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Tekken 3

Developer: Namco | Publisher: Namco
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 04/29/98 | Genre: Fighting

Tekken 3 opens with an action-packed CG sequence. Explosions, karate kicks-- it's really a great beginning. Amazingly, the game manages to sustain that excitement the whole way through. Gameplay is fast and furious and almost makes you feel like you are in a Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan movie. People wondered if it would be ported from the arcade successfully, and the answer is yes. Namco has turned in an almost arcade-perfect game that pushes the Playstation to its limits.

The graphics in Tekken 3 are much improved over its predecessor, and are very smooth-looking all around. Although some of the graphical precision has been lost from the arcade version, the faces of the characters are still remarkably detailed. As usual, Namco outdo themselves when it comes to CG cinemas. The first Playstation game I ever played was Tekken 2, and I remember my amazement at seeing the cinemas in that game. Tekken 3 continues the tradition of graphical excellence.

One of the great things about this game is the sheer replay value. The amount of special modes and hidden characters is amazing. First of all, you have your basic arcade and versus modes, survival mode, team battle mode, time attack mode, and a side-scrolling mini-game called Tekken Force mode. Not to mention the hidden theater mode, which allows you to view cinemas and listen to music from the previous Tekken games, and Tekken Ball mode, a weird, violent version of volleyball.

It's hard to think of any complaints about this game, but there are some minor flaws. First of all, there is occasional slowdown due to the fact that the game is so graphically intense. It doesn't happen too often, however, and even when it does, it is not severe. The other minor complaint I have is that the controls can be a bit touchy. Some of the combos are frustratingly hard to pull off, and require extreme precision. But the play control is certainly not all bad, and I enjoy the way each character has a unique fighting style that definitely comes through in the controls.

Bottom line--Tekken 3 is really fun to play. The character design is wacky and inspired. Some of the weirder characters include a creaky old man, a guy made out of wood, a grizzly bear, and a cute little dinosaur. Oh, did I mention that the dinosaur breathes fire and wears boxing gloves? As fighting games go, this is one of the best.

By Ben Lockwood - 08/01/00
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Screenshots for Tekken 3

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