If you were one of the lucky people to own the original PlayStation when it first came out, chances are that you played your fair share of games on it. Granted, the graphics are nowhere close to what they are today, but still, you played for the thrill of the game
One such game that had me hooked was Tekken
In case you’re not familiar with Tekken, its essentially a fighting video game that was created, developed and published by Namco. It was later handled by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Originally released in 1994, Tekken was also one of the first fighting games at the time to use 3D animation.
The main premise of the story in Tekken is for your character to take part in the King of Iron Fist Tournament, which is hosted by Mishima Zaibatsu. If you win, you gain control over the company and you can organize the next tournament. Players can choose a character from a lineup and carry out hand-to-hand combat with an opponent. What originally started off with 7 characters has now grown to have more than 17, each with their own moves and abilities as well.
Sure I didn’t own a PlayStation but I had a friend who did. I would spend my weekends at their place and we would try out the different characters and moves to see what worked best. Following that, I bought myself a Playstation Portable (which I still use) and loaded Tekken on to that as well. I proceeded to walk around the house with my eyes glued to the screen as I replayed the game with my favorite characters.
Tekken goes Mobile
Recently, Bandai Namco games also released Tekken for both Android and iOS platforms. Curious to see how the gameplay would be like, I decided to download the game. Tekken Mobile is free to download and has a number of in-app purchases. The purchases are not really needed to advance in the game and can be skipped.
Before downloading, it should be noted that Tekken Mobile is quite a large game and as such, if you’re on a limited mobile data plan, it’s recommended to switch to a Wi-Fi connection. Once installed, Tekken Mobile takes around 800-900MB so if you don’t have enough storage on your phone, you might want to free up some space.
It was time to get ready for the next battle
The initial loading process of the game takes about 30-45 seconds to complete based on the capabilities of your smartphone or tablet. Once all the game files are loaded you’re presented with a homescreen where you can see all the details related to your career. To make sure that your career progress doesn’t get deleted when you uninstall the game or change devices, Tekken Mobile syncs the progress to your Google Play Games account.
As seen in the screenshot above, the main screen gives you a dashboard where you can see all your statistics. From the top of the dashboard, you have access to details such as current character level, Gems Cash, Achievements, an Inbox and also a Leaderboard. Located at the bottom of the Dashboard, you see a hexagonal gold button with the word “Fight”. On either side of the button are two buttons labeled “Fighters” and “Shop”
Gearing up for a Fight
So you’re ready to pick a fight but you don’t know what Character to pick? Well, that’s what the “Fighters” button is for. This is your portal to access all your characters. Speaking of characters, they’re not exactly available from the start. You have to collect fragments and unlock characters. The fragments are unlocked by winning battles. In addition to collecting fragments for other characters, you are also awarded experience or XP for your current character, gold, and elemental stones.
The stones are a somewhat new addition to the game. Each character in Tekken Mobile is given one of 4 elements which are Grass, Fire, Electric, and Water. Each element has its strengths and weaknesses against another element and as such affects the gameplay. If your opponent in the game is a Water element and you go with a Fire element, you will have some problems in defeating your opponent.
The characters also have their own power rating, tier, and level, along with a breakdown of how much damage they do. If you’re willing to take the time and analyze all the details, then you can surely come up with a winning unbeatable combination of characters. If, however, you’re like me and you like to experiment a lot, things are bound to be a lot more interesting.
As you can see from the screenshot above, you can also heal your character after each battle to ensure that they are in tiptop shape. If you have collected enough elemental stones, you can proceed to power up your character which increases their power, tier and also the amount of damage that they do.
Further, you can also upgrade your character in a variety of ways. The first way is to increase their skills. Their skills get unlocked based on their level and tier. Each tier has 3 skills that categories that can be unlocked and upgraded.
The second upgrade is Waza cards. These are essentially attacks that each character can use. As you progress in the game, you will collect fighter fragments that can be used to unlock Waza cards. You can go all out with the heavy attacks, use a number of quick attacks or use a combination of both. The choice is yours.
Lastly, the equipment deals with the cosmetic items that you can equip on your character. These make no difference to the attacks that you use. Rather, they are used to make your character look good.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Now that all the character customizations were done, it was time to click the big yellow “Fight” button that we saw in the main screen. Fights in Tekken can take place in a number of methods. For starters, you can take part in the story.
This is where you select 3 characters and then proceed to fight each character in Tekken Mobile through a series of battles. Battles take the form of a series where you need to defeat the current opponent in order to progress to the next one.
When selecting an opponent, you will see their elemental type and how you match up against it. If you are strong against a particular element, then the scale will tip in your favor, else it will reverse. If both are equally matched, then the scale stays neutral.
Round One! Fight!
Battles in Tekken Mobile are a tad different when compared to the Console version of the game. There is no button mashing, per se. Rather you swipe to the right to move your character forward, swipe left to move backward, hold down to block and repeatedly press to attack. Health bars of both your character and the opponent are shown at the top of the screen along with their name, and element type.
At the bottom right of the screen are the Waza cards that you defined in the “Fighters” section. These cards can be used in order or randomly, Depending on the card used, it will take a specific amount of time to cool down in order to be used again. While the more advanced cards yielded more damage, they also took longer to cool down.
Added to that, as the opponent difficulty increased, the AI also successfully blocked most of the Waza card attacks. This meant that you actually had to time your attacks and use them, like the original game.
To the victors belong the spoils
Each battle that you win gives you XP, Gold and a certain amount of Elemental stones that can be used to level up your current character. As with the original game, there is also a small cutscene when you start the battle and end it as well, giving off a sense of nostalgia to those who were fans of the original series.
Appart from gaining rewards from winning matches, you also are rewarded each time you level up your character. These rewards come in the form of health packs, elemental stones and if you’re lucky enough, character fragments that can be used to unlock new characters.
If the story mode isn’t compelling enough for you, you can opt to fight in a Dojo. You can select 3 charachters to fight in another uplayter’s Dojo and also set defenders for your own Dojo as well.
There are also live events. These are time-based and usually, have a number of valuable rewards at the end if you complete the event within the given time. What is really interesting (but hasn’t been implemented yet) is the Local VS feature.
This essentially delivers a PvP (Player vs Player) environment where you would pitch your strongest characters against another real-world player. I guess we will have to wait and see for that to happen.
Overall, the game has its pros and cons
While the graphics are certainly good and eye-catching, gameplay tends to be a bit on the monotonous side. While you certainly can mix and match Waza cards to make things interesting, the opening and closing dialogue of both your character and the opponent tends to be repetitive and boring.
Battles too become more and more predictable as you play. Sometimes you’re too bored to even use higher end Waza cards because you can beat your opponent without them.
That being said though, it is certainly the perfect time killer if you’re traveling and you’re bored with nothing to do. You can even give it to your kids or cousins to keep them occupied as well. While the game does have its flaws, it’s refreshing to see Bandai Namco bringing back a classic, making it available to everyone.
Have you played Tekken Mobile? What are your thoughts on it? We would love to hear from you