Tekken 3 is lavish, even with the Dreamcast competition, but it isn't the prominent fighter it used to be in 1998 either

User Rating: 7 | bleemcast! Tekken 3 DC
The Dreamcast is a top notch system for fighters With titles ranging from state-of-the-art 3D fighters such as Dead Or Alive 2, Power Stone and Soul Calibur to an over-crowded section of original 2D fighters like Guilty Gear X and Last Blade. Yet despite there being such a wide variety of fighters on the system, Sega fans find it hard not to ignore the lack of Tekken. Yes, the very same fluid and addictive Namco arcade fighting service, best known for it's exclusivity to Playstation, until now.

Bleemcast Tekken 3 allows Dreamcast owners to play Namco's hit fighter without the need of a Playstation, besides vamping the visuals up to the higher standards of the 128-bit machine. Even your average Joe would notice a number of modifiers made to the game's enhanced look. The game runs at a higher resolution, making notable use of anti-aliasing and with much softened textures thanks to the machine's filtering abilities. Bleemcast makes Tekken 3 a far greater looking title to play and it still plays silky smooth at 50/60 frames.

Tekken was Namco's initial answer to a 3D fighting game. Obviously since they've made other fighters from it, including Soul Blade, but what made it different was more subtle than that. The characters are controlled by a button for each limb rather than high or low attacks for punches and kicks. The result of this creates a deep and memorable fighting system, which is exactly what keeps the series fresh all the way to it's 1997 release in the form of Tekken 3.

Thankfully, due to the fantastic balancing and simplistic nature of the game's control it isn't quite as difficult to enjoy as like the newer Capcom or SNK fighters either. This arguably makes Tekken 3 one of the best fighting games for multiplayer get togethers. Tekken 3 also has a very unique cast of characters and is able to appeal to almost all types of fighting styles because of it. Whether you want to play as a kick-boxing cyborg, a sword wielding ninja or even a tiny fire-breathing dinosaur, Tekken 3 has the ability to appease to those kinds of requests with makes it far more distinct to other Dreamcast fighters.

There is far more replay value from Namco's game than in Virtua Fighter 3TB. Tekken 3 has a tonne of unlockable content, such as hidden charactes, unlockable costumes and CG-animated endings for each character. Without going into detail, it also begs the mention of a certain volleyball related minigame mode but the secret of this deserves to be experienced first hand. Not that the game is impressive enough with the pre-experienced Team battle, Survival and Time Attack modes alongside the original arcade mode itself. Perhaps the most standout of these modes however would be the Tekken Force mode, a Final Fight inspired brawler where you take on soldiers throughout a side-scrolling level before battling a boss at the end.

When it comes down to the emulation itself, Bleemcast does an awesome job in retaining Tekken 3's glory however there are a few problems. Firstly, the value is weak as with any other Bleemcast package. Back in 2001, to get Bleemcast, you need to spend $20 and since you need the game as well, that $20 can become $50 or even $60 which will no doubt put off anyone looking for a bargain. You also need a dedicated VMU which means you'd have to spend atleast ANOTHER $20 before you can get the best out of the Bleemcast Tekken 3. The pricing has become much more lax for all of these items since though, but the accessbility of Bleemcast Tekken 3 is still somewhat silly given the necessity of all of these factors in order to operate the game as recommended. Is it really worth the effort?

It's also worth noting that the Dreamcast controller isn't very comfortable for playing Tekken 3. Performing intricate moves, like Jin's Dragon Uppercut, are incredibly hard to pull off. The emulation, despite being very good, still isn't perfect either. I noticed the occasional flashing polygons and square black boarders on 2D objects like the sprites that surround attacks. These emulation issues vary between regions too, the PAL version of Tekken 3 has a problem with it's FMVs and menus becoming garbled. Again, I need to press - it is a strong article, commendable given the difficulty to program emulated hardware, but still rough on the edges even so. It is clear that Bleem! wanted to get this product out of the door while they still could.

As a Dreamcast title, Tekken 3 is by far the least impressive fighter on the system visually, despite the upgrade in resolution and filtering. The 2D backgrounds are unimpressive and the character models are incredibly bulky. However, Tekken 3 does have some high quality texturing and details, even in their softened out state on Dreamcast. It can also be said that the animation is still just as spectacular as it was on Playstation; however, it still isn't anywhere near as high quality as Virtua Fighter 2 on Sega Saturn.

So overall, Tekken 3 is a marvellous fighter that is still lavish even with the Dreamcast competition. However, like with Bleemcast Metal Gear Solid, terrible value and odd bugs ruin the experience some what. It isn't the prominent fighter it used to be in 1998 either.