Tekken 3D Prime Edition is a joint effort between Namco and Arika, with the latter being responsible for the Street Fighter EX series, as well as the 3D revivals like 3D Classics: Excitebike. It's abundantly clear that the technical performance was a top priority during development, but overall, the amount of content seems to have suffered as a result. The inclusion of the Tekken Blood Vengeance film is a fleeting curiosity at best and doesn't even come close to making up for the lack of variety in gameplay.
6350451Dragunov, Xiaoyu, and Heihachi bring the pain in Tekken 3D Prime Edition480none
Prime's greatest triumph is its smooth frame rate, which does the game's hard-hitting nature proper justice. You don't have to sacrifice speed for 3D, for the most part. Multiplayer is the one exception, in that the 3D mode is automatically disabled. Regardless, the fact that the single-player modes support the full frame rate with 3D enabled is an outstanding achievement. It absolutely sets the bar for any future fighting games on the system.
Most of the character models look exactly like their counterparts found in the PSP version of Tekken 6, which is a good thing; both games share the same roster. The 3DS has a slightly lower resolution, but the smaller screen diminishes any discernible differences in the end. The one major exception is Heihachi, who has been given an overhaul from the waist up, similar to Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Character models are large, detailed, and crisp. Screenshots do not reflect the excellent work that's gone into rendering the characters on the 3DS, and they truly stand out with 3D turned to the max.
Still images don't accurately represent the quality of Tekken's character models.
If you've played a Tekken game before, you can expect to feel right at home with Prime. The move lists are on par with recent entries in the series and it's easy to get lost in the heat of combat. Sadly, the 3DS's small D-pad and buttons make it hard to input a lot of your favorite moves. Using the circle pad makes more ergonomic sense, but Tekken is a game where commands are heavily dependent on directional inputs. Without defined directions, the circle pad is just the lesser of two evils. This is a hardware problem, and the developers tried to remedy this by allowing you to program inputs, or combinations thereof, to large buttons on the lower screen. It works in theory, but true competitors often shy away from these types of shortcuts. That said, if you want to play Tekken on the 3DS, the limitations and solutions provided might be a necessary evil you have to endure.
Stage design took a bit of a hit. There are few transparencies, little to no animation in any given stage, and depth is often handled through the use of parallax to presumably minimize polygon counts. Overall, the stage design feels secondary to the characters, which sounds bad, but it makes perfect sense in a Tekken game where the stages usually have little practical impact on gameplay.
Background features are often static images that rotate with the camera.