After being smacked with the equivalent of a Jin Kazama 10-hit combo of games and gadgets to review leading up to the holidays, my backlog of apps to review have gotten a wee bit out of hand. Let’s just say they’re about as numerous as the hits from Chun Li’s “hyakuretsu kyaku.”
“Uh-oh, Jason, looks like you’re pulling out the lame fighting game references. Could one of those apps be related to Tekken and Street Fighter by any chance? And are you unable to write a more decent opening because you were up late last night while fiddling with your iPad again?”
Darn straight one of those apps are related Tekken and Street Fighter. As for the second question, I couldn’t quite catch it because I could barely keep my eyes open right now. Anywho... stepping up to the plate today is Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile for the iPhone and, uh, a certain tablet that just might cause you to be sleep deprived. (Hey, what can I say? I’m a voracious consumer of news and media.) A stripped down port of the popular crossover series, Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile tries to bring tag team fighting action to Apple smartphones and tablets. Now, in most cases, reinterpreting technical and button-dependent console games to such mobile devices — as opposed to, say, portable consoles — is akin to yours truly translating the Nibelungenlied from its original Middle High German text. Yeah, that bad. Even the normally dependable Capcom isn’t immune to such failings. Case in point: Monster Hunter Dynamic, which is the mobile form of the popular hunting game that has graced both home and portable consoles. That game is about as pretty as an angry Congalala.
Fortunately for fans of fighting games, Capcom did way better with Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile. Sporting a look similar to its console brothers for the Xbox 360, PS3 and the PlayStation Vita, Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile features pretty good graphics for a mobile game. Even more important for hardcore gamers is the fact that it allows players to pull off an assortment of those cool, wicked combos that fighting game fans love. Meanwhile, a simplified button and control setup also makes the game more accessible to newcomers, though technical skill honestly still goes a long way with all things being equal.
In addition to single-player modes, you can also play against other people online. This is where the key issues for this game come up. One is lag, which is never a good thing when playing games that require a good dose of timing and precision. Another is the credit system, which is required to challenge other players. You can get credits for free but it entails some waiting on your part. Otherwise, you can pay for credits, which won’t fly for folks who dislike in-app purchases. The fact that you can pay to upgrade your Pandora’s Box faster — which can give deep-pocketed gamers an advantage against others — may not sit well with some folks, either. A sparse roster of characters compared to the console versions is another issue.
Despite its issues, Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile is a solid fighting game in its core. Add its $2.99 price tag and you’re getting a pretty good fighter for your money. Folks who detest in-app purchases on principle may still take issue with the game’s credit system. Pulling off moves accurately on a touch screen also doesn’t compare to actual joysticks and buttons. Overall, though, Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile does a great job of recreating the console experience for Apple’s mobile devices. If you’re a fighting game fan who has an itch for arcade-style fighting on your iPhone or iPad, then you’ll want to give this app a look.
FINAL RATING: 3.5 stars out of 5
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