If you like the thrill and action fighting games have but don’t have the hardware, strap up. Bandai Namco Entertainment recently released Tekken on mobile. It’s got a long list of interesting and strange features you won’t normally find in these types of games.
Worth a try
Although Tekken was the go-to bonding game for my siblings and I growing up, I haven’t really played many fighting games. I play them occasionally but never really stuck with it. So, when Bandai Namco announced this mobile release, I thought it would be interesting to test it out. The factor of having the ease of portability to play something so action-packed just intrigued me. Not to mention, it’s a huge title that’s decided to tap into mobile. I just needed to give it a shot.
You don’t have to resonate with Tekken or any fighting game for you to consider playing this. If you’re warming up to play other fighting games or you’re in need of a virtual punching bag, it’s worth a try — these games can be a great way to release your frustrations.
Starts off easy
If you’ve played mobile games like Mortal Kombat X, Injustice 2, and Transformers: Forged to Fight, Tekken Mobile will pull through with familiarity for you. Most fighting games that go mobile have the same mechanic of tap, swipe, and hold. It’s essentially a game of strategic tapping so your character moves to beat-up the other character.
Once you install the game, it walks you through how to play. It explains the tap, swipe, and hold controls that aren’t as overwhelming as the more technical aspect of traditional Tekken.
You tap and hold the left half of the screen to block hits and swiping left or right moves your character accordingly. The right side of the screen is where most of the attacks are customizable. You can tap the right half to deliver regular attacks and longer taps deliver tougher attacks. If you want your character to execute intricate combos and mix-ups, the game has an interesting feature I’ll discuss much later on.
A decent iteration of Tekken
As for any title that shifts platforms, the game is altered to optimize purpose-driven design. The interface is slightly tweaked while still maintaining a healthy dose of familiar. You can play and look through your items, the shop, and your character’s equipped skill with ease. The game has multiple modes you can explore and a local versus mode that’s coming out soon.
The game establishes itself from the story mode, just like Tekken on your PS4 or PC. This makes warming up to characters and Tekken lore more effortless.
Here comes the strange bit
There are a few things I found odd in the game. When you play it, the card system will throw you off. The cards represent your special attacks and show up on the bottom-right corner of your screen. To execute combos, you get to combine cards to inflict significant damage on your opponent.
Be cautious with using all the cards, though, because you eventually run out of them. This isn’t a total bummer since other mobile fighting games like Mortal Kombat X has a similar system to this. In Mortal Kombat X, the characters were cards that you could choose mid-game to switch characters so it’s a bit similar but not quite the same thing; in Tekken Mobile, the cards represent various technical moves you can tap to have your character execute.
These are hard-hitting attacks so be careful with timing it just right. It may come off a bit overwhelming at first but if you stick to finish a few rounds on story mode, this won’t be too much of a problem.
Tekken Mobile rewards leveling up with loot boxes that have items, upgrades, and skill boosts for your characters. When you earn enough experience and in-game currency, you can buy them. I’ll be brutally honest: The loot boxes look too much like they came straight out of Overwatch. The structure, design, and animation are just too similar to the point that you can barely spot the difference.
Each character card has an element that categorizes familiar faces from the Tekken series. The game doesn’t really delve into the relevance of the elements that much; but when you earn gem shards, the element of the shard corresponds to the character you can level up. When I first encountered this, it didn’t give certain advantages over other character elements similar to Pokémon. It may just be Bandai Namco’s additional challenge to the game.
Strangely still fun
There are a lot of elements that Bandai Namco tried to squeeze into the game which makes the game confusing. With the cards, gem shard elements, and loot boxes, it felt like a hybrid of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Overwatch, and actual Tekken in a single mobile game.
Despite that, there’s no denying I was enjoying the game while ultimately relearning the psychological play in fighting games. I found myself appreciating the complexity of Tekken through this title’s simplistic take on it. I learned to time certain attacks better, position myself better, and even sequencing different attacks.
Is this your game match?
Does the game offer a revolutionary take on previously released mobile fighting games? Not quite. Is it worth a shot despite plot twists coming at you from every periphery? Yes.
Tekken Mobile is undeniably quirky. I can only guess Bandai Namco wanted to establish some sense of complexity in the game which may put off a few people.
