Review By: Jesse Mason
What you have here is your standard "system
besting" fighter that still isn't the best around. The best around you say?
Why Virtua Fighter 3 of course (complain all you want, block buttons are
cool), but that's only in the arcade. But Tekken 3 (like Bushido Blade and
Tekken 2 before it) is the best Playstation fighter so if you have no fighting
games and want one, Tekken 3 is definetely the only one you'll want to buy.
Why is Virtua Fighter 3 the best? Sega realized
in the second installment that with 3D fighters you not only need to have
a huge amount of moves and combos that actually make the gameplay deep (and
hopefully no fireballs), you need to have contrasting characters. Gone are
the days when speed makes up for strength. The real contrasting needs to
be in styles of fighting (which need to be different). Tekken 3 does this
although different from the Sega game. Tekken's style is that all the moves
and combos come out of sequences and if you master those you'll be great.
But finally the combos are sufficiently countered. Countering becomes an
essential part of the gameplay (but not in a drawn out, phony way of say
Killer Instinct) and if you don't know how to counter you'll be out in no
time. El cheapos like Paul and Eddy have seemingly unstoppable moves but
in time you'll find out that they can be countered in a cinch. So now Paul
and Eddy have to find a way to get around the counter. And now your incredibly
deep gameplay comes in and the contrasting between the characters is finally
Tekken 3 should also be noticed for its
system pushing. The graphics aren't as polished as the arcade version but
are still light years ahead of everything else. And you also get loads and
loads and loads of options in here. A 1 player game, a two player versus,
a team battle, a survival mode, a practice mode, a street fighting Final
Fight style game to let you feel like those fighters in the movies do (take
em out in 1 shot), and supposedly a strange volleyball game, all make you
wonder if you are playing a Playstation game disc or a super powered, highly
advanced alien disc. Tight control and good sound effects round up the positives.
A few complaints. The gameplay, while great,
is still not as defined as Virtua Fighter's. I suppose no button sequence
fighter ever will be. It would also be nice to have the multilevel stages
that add even more depth to Virtua Fighter 3 (you not only have to master
the fighters but the arenas as well). And the outfits have a severe bad to
good ratio. Some are nice like Law's and King's workout outfits, Heihache's
cool "I'm a high class guy" outfit, and Lei's classy work clothes. But others
like the punk rock outfits that half the guys got, Law's skin tight yellow
thingamajig, and the out of date Ryu style karate suits (Is there some kind
of official name for those?) just beg for you to beat the heck out of them.
It would be nice to hear something other than techno fluff in the music
department. Wipeout XL makes the Alternative charts and everyone's gotta
have a piece of the glory. And those bolt s that come out of nowhere when
you hit someone just look silly (I guess it's supposed to give you an impression
of the impact).
There you have it. Tekken 3 is hands down the best Playstation fighter. Check
it out and, if you have some extra cash, check out Bushido Blade as well
for practically the antecedent to Tekken.