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Tekken 3

Moby ID: 3569

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 94% (based on 37 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 123 ratings with 6 reviews)

Tekken 3 is King of Iron Fist!

The Good
A massively popular hit in Japanese and American arcades, many expected to be a bit disappointed with the home console port of Tekken 3, as the arcade technology had surpassed that of the aging PlayStation. And while the models have slightly fewer polygons and the backgrounds are again in rotating 2D, Namco threw in a plethora of extras and home exclusives, and while they were hit-or-miss, the hits more than make up for the slight drop in graphical quality.

Not that the game doesn't look terrific. One of the first last-generation titles on the PSX, Tekken 3 pushes the limits, sacrificing 3D backgrounds for some of the most detailed character design possible. The characters animate much more smoothly than the somewhat stiff, blocky motions of it's predecessor, and overall the controls are looser and more forgiving.

The combo system is also extremely deep, especially with King and Nina's linkable throws, and Lei's Funky Chicken stances or whatever the hell they're called. It takes a LONG time to master one character in this game. Namco has also fleshed out the secondary (unlockable) characters a bit more, in Tekken 2 they seemed to be blatant ripoffs of other characters within the game, sharing the same moves under a different skin. Now even Anna has a different set of moves then her twin Nina, and the only characters who still seem to be the product of incestous design shortcuts are Kuma (the bear) and Gun Jack (the android).

The techno music doesn't seem quite as good as the more sweeping instrumentals of the previous two, but it fits the darker mood of the game and the tracks are well suited to the characters.

All the standard Tekken modes you know and love are here, including Arcade, Vs., Team, Practice, and the fruit-bearing Survival, and Namco threw in three eclectic new modes to boot:

Tekken Force - A homage to Streets of Rage, Tekken Force lets you control one character in a series of side-scrolling, 2.5D streets. You fight lots of baddies, mostly Mishima henchmen with about one-quarter to one-half a life bar. It's a decent diversion, yielding a nifty hidden character, but it's not as good as Tobal's Quest Mode.

Tekken Ball - Quite possibly the most bizarre fighting game extra ever, Tekken ball is a very simple concept: do special moves on a ball to "charge" it and send it to the opponents side, where he can hit it with a special move and send it back to you with more charge, send it back with no extra charge by doing a standard move, or block it and then hit it. Let it hit you or touch the ground on your side and lose health. This mode is very fun and a blast in 2-player mode, but they didn't bother including a seperate AI for the Ball Mode, and so the computer is incompetent at best.

Theatre - Yes Yes YES! With this option, you can view any of the quality ending cinemas or listen to the music trackes. You can also pop in your Tekken 1 or 2 disc and view the media there. Very nice.

The Bad
The problem with Tekken is that it is very friendly towards button-mashers. There is not that much of a visible difference in the ability of beginners and good players and only a real master has noticeably better odds against a newbie. While Tekken looks superb when it's played like it's supposed to, it can be ugly watching a newbie mash for half the match only to figure out one move he likes, and then use it exclusively for the rest of the round hoping his opponent does not figure out how to counter it.

Namco doesn't help by including at least one newbie-friendly win-at-no-cost cheap character. It was Law in the first one, Lei in the second, now say hello to Eddy Gordo. Pity the coolest fighting style in the game is so cheesy.

Gon. G-O-N. Some cross-promotion with a Japanese comic resulted in this abomination. Do yourself a favor and don't unlock this character. He is ridiculously small, rendering normal character's mid-high attacks ineffective. You can't throw or counter him, making him ludicrously advantaged. When someone picks Gon, it just makes me want to put the game down. Sigh.

The Bottom Line
The graphics are the best you could expect from the PSX, and the numerous home extras make this another better-than-perfect arcade port.

PlayStation · by Anatole (58) · 2001

Tekken 3 takes Tekken series to a new level.

The Good
Tekken can be easily said to be one of the best games (especially, in the fighting genre) available on Playstation. A marvellous, yet simple button configuration allows the players to control their character by using only 4 buttons, each assigned to each limb. A new sidestepping system was integrated into the classical mechanics of Tekken fighting system, which allowed the players to sidestep (slightly pressing up or down button) in both left or right directions to dodge the opponent moves and/or to get an advantage. Tekken 3 fights runs on 2D background with 3D models of the characters. It contained all the modes of the of the previous installment 'Tekken 2', with some new modes like Tekken Ball Mode & Tekken Force Mode. Tekken Ball Mode is a mode in which players charge the ball with attacks and send it to opponent's court for damage, whereas Tekken Force Mode is a beat 'em up mode where player fights waves of Tekken force mercenaries.

