Tekken 3D Prime Edition

Beauty is only skin deep.

By Daavpuke, Posted 14 Feb 2012

Tekken once found a niche between speed, combinations and timing in order to find its way amongst the top contenders. Today, Tekken 3D Prime Edition jumbles up this fine structure in order to create the smoothest 3D experience possible. The focus on the stunning 60fps 3D, complete with full colors and a sleek finish, didn’t do a lot for the fighting giant in the end. Beauty is only skin deep.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition - NoobFeed Review

Let’s however give credit where it’s due: Tekken 3D is probably some of the visually best designed games on the 3DS to date. Full, sweeping animations make the characters seem vivid and the good offset between background and foreground further enhance the focus on the action. The camera does an equally splendid job of following the fight swiftly, giving it that extra bit of motion during moves. However, the 3D does break at all but the most optimal viewing angle and the background sliding panels are completely mismatched on some of the brighter, more imaginative locales. In particular, the otherwise fun hillside stage filled with sheep swoops in distinctly different pieces, which breaks the atmosphere and realism attempted.

Tekken 3D also has little to no story attached to it, as its main fighting mode is a Survival effort. The cartridge does come with the movie “Tekken: Blood Vengeance,” but it only focuses on a limited amount of characters and is only admirable for being visually stunning once more. If there’s anything to say about this title, it’s that they got the surface presentation down perfectly.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition - NoobFeed Review

Further good news for fighting fans is the impressive roster, featuring 40 odd characters with immensely elaborate move sets and even a bunch of amusing costumes. Some of the noticeable wardrobes include Shinobi, Bruce Lee and someone that looks like Dick Tracy, no joke. It’s more than just eye candy here though; the moves and possibilities within are the quality factor about Tekken 3D. Luckily, that’s the most important thing. Each character has its own list of moves and attacks vary greatly from all angles and positions possible. There are heavy attacks, quick combinations, grapples, counters, strikes from a backward position; it’s a true bounty of plenty.

But this is where the game slumps down to mediocrity, more than aforementioned quirks demerit it. Almost none of these moves will be necessary, as a skillful use of the 4 command prompts on the touch screen is enough. Certainly given a wide selection of moves can be customized for these inputs, there isn’t a need to really think outside the box. In minutes, the Perfect matches will roll off the screen in rapid succession and the search for intricate combos or splendid parries will become a futile endeavor. Let’s make an illustrative example. From the standard load out, use King. Proceed by pressing 1, 2 and 3 respectively and then learn to stagger kick until the opponent dies, as ground moves can also be exploited. Even on Hard, one of the lengthier challenges the Survival mode had to offer became a breeze.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition - NoobFeed Review

This creates two more minor issues in its wake of leniency. First off, prepare to hear “Get ready for the next battle,” a lot and within seconds of each other. Let’s see how amusing that is in a 100 match challenge. Secondly, Tekken 3D also has a few outstanding musical numbers attached to it. But given that battles last less than half a minute a piece, it’s hard to enjoy any one track.

So what is there to enjoy about this game? Two things: Card collecting and multiplayer. By surviving challenges, players can rack up Card points and collect new cards. With over 700 of these bad boys, it will take a lot of determination to see it through to the end. But more importantly, players can go head to head either locally or online. And while the same exploits and downsides will still apply, it will at least be a lot less predictable to battle the pushover artificial enemies. Perhaps in time, there might even be a way around all this mess and a separation between skill and speed will bring forth a new wind in this title. But that is speculation more than it is a fact. In that same probability, the spamming use might ramp up accordingly with the skills learned and just make matters worse.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition - NoobFeed Review

Tekken 3D is love at first sight, but fades away in mediocrity quickly, due to some poorly chosen priorities. The 60fps aspect was a marketing plug and it’s apparent that this choice was paramount above a good balance between accessibility and clever combat tactics. It’s like that knockout gal that looks drop dead gorgeous but lacks any personality. At first, this oversight is nothing compared to having unimaginably hooked such a beauty. But before long, the tangible thrills fade away and it suddenly becomes apparent how deceivingly easy this catch was, making the ride a lot less fun. Switch this to the male version, should that analogy fit better.


Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): 3DS
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai
Developer(s): Arika, Namco Bandai Games
Genres: Fighting
Themes: Fighting
Release Date: 2012-02-14

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