installment out of the original trilogy, but this is a more than worthy sequel in my opinion.
Graphics – 8/10
The most noteworthy aspect of Tekken 3 is the dramatic change in artistic direction. Some classic characters are swapped out for new ones, and the appearances of many classic characters left in were also re-imagined; especially Yoshimitsu. It reminds me very much of how Midway tried to drastically branch out in terms of visuals whilst developing Mortal Kombat 3 when most of the palette-swapped ninja characters were either re-tooled or swapped out for more original looking characters. The arena designs in the third game are also massively improved, and the FMV cutscenes featured in each character arcade mode ending are also very well done. Tekken 3’s graphics were among some of the best that the PlayStation had to offer; comparable to the likes of Final Fantasies VII, VIII, and IX, and it is made very apparent.
Gameplay – 7.5/10
What I like about Tekken 3 is that it is extremely accessible in the sense that it is patently open to both amateurs and professional fighting game players, and both sets of players can enjoy it regardless of experience. Tekken 3 has a good few game modes, including the Tekken Force mode, which presents a 2.5D side-scrolling form of gameplay very similar to Streets of Rage. But what I like most about paying through Tekken 3 is the plethora of unlockable characters available to obtain. It’s extremely satisfying to play through the arcade mode with each of these characters and see how their stories end. But I think that if the Tekken Force mode was built on much more than it was, then Tekken 3 could have potentially been a lot more addictive than it is. It was actually one of the first examples of 2.5D side-scrolling gameplay, and it could have done with having some more emphasis being put onto it to make the game much more interesting.
Controls – 10/10
My opinion of this game’s control scheme is identical to that of the original game, or most other fighting games; there are no problems, and it’s all down to either how fast players can mash buttons, or how effectively they can execute combos.
Lifespan – 10/10
I would estimate that it would take even inexperienced payers a maximum of 3 hours to unlock every character, and complete the arcade mode with every character. But after that, it simply becomes a game that can be picked up and played at the player’s leisure, without the worry of making conformist progress.
Storyline – 5/10
The story of Tekken 3 revolves around a young fighter called Jin, who enters the third King of Iron Fist Tournament announced by his mentor Heihachi, in order to take revenge on the creature Ogre, who had presumably killed his mother. Although the basic premise is easy enough to understand, and each character has their own unique ending, apart from this, the game’s story is not elaborated on any further than that. People don’t generally play fighting games for their story, but the fact of the matter is that the story is present, but there isn’t very much depth to it. But still, it makes a lot more sense than the story of Injustice: Gods Among Us, and it’s much easier to follow.
Originality – 7.5/10
Of course, with the inclusion of the Tekken Force mode, Tekken 3 stands out among more or less every other fighting game of its time, and the developer’s expression of a desire to branch out from an artistic point of view is more than apparent, as when I first played this game back in the day, whilst I knew I was playing an installment of Tekken, I was quick to notice the amount of change that was implemented.
To sum up, Tekken 3 is indeed one of the greatest fighting games I have ever played, and I would recommend it to not only hardcore fighting game fans who may not have played it, but I would especially recommend it as a starting point to people who haven’t tried playing fighting games yet, as they will be able to make progress without throwing their controllers across their living rooms.