The Bad
There isn't much in the game that makes it boring, yet there are some flaws in the game like the useless characters like Panda, Kuma, Dr. Boskonovitch which are pretty useless according to the game's context. These players can be easily be an eyesore for an veteran player, even if controlled by a newbie. Besides this, the game is nearly a perfect art.

The Bottom Line
A must playing game for the lovers of Tekken and Tekken 2 players. Also proved to be enjoyable by the fighting genre lovers. Tekken 3 has a lot of replay value as there are 20+ characters which will take a lot of time to learn fighting with each of them or to master a single/limited number of characters. I'll give it a 4.5 rating out of 5!

PlayStation · by ABGamer (70) · 2013

A giant step forward for the Tekken series

The Good
The gameplay is really great. Unlike the previous games in the series, which are quite clunky, Tekken 3 is very fluid and makes moves and combos very easy to execute. There's lots of ways of moving around, especially since this installment added a sidestep, some characters even have moves they can do out of a side step. One thing unique to Tekken is that the buttons are assigned to limbs rather than attack types like punch or kick. This puts the focus more on button combinations rather than complex joystick motions, which is great in my opinion. There's more to defending than your usual blocking or evading, it's possible for some character to parry or counter moves and some characters even have special parries in their moves, for example when Lei goes into drunken stance, he parries mid/high punches, while his panther stance parries low moves and his tiger stance parries mid/high moves. Some moves also have special properties, making Tekken 3 a really deep game, though not as deep as say the Virtua Fighter games.

Tekken also has a character for any type of player. Scrubs will pick Eddy and mash, but just as any other good fighting game, anyone who is proficient at the game can easily beat mashers. There are characters who are good for beginners like Paul, Jin or Law, characters who are for people looking for a steep learning curve like Lei or Yoshimitsu and middle of the road characters like King or Nina.

Players with different play styles will also easily be able to pick their characters, with powerhouse characters picking Paul or Gun Jack, pokers picking Nina, Anna or Xiaoyu, grapplers picking King who not only has a lot of throws, but along with Nina and Anna has quite a few chain throws as well. There's also the unique Yoshimitsu, who has a lot of unblockables due to having a sword, who can sit and jump around on his sword, fly short distances with his helicopter attacks, regain his health by doing a sitting dance and burp poison mist into their faces! For the most Yoshimitsu fun, I recommend teleporting behind your opponent and back throwing them OR doing his seppuku move which can take his opponent down with him! Most of these moves are impractical though, but when you do manage to pull them off however...

All characters also have a lot of moves, the most impressive move set being that of Lei Wulong, who has unique moves spread through 5 Animal stances, drunken stance, phoenix stance, 4 grounded stances and back turned stance.

The game also offers a lot of modes. Arcade and Vs modes being your standard modes, Team mode which allows for 8vs8 character fights, Survival mode which tests your skills to see how many characters you can beat with only one life bar, Time Attack which tests your skills to see how much time you need to finish the game, Tekken Ball where two characters battle it out by hitting a beach ball against each other that is powered by launchers and Tekken Force, which is a short beat-em-up mini-game.

The graphics are one of the best on the Playstation, with excellent animations, detailed fighters and arenas, even though the arcade version is slightly better in that respect. The CGI cutscenes are also very impressive for it's time.

The sound design is very well done, the sound effects really help make powerful moves seem powerful. The music, while in my opinion nowhere near as good as Tekken 2, is still very well done and songs fit their respective characters really well. You also have an option to switch from the rearranged music to the original arcade music, which I myself find better.

The Bad
The plot is your standard fighting game excuse plot, some god awakens and several martial arts masters go missing, so Heihachi organizes a tournament to find out who can beat him or whatever. Then again why would anyone play a fighting game for the plot? No seriously, if you want a good plot go play Silent Hill 2.

The Tekken Force mode, while it is very interesting and would lay a foundation for the sequel's similar modes, has it's faults. First of all you can't go back more than the position in which the screen has scrolled. Second of all, you can't choose which character to face, so if you get attacked by two guys from different sides, it's impossible to defend from the one behind you. Third and last of all, the boss at the end of the stage can go off screen, which means that you can't hit them there until they come back.

