March 20, 1997
JP March 26, 1998
NA April 29, 1998
EU September 12, 1998
|Arcade system||Namco System 12|
Tekken 3 (Japanese: 鉄拳3?) is the third installment in the popular Tekken fighting game series. It was released for Arcades in March 1997, and for the PlayStation in March - September 1998. The original Arcade version of the game was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 as part of Tekken 5 's Arcade History mode. Tekken 3 is still widely considered one of the greatest games of its genre, and of all time. With more than 8.5 million copies sold worldwide, Tekken 3 is the fifth best-selling Playstation game of all time.
It was the first game released on Namco System 12 hardware (an improvement to the original two Tekken games, which used System 11). It was also the last installment of the series for the PlayStation. A non-canon sequel was released in 1999 and 2000 in arcades and PlayStation 2 respectively, titled Tekken Tag Tournament, followed by the canon sequel, Tekken 4, in arcades and PlayStation 2 in 2001 and 2002, respectively.
Tekken 3 maintains the same core fighting system and concept as its predecessors, but brings many improvements, such as significantly more detailed graphics and animations, fifteen new characters added to the game's roster, more modern music and faster and more fluid gameplay.
Perhaps the most noticeable change from Tekken 2 fight system is movement reform - whereas the element of depth had been largely insignificant in previous Tekken games (aside from some characters having unique sidesteps and dodging maneuvers), Tekken 3 added emphasis on the third axis, allowing all characters to sidestep in or out of the background by lightly pressing the arcade stick (or tapping the controller button in the console version) towards the corresponding direction. Another big change in movement was that jumping was toned down, no longer allowing fighters to jump to extreme heights (as was present in previous games), but keeping leaps to reasonable, realistic heights. It made air combat more controllable, and put more use to sidestep dodges, as jumping no longer became a universal dodge move that was flying above all of the ground moves. Other than that, the improved engine allowed for quick recoveries from knock-downs, more escapes from tackles and stuns, better juggling (as many old moves had changed parameters, allowing them to connect in combo-situations, where they wouldn't connect in previous games) and extra newly created combo throws.
Tekken 3 was the first Tekken to feature a beat 'em up minigame called "Tekken Force", which pitted the player in various stages against enemies in a side-scrolling fashion. If the player succeeds in beating the minigame four times, Dr. Bosconovitch would be a playable character (granted that you defeat him first). This was continued in Tekken 4 and succeeded by the Devil Within minigame in Tekken 5 - but Boskonovitch was dropped as a playable character after Tekken 3. There is also a minigame "Tekken Ball", similar to beach volleyball, where one has to hit the ball with a powerful attack to hurt the opponent or try to hit the ball in such a way that it hits the ground in the opponent's area, thus causing damage.
Fifteen years after the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2, Heihachi Mishima has established the Tekken Force: a paramilitary organization dedicated to the protection of the Mishima Zaibatsu. A squadron of the Tekken Force searches an ancient temple located in Mexico under the premise of an excavation project. Soon after arriving there, Heihachi learns that they have been obliterated by a mysterious yet malevolent creature who is known simply as Ogre. Heihachi, having captured a brief glimpse of Ogre with his own two eyes before its immediate disappearance now seeks to capture Ogre in the hopes of harnessing its immense fighting power for his own personal gain. Soon after, various martial artists end up dead, attacked or missing from all over the world, with Ogre behind it.
Jun Kazama has been living a quiet life in Yakushima with her young son, Jin, fathered after the events of the previous tournament by Heihachi's son, Kazuya. However, their peaceful life is disrupted when Jun begins to feel the encroaching presence of Ogre. Jun is now a target and instructs Jin to seek Heihachi should anything happen. Sometime after Jin's fifteenth birthday, Ogre indeed attacks. Against Jun's wishes, Jin valiantly tries to fight Ogre off, but Ogre knocks him unconscious. When Jin awakens, he finds that his house has been burned to the ground, and that his mother is missing and most likely dead. Driven by revenge, Jin is confronted by the Devil, which brands Jin's left arm and possesses him. Jin goes to Heihachi, explaining his situation and identity and begging him for training to become strong enough to face Ogre. Heihachi accepts and takes Jin in, as well as sending him to school to where Jin befriends a fellow classmate named Ling Xiaoyu and her pet Panda.
Four years later, Jin masters the Mishima karate style. On Jin's nineteenth birthday, Heihachi announces the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 3, secretly intending to lure out Ogre, while Jin himself prepares for his upcoming battle, having no clue or idea that his grandfather is secretly using him, Xiaoyu (who had entered the tournament in the hopes of winning the prize money so that she can use it to build her own personal amusement park), and the rest of the competitors as bait in order to lure Ogre out into the open.
In the tournament, at a large temple, Paul Phoenix defeats Ogre and walks away from the tournament, thinking he is victorious. However, Ogre transforms into its true form of a monstrous beast, and Jin finally confronts it. Jin battles and defeats Ogre, and the being completely dissolves. However, Jin is suddenly gunned down by a squadron of Tekken Forces led by Heihachi, who, no longer needing him, personally fires a final shot into his grandson's head.
However, Jin, revived by the Devil within him, reawakens and dispatches the soldiers, smashing Heihachi through the wall of the temple. Jin catches Heihachi right before he hits the ground, and he looks up to see Jin sprout feathery wings and fly off into the night.
