Tekken 3D: Prime Edition
We should be delighted. After all, the only other Tekken game ever
released on a Nintendo system was the GBA's iffy Tekken Advance, so
the opportunity to have a modern, nearly arcade-perfect port of Tekken
6 on a Nintendo system - and in handheld form on top of that - should
have us dancing around with glee. As it is, I'm simply happy, rather than
overjoyed, because while Tekken 3D does indeed play a mean game of
fisticuffs, it's also mean on features.
Let's address the positives first, because they still outshine the
negatives.This is pure Tekken action with no expenses spared - all 40
characters from Tekken 6 are in there with every move, every combo
and attribute fully intact. Since Tekken is a slightly slower-paced game
than the likes of Super Street Fighter IV or Dead or Alive Dimensions,
controlling your fighter is a cinch with the Circle Pad or D-Pad, and
seasoned Tekken experts will find it relatively easy to pull off their
favorite combos without too much adjustment time.
Even better is the game's frame rate. Tekken is a game that often relies
on split-second decisions when blocking and executing moves, which is
why the more ardent members of the Tekken fanbase won't accept
anything less than a solid and smooth 60 frames per second. Dead or
Alive Dimensions offered that whenever you played the game with the
3D Slider turned off, but when you turned on the 3D, the extra power
caused the game to drop down to 30fps in order to retain a solid
experience. Not so with Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, as the game
maintains a steady 60fps at all times, regardless of whether you're
playing it in 2D or 3D. This is a fantastic technical achievement from
Namco Bandai, especially as the game is still very graphically impressive.
Full online multiplayer is also something that's very welcome, and while
it's full of hardened Tekken ninjas dominating the destroying all
newcomers in what they do best, it's still a feature that's simply
expected of the genre in this day and age. Local multiplayer is also
included, of course, but unfortunately there's no tag mode for four
players, which would have been great. On top of all this, there's also the
opportunity to assign up to four combos or button presses to panels on
the touch-screen, just like in Super Street Fighter IV 3D, though the
combos flow so naturally in this game that they don't feel as necessary
It handles like a dream, then, of that there can be no doubt. My problem
with Tekken 3D is that it doesn't give us a lot of places to drive to. Single
players get a Quick Play mode (10 fights against the CPU), Survival Mode
(a number of fights against the CPU while maintaining just one energy
bar), a Practice Mode, and that's it. No Arcade mode, no Tag mode, no
character customization, nothing. Just fighting.
There aren't even any cinematic endings for each characters, something
that's been a part of more or less every Tekken game since the original
title back in 1994. Tekken has also been famous for its silly extra game
modes over the years, such as Tekken Bowl and Tekken Force. The
absence of added flourishes like these in Tekken 3D makes the game feel
a tad incomplete as an overall package, especially to those familiar with
what they're missing out on. You can't even customize your characters
with different clothing or accessories, something that recent Tekken
games have featured to make each person you face online feel unique.
What it does offer in their place is a card-swapping StreetPass 'game'
which seems to have been inspired *cough*stolen*cough* from Dead or
Alive Dimensions, which I'm pretty indifferent towards. However, the
game does come with Tekken: Blood Vengeance, a feature-length
Tekken movie in 3D. While that's definitely a nice addition and one I'm
certainly not going to turn my nose up at, many ardent Tekken fans will
have bought the film already and the less dedicated ones would have
rather had more gameplay modes. This is a game, after all.
If all you're looking for is constant Tekken action on the bus with arcade-
perfect timing and a full roster of 40 characters which you can play with
against your friends, then Tekken 3D is an essential purchase. Those who
take satisfaction from making some sort of progress through a game,
however, will be disappointed to find there isn't much meat on Tekken
3D's impressively strong bones.