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Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile

A Pugilist's Take on Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile

Action brawlers, fighting games, beat-em-ups, these are the finest choices in video games, and when two of the most iconic fight game titles get a mash-up, you can expect fists to fly and clash like never before. Street Fighter X Tekken is a fighting game enthusiast's wet dream come true. The mobile version of the game however, is not quite the same as the original. There is a much smaller player roster, the controls have been simplified, and the graphics has been downsized. But all of these compromises have been made in order to adapt the game to a portable device, so the big question is, does the new gameplay style and accessibility make it worth the change?

The Three Coin Arcade Budget

SFxT Mobile is, at its core, still a fighting game. And as such, playing is akin to playing the game in the arcade - and you only get three tokens at a time. The tokens, or coins, replenish after a set interval of time (like a typical mobile stamina or energy meter). The interesting play mechanic here is that as long as you are winning, you can keep fighting all day long. Yep, just like an arcade game -winning means you get to keep playing. And if someone defeats you, that means you will have to spend a coin to play again. Most gamers who grew up on new generation consoles and mobile games are not familiar with the feeling of being able to rack up a ton of wins against human opponents on just one coin. This game manages to bring that very same experience out.

Tap, Slide, Punch

One of the biggest concerns with SFxT Mobile is that the controls are not as good as those of an arcade style joystick or even a good game controller with pads, buttons, and triggers. And that is a real concern for the game. The lack of a proper directional control means that moving and maneuvering your character is not as easy as it seems. There are also just 4 basic action buttons: punch, kick, special, and a tag button called cross. A directional slide of the finger will change the context of an action button. Also, tapping an action button sequentially will trigger automatic combos.

This simplified approach makes the combat in this game extremely simple and shallow. No just-frame attacks, no cancel combos, and hardly any real chains. Of course, the lack of depth of a fighting game in a mobile platform should not be surprising at all. As it would be ridiculous to expect that one can perform even the most basic specials (like QCF+1) on a consistent and accurate basis; it is a big loss, but it is something rather unavoidable when you consider the limits of the hardware. Continue Reading

Release Date: 18/09/2012

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Where is Everyone?

The game features a default number of just 10 fighters -5 from SF (Ryu, Chun Li, Guile, Dhalsim, and Hugo), and another 5 from Tekken (Kazuya, Nina, King, Paul, Hwoarang). The roster feels incredibly small. While they have already added Rolento and Heihachi, it is not much. After all, the original console version has 55 fighters to choose from. The worst part is that the existing lineup is not even that great. In particular, having absolute side-character Hugo present draws a collective "meh". If SF needed a big musclehead type character, Zangief would have made for a great iconic choice. The same could said of Hwoarang -while his kickboxing looks dynamic and cool in its own way, the slot could have been better used on Law, Xianghua, Bryan Fury, Lei, Michelle, or some other Tekken icon. It is good that the game is slowly gaining more and more characters added to the roster, but that still does not change the fact that some of the starting entries are not that good.

It Actually Looks Good

There is, probably, at least one good thing about the game not having a lot of characters -it means that the visuals are actually quite good. This is relatively speaking of course -the mobile version cannot possibly match the originals, but that does not mean that this game cannot stand on its own merit with regards to graphic details. The character models and textures look brilliant and the game makes good use of lighting and particle effects to bring out the various details of each fighter. In addition, the combat is smooth. Or at least, the animations are well done. As long as your connection to the game servers are good then online matches should be fast-paced, skirmishes. On the other hand, there are times when latency issues can bring the action to a crawling halt. Quite honestly, a fighting game running on pure bullet time and jerky animation is not fun at all.

Not Quite the King of Fighting Games

Despite Street Fighter X Tekken mobile sounding like the ultimate dream match, it is not. The game is plagued by a lot of issues thanks to the compromises it made in order to be adapted into a mobile game. The end result is so much less a combination of two great fighting games than it is a big title mobile app. If you are already a fan of Street Fighter or Tekken or both, then this game would certainly have a good value -eve as a novelty acquisition. Basic fighting game fans will bit a little disappointed that much of the depth has been removed. But if your only exposure to the genre has been to mobile, than SFxT is actually not a bad way to get started. While it may pale in comparison to the console version, it is still much better than its competitors on the mobile platform.


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Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile is developed by CAPCOM.