This game has really taken me by surprise, I wasn't expecting a whole lot due to some of the hate I have been reading, but I decided to pick it up anyways since I managed to get it for around $25 (plus I have been longtime Tekken fan since playing Tekken 2 in the arcades), and I am simply blown away by how great it is.
Sure, it might not be the Tekken with the most modes, the most customization, and the most variety, but it is best Tekken I have played in years when it comes to entertainment. The quick battle took me by surprise since I didn't think it would be that great, seemed like a half-assed attempt at the ghost battle mode, but it works, it simply works.
Sure you don't have the ability to chose your next opponent after you win, but that is because this is supposed to replace the arcade mode, it is simply a vastly improved arcade mode, one which fixes every complaint I have ever had when it comes to traditional arcade modes. Gone is the unnecessary unbeatable boss as well as the terrible AI. Instead, you fight 10 rounds (which can be as long and as challenging as you want them to be) against "ghost" AI characters, who are presented as standard versions of their characters. Every character is ranked, and how difficult they are to fight varies on both the difficulty setting as well as how much higher or lower their rank is in comparison to yours, which are concepts straight out of ghost battle mode. So as you can see, quick battle simply takes the best aspects of both arcade mode as well as ghost battle mode and combines them into one mode that simply works on a handheld.
The reason why all of this works is because the game simply feels like it is a far more pure Tekken experience than Tekken 6 as well as Tekken 5 DR. The customization is limited to color changes (which are unlocked at each ranking once you surpass the 4'th dan ranking), which only applies to your character as well as online players. This means that while you are playing quick battle, you play against the fantastic ghost AI, and rank up your character, all while fighting against characters that look the way they should.
The zaniness of customization in some of the recent Namco fighters has been somewhat of a turnoff for me. I mean just take Soul Caliber for example, you hardly ever see any characters that even vaguely resemble the characters they're supposed to be, which takes away from the feel and purity of the game. It is just nice to see a modern Namco fighter that sticks to it's roots when it comes to character design instead of embracing the customization mania that has turned some of their recent fighters into something that more closely resembles a circus than the game it is supposed to be.
Plus, to top it all off, the 3D effect looks fantastic and it truly ads a whole new dimension to the game. In 3D, you get a feel like there is a battle happening right in front of your eyes, it is a sensation that very few games have been able to capture, so considering the fact that it is this well done in a Tekken game speaks volumes about the way it looks. I have already spend a lot more time playing this game than I thought I would, and it has already become my most frequently played 3DS game.