Due to the time skip in the story, the game only features 6 characters from the previous two games: Anna Williams (who serves as palette swap of Nina in the arcade version), Heihachi Mishima, Lei Wulong, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, and Yoshimitsu. However, most of the new characters can be considered as replacement for the missing ones, with a few even having the same move list as the original. 15 new characters are introduced: Bryan Fury, an kickboxing cyborg sent by his creator Dr. Abel to assassinate Mishima Zaibatsu's Dr. Bosconovitch, Eddy Gordo, a Capoeira prodigy seeking revenge against Mishima Zaibatsu for having assassinated his parents and ruined his family's business, Forest Law, the son of Marshall Law also practicing the same mixed martial arts and is joining the tournament at the behest of Marshall's friend, Paul Phoenix, Gun Jack, the third model of the JACK series sent by his creator, Jane to retrieve Jack-2's file containing his memories, Hwoarang, a Tae Kwon Do student of Baek Doo San wanting to take revenge against Ogre for apparently murdering his teacher, Jin Kazama, the grandson of Heihachi Mishima and son of Kazuya Mishima and Jun Kazama practicing both his parents' martial arts who seeks revenge against Ogre for having supposedly killed his mother, Julia Chang, the adopted daughter of Michelle Chang sets out to rescue her kidnapped mother from Mishima Zaibatsu, King II, the successor of the original King who participates to save his predecessor's orphanage, Kuma II, the son of the original Kuma also serving as Heihachi's loyal pet and bodyguard, Ling Xiaoyu, a Chinese teenager practicing Baguazhang and Piguaquan who wants to build her own amusement park by winning the tournament, Mokujin, a 2000-year old wooden dummy who comes to life as a result of Ogre's awakening and is able to switch between the other characters' fighting styles, Panda, Xiaoyu's pet and bodyguard and is the palette swap of Kuma, Tiger Jackson, a disco man with an afro who is the palette swap of Eddy, and Ogre, the mysterious immortal humanoid known as the God of Fighting who is responsible for the disappearances of numerous martial artists around the world and also serves as the final boss of this game along with his true form, True Ogre.
The console version made Anna fully playable and separate from Nina, complete with updated move set and appearance, as well as introducing two new characters, Dr. Bosconovitch, the elderly scientist of Mishima Zaibatsu and the friend of Yoshimitsu responsible for creating many of their projects, including the genetically altered animals Roger and Alex, and Gon, a special guest character from the manga of the same name.
The music for Tekken 3 was written by Nobuyoshi Sano and Keiichi Okabe for the Arcade version, with the PlayStation version featuing additional themes by Nobuyoshi Sano, Keiichi Okabe, Hiroyuki Kawada, Minamo Takahashi, and Yuu Miyake.
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The original port of Tekken 3 to the PlayStation featured two new characters: Gon and Dr. Boskonovitch. Anna was also updated and given her own character-select spot complete with a unique portrait, voice, stance, a few of her own unique moves (as well as her moves from the first two games, some of which were given to Ogre) and her own ending, as opposed to in previous installments, where she was basically a model-swap of Nina. Still, she reused a lot of Nina's strikes and throws. She was made even more unique in Tekken 5. The PlayStation version features new "Tekken Force" and "Tekken Ball" modes, as well as all modes present in Tekken 2. Due to PSX hardware limitations (less video RAM and lower clock speed) the visual quality was reduced. The backgrounds were re-made into 2D panoramic images, the character poly-count was reduced, and the game ran at lower overall resolution.
The PlayStation 2 release of Tekken 5 features the Arcade version of Tekken 3.
According to Metacritic, Tekken 3 has a score of 96 out of 100, indicating universal acclaim and is ranked number 2 on their list of greatest PlayStation games, behind Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Tekken 3 became the first game in three years to receive a 10 from a reviewer from Electronic Gaming Monthly, with three of the four reviewers giving it the highest possible score (Tekken 3 was the first game to score a 10 under EGM 's revised review scale in that a game no longer needed to be "perfect" to receive a 10; the last game to receive a 10 from the magazine was Sonic & Knuckles). The only holdout was the magazine's enigmatic fighting-game review guru, Sushi-X, who said that "no game that rewards newbies for button-mashing will ever be tops in my book", giving the game 9 out of 10. As of April 2011, the game is listed as the twelfth-highest-rated game of all time on the review compiling site GameRankings with an average ratio of 95.8%.
GameSpot gave the game a 9.9/10, saying "Not much stands between Tekken 3 and a perfect 10 score. If the PlayStation exclusive characters were better and Force mode a bit more enthralling, it could have come closer to a perfect score." and praises the sound effects, music and graphics.
In December 2006, Tekken 3 was ranked tenth on GameSpot's top ten list. In September 2004 it ranked #10 on PSM 's "Final PlayStation Top 10" and #177 on Game Informer's Top 200 games of all time. In 2011, Complex ranked it as the fourth best fighting game of all time. Complex also ranked Tekken 3 as the ninth best arcade video game of the 1990s, commenting that "this now classic fighter served as a welcome palette cleanser to the Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter dichotomy that dominated arcades in the 90s." According to Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada, Tekken 3 sold 8.3 million copies during its initial release on the original PlayStation, making it the second best-selling fighting game of all-time, second only to Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
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- PlayStation: The Official Magazine asserts in its January 2009 issue that Tekken 3 "is still widely considered one of the finest fighting games of all time." See "Tekken 6: A History of Violence," PlayStation: The Official Magazine (January 2009): 46.
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- Tekken 3 Official Website
- Tekken 3 Official Website (Japanese)
- Tekken 3 Official Website (Japanese)
- Tekken 3 for PlayStation at GameSpot.com
- Tekken 3 for Arcade Games at GameSpot.com
- Tekken 3 at The Killer List of Videogames
- Tekken 3 at MobyGames
Tekken Tag Tournament