It’s a rather impressive feat to do what Tekken 3D Prime Edition did. Not only including every single character from the Tekken 6 roster but also being able to maintain 60 frames per second in 3D mode is definitely something to boast. Heck, it even manages to fit the whole Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie in 3d. Unfortunately, that does not hide the fact that this is the same exact Tekken 6 that has been on arcades, consoles and the PSP for quite some time and that Tekken: Blood Vengeance is already available on Blu-ray. It’s hard to consider this as anything brand new to the table as Tekken 3D Prime Edition also removes practically everything in Tekken 6 except for the core fighting game.
The source material for Tekken 3D Prime Edition is indeed Tekken 6 with no changes to the mechanics. The bound system is still in play, the game is still easy to pick up and it features all the lovely cast of characters that you may know including a friggen bear. Much like any fighting game, you fight in one vs. one affairs to X number of rounds and the whole goal is to beat the other guy to a bloody pulp. This game focuses a lot of getting in up close to your enemies and also making use of that 3D space that 2D based fighters such as Street Fighter don’t have the luxury of using. Attacks feel great, things look like they hurt, moves are fairly simple but learning combos and mastering your attacks will be key to winning. As a fighting game fan, you should already be familiar with Tekken but for someone who might have not played much of it, Tekken 6 or Tekken 3D Prime Edition is a good stepping stone into the series.
So what was in Tekken 6 that was removed in Tekken 3D? Character customization is gone. Most of the stages have either been removed, replaced or had features taken out of (no sheep in the sheep stage). Special 3rd costumes have been removed. The pointless Campaign from the console games was also removed but that’s probably the best thing they could have done. Ghost data to and from other players has been removed. What this leaves us is simply a game that has a great fighting system that, again, can already be found in Tekken 6 on other systems and are more accessible compared to the Nintendo 3DS.
Unfortunately, the medium of using the 3DS as a fighting game controller is less than desired. Using the slide pad is only barely acceptable while the d-pad is just not meant to be used for fighters with how uncomfortably placed it is. To help alleviate this or perhaps to help new players get into the game, you can set shortcuts on the touch screen much like Street Fighter 4 on the 3DS. What is unique is that you can use L and R as effectively a shift modifier and it will allow you to use those shortcut buttons on YXBA instead of the touch screen. It helps a bit especially during combos that require strict timing and when the inputs matter most. These shortcuts not only allow you to setup multiple button inputs (like LP and RP at the same time) but also any move in your command list except for certain throws, sample combos and the 10-hit combo strings. This also doesn’t mean free Electric Wind God Fists or any just-frame moves, much to my dismay.
To put it bluntly: the online is garbage but a small step up from what Tekken 6 had when it originally came out. Sure, it’s not like you’re fighting in an aquarium this time but it wouldn’t be enough to make you want to keep playing online. Local wireless play is available but from what I can tell, it has no game sharing so you will need both people to have the game. 3D mode is also disabled during online play.
Graphically, it looks great for a 3DS game that runs at constant 60 FPS. However, the sacrifices to do that really took a toll on everything else. The character models look fine and they even included Anna Williams’ new Tekken Tag 2 face along with Heihachi’s younger version. The backgrounds just fade away in the back and I generally just don’t feel so engrossed into them or even feel them as I play. Tekken 6 had some amazing stages and it’s a shame that most of them didn’t make the cut due to, what I would assume, lack of graphical resources. The 3D does look great and it really pops the characters out and the UI hud as well.
The only real single player content in this would be the Special Survival mode and Quick Battle. Quick Battle is exactly like it was in the console and PSP version where you just endlessly fight CPU AI until you want to stop. This also includes the ranking system and unlike the consoles, you can go beyond 1st Dan. Special Survival mode is simply just survival mode with stages that tries to change things up. This includes giving you rage at the start of the match or only letting you do damage if you combo the opponent. Completing Special Survival will net you Tekken Cards which are 3D gallery images featuring images from the past Tekken games and some still shots from the Blood Vengeance movie. These cards can then be traded to other Tekken 3D Prime Edition players via Streetpass and really serves no other purpose.
And Tekken: Blood Vengeance? It’s a nice novelty of a CG film but nothing that is even close to blockbuster. If you really want to watch this, I would suggest picking up Tekken Hybrid and a Blu-ray instead.
I can’t say I recommend this game when most likely if you have access to a Nintendo 3DS, you probably also have access to an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3. In that case, you can pick up Tekken 6 for about 10 dollars. If you really want your Tekken on the go and you don’t already have the PSP version, this wouldn’t be a bad pick up if the price was on the lower end. The 3D film is an interesting watch but I wouldn’t suggest getting this just for the film itself. Even if Tekken 3D Prime Edition is your last resort of playing Tekken 6 on a portable, I just can’t help but feel that they could have done a way better job than this. Tekken: Dark Resurrection (a port of T5:DR on the PSP) was probably the best portable port of a Tekken title. Tekken 3D Prime Edition’s existence is just insulting when compared to that. It really just feels like this only exists just as a tech demo and nothing else.
This review of Tekken 3D Prime Edition is based on 2 hours of actual gameplay with 2 hours or so of watching Tekken: Blood Vengeance. Most of that gameplay is mostly Mog playing as Lee Chaolan and doing df+2, d+2, b+2~f,N, b+2~f,N, b+2~f,N, f+4,3, B!, ff, d/f+3,2,3 and then proceeds to murder his opponent in the wall. Oh and about 30 minutes of trying to EWGF with Kazuya with the 3DS. That wasn’t fun. The rating of this review does not take into the account of the quality of Tekken: Blood Vengeance.