Tekken 3D: Prime Edition - Review

A new contender

Tekken 3D: Prime Edition is only the second title in the long-running fighting franchise to release on a Nintendo system - and it beats the living daylights out of the first, 2002's Tekken Advance for the Game Boy Advance. A near perfect port of Tekken 6, the 3DS title packs in all 40 characters featured in the console game along with every move, combo and attribute.

Tekken 3D Prime on Nintendo 3DS

Smooth moves

Tekken is a slightly slower-paced game than rivals like Super Street Fighter IV and the fighting is easy to get to grips with using either the d-pad or the Circle Pad (we think the former is most accurate). The four 3DS face buttons roughly represent each combatant's limbs, meaning it won't take newcomers long to pick things up or veteran Tekken players much time to begin pulling off their favourite moves. Players can also assign four combos or button presses to panels on the 3DS touch screen and execute them with a simple tap, and block by holding away from their opponent.

Survival of the fittest

Surprisingly there's no Arcade or even Story mode. Instead, the main single player game type is Survival, which consists of a series of bouts against computer controlled characters that tasks players with winning as quickly as possible using a single energy bar, which is replenished slightly after each fight. Initially enemies aren't that aggressive, but the difficulty ramps up once you have to face 20 enemies, with the final foe only suffering damage when in the air or floored.

The other single player mode, Quick Play, sees players fight ten random opponents while progressing through the martial arts ranks of Kyu and Dan, while there's full online multiplayer for those looking to test themselves against other players around the world. What's on offer is very solid in its execution, but we were hoping for a little more in the way of game modes, or even the ability to customise characters with different clothing and accessories.

Fatal frame

Two features that stand out are the quality of the 3D and the frame rate. While it perhaps looks a little underwhelming on current generation consoles, Tekken on 3DS is a visual feast. Even in 3D mode, the game runs at a silky smooth 60 frames per second with no noticeable compromise to detail, which is perfect for a title that often relies on split-second decisions when it comes to blocking and executing moves.

Tekken 3D: Prime Edition could offer more in the way of single player game modes, but what it does do it does very well. It's great-looking, handles like a dream, and it's easily the best entry in the series yet to feature on a Nintendo platform. Overall it's a smooth, almost perfect take on an already excellent console game, and it gives existing 3DS fighting titles Super Street Fighter IV and Dead Or Alive Dimensions some healthy competition.

GAME's Verdict

The Good

  • Tekken 6 on a handheld!
  • Smooth 60 frames per second action.
  • Accessible gameplay.

The Bad

  • More modes would be welcome.
  • No character customisation options.
  • The soundtrack isn't great.

Published: 08/02/2012

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