Tekken 3D Prime Edition
The first thing you notice in this Tekken 3D are the graphics. We may not quite be used to the beauty you get on a Nintendo handheld but this time the makers clearly put the graphical presentation at the top of their wishlist and also made sure the 3D effect is impressive.
Attention for the technical aspect is especially important as in fight games it’s crucial to put down your moves as fluent as possible and react equally fast. Kudos that the framerate with the 3D turned up completely remains steady at all times; only in multiplayer you’ll have to be satisfied with two dimensions on your handheld. Fans won’t be bothered with that choice though.
Less fun is that the characters look a lot better than the arenas. These are only present as canvas to paint your moves on as you shouldn’t expect much interaction or extras on them. And you see that simplicity also in the rest of the game. A singleplayer story isn’t really present and also personalisation like in the bigger brothers on console is also absent.
Another problem with handheld – something Dead or Alive Dimensions cicumvented through stylus inputs – are of course the buttons. Also for this Tekken the devs chose to introduce an alternative way for combos through virtual buttons on the bottom screen which you can set up yourself. Possibly an elegant solution, but not really good for those who want to play competitively. Bend those fingers!
Let’s look at what isn’t absent. Practice mode does what it says, while the Survival mode challenges you to stay alive in dozens of battles. There’s also a “special” version of this which not only gives you one life bar that only grows a small bit in between rounds, but also puts certain conditions to giving and receiving damage. Quick Battle comes closest to a real campaign; in ten rounds you meet and (hopefully) defeat opponents that constantly get stronger. But that’s all there is.
Multiplayer in other words is very important in this package and luckily this is fast and without lag when playing locally. Online is quite the difference, especially as we rarely find anyone with a good connection. Keep that in mind if you want to buy this. An extra is that you can earn no less than 765 cards with 3D images of the characters in the various modes. Euhm… ok… I guess that’s supposed to be fun?
Whether you want to buy this Tekken depends a lot of what you’re looking for. There’s not really a lot to do if you look beyond the technical aspect. The fighting itself is very good and those that don’t mind the absence of console buttons will find a deep game that contains quite some gaming fun in for instance local multiplayer or singleplayer modes. Everything looks very beautiful, but the extras are véry thin.