Tekken 3D Prime is a bit of mixed bag. On one hand, it’s loaded with fan service to Tekken fans worldwide: 40 different characters, online multi-player battles, series art galore, and a 3D movie to boot. But that’s where the positives end. Tekken 3D Prime brings so little else to the table that playing it felt more like an elaborate tech demo rather than an actual game. The end result is a technically proficient fighter that should only be enjoyed by fans of the series.
The story of Tekken 3D Prime revolves around — well, actually, there is no story. This poses the game’s largest issue. The series’ first attempt on the 3DS is absolutely devoid of any sort of plot. While one could argue that the fighting genre has never been one to weave the industry’s best tales, at least games like Soul Calibur and Street Fighter make some attempt to engage the player. Tekken 3D Prime has you playing match after match with no real reward other then unlocking “Tekken Cards,” which are nothing more than images of characters and art you can share with friends via the Nintendo 3DS SpotPass system. While these unlockables are great for die-hard fans, the rest of us won’t find the ambition to fisticuff until all 765 images are unlocked.
But that’s not to say it’s a bad game. Technically, it’s hard to find a better showcase for the 3DS. The game runs at 60 FPS even when the 3D mode is turned all the way up. The fighting mechanics are on-point and do a great job of adjusting to the limitations that come along with playing a fighter on the 3DS. Much like Street Fighter on the 3DS, Tekken encompass four bottom-screen buttons that you can press to perform some of the tougher moves in a character’s arsenal. Along with the gameplay the graphics are sharp, detailed and the character models look great.