The grand-daddy of all home fighting games has arrived. It doesn't get any better than this. Honest. This game offers so much in the way of gameplay and extra's that it will never be topped, and it does this all without bouncing breasts, eh! (refer to Dead or Alive review)
This game really brings the arcade home. Actually I'd be disappointed with the arcade version at home because of the all the extra's Namco crammed into this version! It's chock full of characters (24) of which 10 are selectable at first. There are a ton of secret characters to find! To release a character you must beat the game with another character. My one problem with this method, is that it is too easy to do this. Most people will want to find all the characters first, so they will play it on easy. This game is a cakewalk on easy, and even on Normal it's a little forgiving. I think many people will become bored with the game after playing it so many times just to unlock these players. Mind you, I'm really only referring to those who do not play two player.
Other extra's include the Tekken Force Mode which is a lacklustre side-scrolling Final Fight-like game that I doubt will excite anybody. Think of it like a karoake feature on a CD player. It's a neat option that you'll probably never use, unless you are extremely bored or really drunk. :) There is the Ball Mode which plays like a mean-spirited Volleyball. You spike the ball at your opponent to do damage. Neat idea. Better than the Final Fight rip-off. The practice mode is well thought out, with many options at your disposal. You have your choice of the standard practice mode, where you select both your player and your opponent. Teeken 3 allows you to also practice against a fighting opponent rather than just one who stands there and get pummelled. Nice touch, although I still couldn't pull of even a 6 hit combo.
Of course, the fighting is what this game is all about and there is plenty of that. 10 hit combo's that are extremely difficult for me to pull off, but nonetheless, they are there in case I can ever do one! This game really digs deep into fighting. There are no fireballs or sonic booms in this series, and that's fine by me. I find games like Battle Arena too cheap due to all the special moves and projectiles being thrown around. Hand to hand combat is just more interesting. The variety of martial arts that are present in this game is amazing.
The control system is well thought out too. One button for each limb. Blocking is done by pushing the D-pad away from your opponent. Side-stepping in 3D is done by tapping up or down. I didn't find this move executed fast enough and it didn't put you far enough away from your opponent's fists, but maybe I'm nitpicking.
Here's a quick synopsis of the things that make Tekken 3 terrific:
1. Too easy to release special characters. (Time release characters like the arcade would have been impossible due to the absences of an internal clock in the PlayStation, but maybe another solution could have been integrated.
2. No alternate Bosses for each character. I hate knowing who the last two bosses are.
3. Some characters have some really cheap moves, that allow fast wins. (Gon's tail spinning for example.)
4. I hate the little background stories on the characters. Sorry, but they do nothing except set up the end cinema. I also hate the way the manual mentions who won the last Tekken 2 tournament. It makes no sense in my reality! I thought my character one the bloody tournament.... I don't get it. They all just seem like cookie cutter characters from every other fighting game like this.
5. No bouncing breasts! Come on get with it, Namco! :)
What it boils down to is this: If you liked Tekken 1 & 2, then you'll love this game. It's not original by any means, but how many games are? This game just updates a classic with more options, great graphics and animation. It's a real quality product.