Tekken 3 (1997)

4.31 from 82 votes
Set nearly twenty years after the events of its predecessor, the third Tekken features an overhauled roster and reworked 3D movement system, and the console version adds new characters and minigames.
First released
Mar 20, 1997
Franchises
Tekken
Developed by
Namco
Published by
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Namco
Platforms
PlayStation, Arcade
Genres
Fighting
Themes
Martial Arts
Rating
ESRB: T, PEGI: 12+
Releases
  • ARC - Tekken 3 Japan
  • ARC - Tekken 3 United Kingdom
  • ARC - Tekken 3 United States
  • PS1 - Tekken 3 (Greatest Hits) United States
  • PS1 - Tekken 3 United States
  • PS1 - Tekken 3 Japan
  • PS1 - Tekken 3 United Kingdom
  • PS1 - Tekken 3 (PlayStation the Best) Japan

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*Warning: spoilers* My favorite entry in the Tekken series with a lot of memories
I loved Tekken 3 and still think it is the best installment in the series. Although it is, yet again, the same principle as the first two games, the new character roster and improvements made it just perfect.

In Tekken 3, the masters at Namco expanded the story yet again. Fifteen years after the last King of Iron Fist Tournament, Heihachi, still the leader of the Mishima Zaibatsu established his own personal paramilitary army called Tekken Force. His actions and various events, with the aid of the Tekken Force, ultimately lead to world peace. He then learns of an ancient temple in Mexico, which is the home of a mysterious and ancient fighter called Ogre. Heihachi wants to harness the power of the Ogre for himself and seek for him. Many fighters around the world end up dead, missing or beat up, all caused by the Ogre.

Jun Kazama, mother of Jin Kazama lives a peacefull live but senses that she has become a target for Ogre. She wants Jin to seek out his granddaddy Heihachi in order to keep him safe from harm. Ogre attacks the Kazama household eventually and Jin tries to defend it and his mother. He gets wacked and wakes up, seeing his home in ruins and his mother missing, presumably dead. Driven by revenge, he is confronted, marked and ultimately, possessed by the Devil himself (a little family trait). He seeks out Heihachi and begs him to train him so he can become strong enough to face Ogre. Heihachi accepts and takes care of Jin. Four years later, Jin is now nineteen and a master in karate. Heihachi organizes the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, in which he secretly uses Jin and his buddies to lure Ogre out of his hiding place.

Once again, the big star here is Paul Phoenix. He participates, wipes the floor with everyone, including Jin and enters a large temple in which he faces Ogre. He beats the sh!t out of Ogre and thinks he is the champion. Then, Ogre reveals his true form called “True Ogre” and the fight starts again. Paul, again, beats the living hell out of him and wins the tournament, avenging Jun Kazama in the process. Moments later, Jin Kazama is gunned down by Tekken Force because Heihachi does not need him anymore. Heihachi himself pulls the final shot in Jin’s head, but instead of dying, the Devil inside Jin takes over, killing all the soldiers and yeets Heihachi trough the temple wall. Jin then transforms into his devil form with black wings and some sort of crystal thingy on his forehead and flies away, looking down and seeing that Heihachi survived the fall.

This story is even darker than the previous games and more epic than ever. I also liked that all three games so far see Jin and Kazuya as the big stars, while in reality, Paul Phoenix is the one that beated everyone so far, including Jin, a big Ogre monster and even Heihachi himself.

In Tekken 3, the mechanics and gameplay are the same as the first two games, with some tweaks. You got the arcade mode in which you fight your way through the final boss Ogre and his final form. You also got the new Survival mode and Time Attack mode from Tekken 2. Additionally, you get the new “Tekken Force” mini game, in which you defeat opponents in a side scrolling fashion. You also got the new (and a little unnecessary) mode called Tekken Ball. In which you play volleyball with Tekken characters.

Tekken 3 introduces a whole new roster of characters, respecting the fact that the game takes place twenty years after the events of Tekken 2. Six characters from the previous game are present, the rest is completely new. This gives the game a unique new feeling and let you experience a completely new cast.

The mechanics have been greatly improved in Tekken 3. Jumping is now more realistic (instead of the moon jumps that avoided any damage from the previous games), you recover faster when lying on the ground, more chance to escape from grapples and stuns and the introduction of many new juggle-like combos and attacks.

The only downside with this game, and the games that follow, is the new character Eddy Gordo. Although I love his backstory and design, he is the only one that is not balanced, in comparison to the excellent balancing of the other characters. His many low and ground moves can be exploited and can create infinite hit combo’s that are unbreakable. The issues are addressed in the later installments but in Tekken 3, he is God himself when faced or when playing as him.

Once again, the graphics received a big upgrade from the previous games.
Especially the punch effects and damage clouds are greatly improved. The sound design also received some more love and sound amazing.

The controls and combo’s feel a lot more responsive in Tekken 3. It is the start for the fluent controls that were carried over to the next generation of Tekken games.

In the end, Tekken 3 deserves its title as one of the greatest videogames of its kind and is a worthy successor to the previous games.

Needless to say, I would recommend this classic.
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