Home > Chronological Challenge > Chronological Challenge – Tekken 3

Chronological Challenge – Tekken 3

January 13, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

We’re still going strong on 1998, so here’s a game about a man who won’t die who keeps a bear as a pet. It’s a serious game, don’t snigger.

Tekken 3
Publisher: Namco | Developer: Namco | Year: 1998 (Japanese PlayStation release)
Original System: PlayStation
Played on: PS3 (original PS1 disc)

Goal: Beat Arcade Mode with every character

Actual Outcome: Unlocked every character except Dr Bosconovitch, and struggled to unlock him

I’ve a confession to make – I don’t really get fighting games. Well, I do, and I’m interesting in playing them, but the complex array of moves and combos and very specific ways of executing those things means that more often than not I feel a little put off from playing them. The ones I’ve gotten most into have been simplified fighters which pit video game characters against each other.

Tekken is a rare exception. While the series is just as guilty of the hyper-specific control schemes and complex inputs of other games, its slower pace and logical control setup means that I can get into it a little better. I’m just still really bad at it, despite owning this game for about 16 years, but…I get it.

Let me explain my reasons for this. Street Fighter has always felt massively inaccessible to me. I’ve never understood how half that series’ moves work. I see an input that writes a Z over an icon of a stick and I walk away. Its speed makes me feel even more useless at it as I get my arse handed to me before I can even figure out how to fire a single Hadouken. Tekken, on the other hand, runs slower, so I feel it’s less about flashy moves and more about technical manoeuvring and matching your opponent blow for blow (so, like real martial arts then). The moves generally feel easier to execute and the grounded nature of the fights means I don’t feel too panicky when up against an opponent.

Tekken 3 was my introduction to the series, and apparently that was a good place to start, as I’ve heard it’s one of the best. And it certainly feels like it, as Tekken 3 is an excellent game. There’s a wide array of characters with different playstyles, and a huge variety of modes to play around with these characters in. Some of these modes get delightfully silly, such as the volleyball nonsense that is Tekken Ball, and the attempts at recreating Streets of Rage in Tekken form make me smile (even if I did struggle to clear it).

But while it is fun, my ineptitude at fighting games means that I’m always feeling like I’m missing out on something when I play it. I see the 10-hit combos in Practice Mode and feel completely incapable of performing them every time I try. The timings feel so precise, so obtuse, that I just never feel like I’ll pull them off. And when I get beaten to a pulp by a random AI in Arcade Mode simply because I’m not sure if I’m blocking properly, it dampens my enjoyment a little.

Don’t get me wrong here. Tekken 3 is a fine package, and as old-school fighters go, it’s hard to complain. My lack of total enjoyment comes entirely from the genre’s difficulty of access, and where Tekken struggles to engage me, it’s the kind of thing that causes me problems no matter what the fighter is.

But it’s good. I just wish I was much better at fighting games so I could enjoy it a bit more.

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