I also dislike the 2 extra characters that aren't in the arcade version, Gon and Dr. B. Gon, while short has slow and useless attacks which make him easy to beat and Dr. B is the only character the AI makes challenging because he can most of the time only be hit with moves that can hit grounded opponents and he's really slippery. Dr. B is also impossible to control yourself and I've yet to see anyone, in real life or on the internet, who can control him reliably.

The AI isn't too great either, it can be good when you're new to the game, but it's way too predictable and easy to punish once you master it. In the arcades, nobody wants to play against the AI, it's better just to learn from experience with someone else or if you really have to practice some moves or combos, there's practice mode. So the only time you'd play against the AI is to unlock all the characters. Speaking of which, Tekken 3 has the worst boss AI in the series, especially True Ogre who can easily consistently be perfectly beaten once you know how to punish the fact that he's a big guy.

The Bottom Line
Today, Tekken is considered one of the best the fighting game genre has to offer together with series such as Street Fighter, Virtua Fighter, MvC and Soul Calibur, but this game launched it to that status. The port is almost exactly the same as the arcade game, with only differences being slightly worse graphics, an enhanced soundtrack and more game modes. My suggestion is that if you haven't played the game, get it. It offers a lot of fast-paced action for beginners and experts with different play styles alike with it's simple control scheme, yet complicated game mechanics. Of course, it can't please everyone so if you don't find it to be your cup of tea, fine. Invite some friends over, get a couple of beers and see who's the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 3!

PlayStation · by ToMegaTherion (6) · 2013

One of the greatest fighters ever made. CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Good
Everything! This is quite possibly the most innovative of all fighting games, of course, this did come out in the year of the great video games, 1998. The King of Iron Fist Tournament returns in this third installment of the famous Tekken series, and with some new faces. This game introduces Jin Kazama, Eddie Gordo, Hwoarang, and Ling Xiayou. The inclusion of these new characters makes this game even more enjoyable because of all the new fighting styles, which blend in perfectly with the superb controls. Yet another great thing about this game is the new Tekken Force mode. In Tekken Force, You go through four levels of side scrolling action, fighting minimal enemies trying to get to the stages boss, all the while replenishing your health with CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! This game requires no words to tell of it's greatness, just look at it in motion, it is a thing of beauty(and it shows just how much of a piece of crap games like Fighting Vipers is). If you do not own this game, you must go out right now and but this game, buy it now, for the love of God please go buy it.

The Bad
Pretty much nothing. The only complaint I would have is that Kazuya isn't in it, but that's what Jin is for, so I guess I really have no complaint with this game.

The Bottom Line
Buy it now. This is the best fighting game on the Playstation, I picked it up complete for two dollars, and I would have gladly paid more for it. Bottom line, this game is worth every penny that any game store asks for it. CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PlayStation · by Joshua Price (24) · 2005

Lots of value to cover up another gameplay-impaired Tekken title

The Good
The incestual pantheon of Tekken games comes to it's 3rd iteration, and this time things have changed a lot. Taking place many, MANY years after Tekken 2, the 3rd game in the series stars the sons and daughters of the original Tekken players, with only some of the original players back as aged veterans. The story this time continues the demonic crap of the previous games with Heiachi's plan to resurrect the ancient "god of fighting".....riiiiiiiight, anyway who cares about stories, huh?

While I count myself as one of the Tekken-hating fighting gamers, I still have to recognize that things have improved dramatically in the game series that coined the term "just mash all buttons and you'll be okay". For starters the animations and moves are much more fluid than on previous games, and the moves and combos have been multiplied to the stratosphere with each character holding an arsenal of literally thousands of moves.

Graphics have been jacked up to the max, granted, by 1998 the psx's technology was more than obsolete and the game does in no way match up to the visual quality of the arcade version (lacking the defined textures, using simplified character models and dramatically downgrading the originally 3D backgrounds). The psx version however does provide all the smooth animations and makes it's best effort to match up to the arcade original, pushed to it's limits or not, this is one of the most beautiful games to grace the playstation, and it shows.

