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Tekken 3
Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Namco
Publisher:   Namco
# of Players:   1-2
Genre:   Fighting
ESRB:   Teen

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 realized.

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.

Overall: 8.5
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