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Tekken 3D Prime Edition

by Neal Ronaghan - February 15, 2012, 8:57 am PST
Total comments: 11


The single-player is anemic, and the online multiplayer is filled with lag.

For some reason, the 3DS became the destination for a cadre of fighting games, ranging from Street Fighter to Dead or Alive. Tekken 3D Prime Edition is the latest fighting game to hit the system, and while it runs at a crisp 60 frames per second when you’re not playing online, and features 41 characters, there isn’t really that much to do.

The game offers a few modes, but nothing in the realm of a good single-player experience. There is Special Survival mode, which tasks you with beating a progressively increasing amount of foes in a row on one life bar. Unfortunately, there are only four tiers of this to go through (5 enemies, 10, 20, and 40). This is also, oddly enough, the only mode where you can earn cards and card points, which are used to unlock the more than 700 collectible 3D-enhanced cards. The cards also function as the StreetPass component of the game, but even this is boringly passive, barely offering enough of a reason to care.

The other modes are Quick Battle and Versus Battle, both of which are traditional one-on-one, three-round fights. Quick Battle is exclusively versus the computer, and each character can rank up, which would be novel if there seemed to be any benefit to having a higher rank. There is no story running through Quick Battle, though after you win 10 matches, you hit the credits.

Versus Battle is for local (multi-card only) and online multiplayer. Online multiplayer features ranked and friendly matches. Unfortunately, every single match I played was filled with lag, often slowing to a standstill. Especially since the 3D is automatically turned off for the online multiplayer, the lag is inexcusable, and really hurts the longevity of the game. If you’re dedicated, you can likely play through it, but it’s truly awful. You might luck out, in a Smash Bros. Brawl-esque way, but it seems like most people’s foray of Tekken 3D online will be a lackluster experience.


Other than that, there’s nothing of note outside of a Practice mode and the 3D movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance. It’s cool that the movie is included, but there’s not way to quit out and pick up where you left off, so it’s a functional nightmare to navigate.

Putting aside the jankiness of the movie controls, the actual fighting controls are fine. The game also makes use of Super Street Fighter IV’s touch screen controls, as you can set four moves to appear on the touch screen so you can easily tap to activate them. The game impressively runs at 60 frames per second, but the stages look flat and boring. As far as 3D goes, it basically just adds two layers: one for the characters, and one for the background. Furthermore, the 3D is always turned off in multiplayer so the game can run at 60 frames per second.

If you want to play Tekken against your friends locally on the go, then Tekken 3D Prime Edition is perfect for you. For anyone wanting a decent single-player experience or a consistent online experience, you’re better off looking into one of the other fighting games on the system, as Tekken 3D Prime Edition fails both in a single-player experience and online.


  • 41 characters
  • Fun online when it doesn't lag
  • Runs at 60 frames per second in single-player
  • Flat 3D effects
  • Lag-ridden online
  • Single-player experience is severely limited
  • Very little content


VahneFebruary 15, 2012

I would give it a 7, but after a bit more playing I now give it a 6. It's only saving graces are the graphics and actual gameplay. But that doesn't really help much considering there's not much to do. Still a fun game to play now and then though.

KDR_11kFebruary 15, 2012

Is that online performance with the released game or did you get that pre-release (no idea when it comes out)? If it's pre-release there's a high chance you got matched against Japanese gamers and there's no way to do anything about the physics of latency there.

Tekken 5 had the Tekken Force mode which was a fairly lengthy SP campaign with loot and everything, since I don't enjoy Tekken at all (got 5 because it was bundled with an arcade stick I wanted) that at least added some redeeming value. Wasn't a very good campaign though and I don't think it was very well received by people who like Tekken.

KDR - I tested it extensively yesterday (the day it came out in North America). I was unable to find any matches before release (understandable, and didn't mark it down because of that). Every single match I played yesterday, which should have been predominantly North American (not out in other regions until end of the week), had lag of some form. Some were worse than others, but every single one was bad. I played about 10-15 matches.

AVFebruary 15, 2012

I hope Mortal Kombat releases on 3DS I heard only great things about the newest one. I have NEVEr been a fan of Tekken games, they just seemed so technical and boring.

5kytarFebruary 15, 2012

Can anyone tell me how to unlock different colors for the characters costumes? I have no idea how to unlock them. I've been playing an hour and haven't found any colors yet...

5kytarFebruary 15, 2012

Oh, and I've gotten to a level 100 tier in character survival battle or whatever it is.

YmeegodFebruary 16, 2012

Does the game have any sort of game sharing mode (one cart for two players).  In SSF4 you were able to do this though it was limited to other player could only be Ryu. 

YmeegodFebruary 16, 2012

"multi-card only" Nm my post, I have my answer :(.

NinSageFebruary 17, 2012

With the online being lag-tacular (even in mandatory 2D!?) does this mean ...

A) Nintendo just didn't devote many resources to the online service for this game.
B) Namco just didn't devote many resources to the online service for this game.
C) Nintendo's online for 3DS is fundamentally flawed and so we have to wait and see if the next platform "finally" gets it "right".
D) Some other explanation I didn't think of??


Disclaimer: The thoughts reflected in option C do not necessarily reflect those of the poster as his online experiences have always been just as good on Wii and DS as on PS3 (in fact, usually better!).

Note: NinSage's network reports a consistent average of 27 MB/s download speed during connection tests.  So ... yea ...

YmeegodFebruary 17, 2012

Mostly just B since:

A.) Nintendo always leave online up to the publisher/developers
C.) there's plenty of games on the 3ds that don't have lag issues like SSF4 most of the time
D.) the other Namco Tekken games all had this issue, their netcode is an joke

There's no indicator to tell the strength meter between players so one person might just have a poor connection or the distance is to great. 

Me, I have Fios 25/25 plan and avg 17+ most of the time so I'm good to go with most people.

KDR_11kFebruary 17, 2012

I don't think any of the systems prevent you from doing TCP/UDP packet level network stuff and at that level you can do pretty much anything with the network, it's all up to your ability. Bad netcode design can wreck a game in many ways and unless you're licensing a third party engine you'll likely have to design your own because there's no one-size-fits-all netcode that a platform holder could implement.

The only way Nintendo could fuck that up would be by adding some system level shit that interferes with the network actions.

At the network level all systems are the same (it's an IEEE standard and if you don't obey it your data won't go through the internet) so I always find it silly how people get amazed by cross platform multiplayer.

EDIT: Just remembered that the Tekken I got with the fight stick was 6, not 5. 6 has the Tekken Force mode, 5 had some behind the back brawler with Jin.

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Tekken 3D Prime Edition Box Art

Genre Fighting
Developer Namco Bandai

Worldwide Releases

na: Tekken 3D Prime Edition
Release Feb 14, 2012
PublisherNamco Bandai
jpn: Tekken 3D Prime Edition
Release Feb 16, 2012
PublisherNamco Bandai
eu: Tekken 3D Prime Edition
Release Feb 17, 2012
PublisherNamco Bandai
aus: Tekken 3D Prime Edition
Release Feb 23, 2012
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