Finally, the best aspect of Tekken 3 comes from a playability-value point of view. This game comes LOADED with stuff, with only Street Fighter Zero 3 surpassing it in the amount of sheer extras added to a game that comes on a single cd. For starters all the fantastic cgi/animé cutscenes are included in the game, from the incredible home intro sequence (much longer and involved than the original -also included- arcade one) to each character's end movie, that in a bizarre touch alternate between full cgi, cel-based animé cutscenes, and even cgi over live footage! Of course that would mean nothing if the game had 8 or so characters, but Tekken 3 for the psx has a gigantic lineup of characters, made mostly of new faces, old Tekken veterans, and a pletora of secret fighters unlockable after winning the game with most characters (instead of the time-based lockout system of the arcade original) or via winning the game through the other available game modes. Bypassing the Mortal Kombat syndrome, the hidden characters are actually original and have their own models and moves (with some exceptions) making them much more interesting than the usual 2545 hidden characters that are just faster/stronger versions of a given character.

Furthermore, the game also comes loaded with gameplay modes that range from the usual Arcade/Vs/Survival/Team combo to a couple of extremely original additions that include Tekken Force and Tekken Ball. Tekken Force essentially turns the game into a Fighting Force-like game, only with the characters from the game, and has you beating up Heihachi's enforcers through several stages a-la Final Fight. Tekken Ball on the other hand is a volleyball-like game where you charge up a giant beachball with attacks and try to send it to the other player hoping that it knocks him out and/or lands on his side of the court for points. Each mode awards an extra hidden character when completed and they offer great fun when played on multiplayer matches.

Also available is a pretty bare-bones practice mode and a theatre mode that lets you see all the media from all Tekken games, plus also a few other games as a sort of hack, pretty spiffy, huh?

The Bad
Still Tekken. No matter how many fanboys this game has, the reality of it is that it's a frenetic and hardly rewarding fighting game for casual gamers at best. Sure, the pletora of moves allows for someone to really, really, REALLY get into a character and master him/her to the point that he plays like a wushu master, performing all sorts of amazing feats and chaining millions of hits per move. However thanks to Tekken's "Everything's chainable!" policy it doesn't matter how much mastery you have placed over your character, because I can beat you just by mashing my buttons randomly and screaming LALALALALALALALALA.! It's frankly incredible how many people still support a series that puts mastery and practice at the same level than casual gameplay.

Characters are horribly unbalanced, with every hidden character somehow being extremely super-powered and with the usual "Tekken Super Character (Tm)" (Eddy, Gon, etc. for this edition) that makes playing with them as entertaining as sucking nails. And every character except for some extreme cases (like the end boss, Kuma, etc.) seem to have the same speed.

The AI sucks ass in just about every mode, and the graphics while good are leagues below the arcade's level. Finally Tekken still keeps going the sci-fi route, with every character still spurting out sparks and plasma explosions when hit (What the fuck are those?? They are the fighting game equivalent of the floating spinning weapons on fps games: cheesy and just a way of showing off the rendering capabilities of the developers), but anyway, I'm just bitching now.

The Bottom Line
Lots of value for those that like their games loaded with stuff, however it's still a Tekken game, meaning save for it's rabid fans most people will find it a flashy but mediocre action game.

In short: Fantastic port that may or may not (depending on your level of mediocre gameplay tolerance) make up for a crap game.

PlayStation · by Zovni (10504) · 2003

The graphics, cinematics, and gameplay are all excellent. But for total enjoyment, play DoA or the original Tekken.

The Good
Graphics: Probably the best you'll get on the PSX, Tekken's graphics are smooth, nice, and just excellent, the movements of the characters are excellent.

Cinematics: Wow! The cinematics are excellent, the character's movements are even smoother in the movies.

Gameplay: Fabulous, the controls are simple and easy.

The Bad
Overall Enjoyment: Less than the other Tekken games, the fighting isn't as fast moving as the original Tekken or Tekken 2.

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for technical perfection, Tekken 3 is the game for you. But if you want a fast paced game, play the predecessors, or the Dead or Alive series.

PlayStation · by Jim Fun (207) · 2002

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by jean-louis, yellowshirt, nyccrg, Mike G, Deleted, mikewwm8, Big John WV, Scaryfun, lights out party, Lain Crowley, Tim Janssen, Hipolito Pichardo, Bozzly, grand_pav, Flu, Zaibatsu, vedder, Patrick Bregger, Jeanne, Cavalary, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), kurama, jaXen, Alsy.