STORY / GAMEPLAY
15 years have passed since Heihachi Mishima defeated Kazuya Mishima and gained control of the Mishima Zaibatsu at "The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2" (the Tekken 2 title). A mysterious creature called Ogre has been stalking and attacking various fighters from around the world. In order to lure Ogre into the open and capture him, Heihachi announces "The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3". And this is where the action begins. You choose one out of 18 fighters and fight to win the tournament and ultimately defeat Ogre. Upon defeating seven random fighters you move on to face Heihachi himself at the 8th stage and then Ogre on the final stage. All of the characters have their personal reason for entering the tournament! For example, Hwoarang and Jin want to avenge the mighty Ogre while Forest Law and Paul participate just for the glory. Tekken 3 maintains the same core fighting system and concept as its predecessors but it adds more emphasis to 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 on the PSX version) towards the corresponding direction. Fighters cannot jump at extreme heights as in previous game and put more use to sidestep dodges as jumping can no longer dodge all of the ground moves. The fighting style is based on standard moves such as throws and special kicks to decrease the opponent's energy bar, but each character can use techniques such as juggle combos as well.
The graphics and the animations are all superb and the movie sequences are stunning to watch. The animation for the combatants is created using motion capture. As expected, due to the PlayStation's hardware limitations (less video RAM and slower clock speed than the arcade), the visual quality was reduced: the backgrounds were re-made into 2D panoramic images (in contrast to the original -arcade- version which is in full 3D), the characters' polygon count was reduced as well and the game runs at a lower overall resolution.
The game's sound is simply awesome and very close to the arcade version, offering plenty of techno-style tracks, high quality sampled sound effects and speech from the fight announcer. Note that the intro music theme is among the best ever created for a PSX video game.