Gameplay, Story and Value:
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of 3D fighting games, new or old, and it’s a bias I have no shame in admitting to. I’ve played the majority them, Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter, Dead or Alive, etc., but to be completely honest I’ve never actually spent any time with the Tekken series. My cousin had a copy that we’d bust out on occasion, but when I think back I can’t really distinguish it from the many other similar games.
Imagine my surprise, then when I found a very enjoyable experience in Tekken 3. The fighting is technical and thoughtful, reward fast reflexes and strategic movement. There’s no crazy special moves or endless combos here, and every match feels like a violent game of chess. Matches I thought I’d surely lose were turned around by a few well-timed counters and dodges and ultimately I found a 3D fighting game that I could actually beat, and feel good about doing so!
The various combatants in the game all felt unique and fun to play, though I found myself focusing on the more well-rounded Jin, taking time to learn his combos and attacks. The Arcade mode is fairly short, and treats you to a nice cinematic at the end. Unfortunately, there’s not much beyond that aside from an awkward if not bizarrely entertaining Final Fight style side-scrolling beat ’em up mode.
Presentation, Music and Sound:
The pre-rendered cutscenes in the game were quite impressive, and the in-game visuals were nothing to scoff at either although when trying to take still screenshots the interlacing becomes annoying apparent. Textures and special effects all look really great in motion, and there’s surprisingly little warping in the environments.
The music in Tekken 3 is quite generic, though fitting and unobtrusive, and the same could be said for the sound effects. Nothing really stands out in the audio department here.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I actually enjoyed this game, and it has me interested in trying future entries in the series. It wasn’t enough to really make me a true believer in the genre, but I can definitely see why Tekken garners as much respect in the community as it does!