It’s a tough game to play if you’re looking for a casual game to pass the time. It’s a game that takes a certain amount of interest to dive into, but it’s not too confusing to hate. If you want to give the game a try and kick butt on your mobile, it’s available on both Android and iOS.
Google Maps incognito mode coming soon
It’s in testing phase now
During Google I/O 2019, the company announced that it is bringing its incognito mode to its Youtube, Google Search and Google Maps apps. Youtube already got its incognito mode, leaving the two without it. However, that would soon change as Google is reportedly the feature on Maps, as spotted by XDA Developer’s Mishaal Rahman.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) September 18, 2019
Incognito mode in Google Maps will be a boon for users who don’t want their location to appear on their timeline. It can also hide searches for places and locations where users can have their “private” time.
Baking it directly into the app is useful. It’s so much easier than having to access it via the Chrome browser’s incognito mode and search for the mobile version of Google Map’s website.
Google putting incognito mode into its native apps is in line with its mission to put more privacy controls in the hands of its users. As more and more tech companies are being scrutinized for supposedly interfering with their users’ private lives, Google’s move is surely a step in the right direction.
Google wants to assists users without depending on the Internet
And Google Pay just got more exciting!
Google is by definition an “internet” company. Every part of its business depends on connectivity, whether its Google Search or AdSense. The company has penetrated every developed market and now intends to grab the untapped markets of India and other Southeast Asian countries.
At its Google for India 2019 event, the company announced the launch of a special helpline that users can call to have their questions answered. We usually use Google Assitant on the go via any Android phone, but it depends on internet connectivity. How do you reach out to a feature-phone user who barely has a 2G connection?
A 24×7 healpline. Teaming up with Vodafone India, users will be able to dial 000-800-9191-000 and they won’t be charged for the call or the service. Early this year, Google also worked with KaiOS to integrate Google Assistant on entry-level 4G phones like the JioPhone.
Google Assistant was launched in India a couple of years back and Hindi is now the second-largest language globally. You can also switch languages by a simple voice command now.
Usually, you can use payment solutions like these in the US via NFC. Your cards are saved on the app and a gentle tap to a PoS machine will initiate the transaction. However, in India the app leverages the countries universal UPI protocol to transfer money. Up till now, you had to add your bank account in the app and scan a QR code to send money.
Google has now announced support for NFC cards. This will make the experience much simpler and streamlined. Though your phone needs to have an NFC reader and only HDFC, Axis, Kotak, and Standard Chartered bank are supported for tokenization at the moment.
The company went on to share a few interesting stats about its position in the country. The app handled 918 million transactions a month in the country.
New AI Lab
A new artificial intelligence research lab is being set up in Bengaluru to create India-specific products. Google has tied up with state-run BSNL for expanding Wi-Fi hotspots in villages in Gujarat, Bihar, and Maharashtra. They’ve already deployed more than 5,000 WiFi hotspots in partnership with Indian Railways.
SIM card vulnerability puts your sensitive information at risk
It’s called the SIMjacker
SIM cards are very important. However, a new SIM card vulnerability found out by AdaptiveMobile Security might be putting our information at risk. The Simjacker exploit, which was recently found out and still being investigated on, allows malicious hackers to steal sensitive information from your phone through a SIM card.
Mechanism of attack
How does the Simjacker vulnerability work?
First, a hacker sends a malicious code to your phone through SMS. Then, the malicious code is read directly by your SIM card. The code then causes the [email protected] browser to send sensitive information to an accomplice device through SMS.
According to the report pulished by AdaptiveMobile Security regarding the vulnerability, the [email protected] browser is found on most SIM cards even though its development was abandoned many years ago. [email protected] browser was never updated, so it carries the risk of sending sensitive information to hackers when exploited successfully.
Sensitive information retrieved and transmitted by the [email protected] browser include location and the IMEI of an exploited device. The IMEI is a shorthand for International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is a 15 digit number unique to your smartphone that has some information about your device including its brand and model. As such, hackers can determine your exact location if you have a compromised SIM card, regardless of what device you have.
And the worst part of the attack is that you have no way of knowing that it has already been done since it all happens within the SIM card.
Origin and scope of the attack
The purpose for carrying an attack varies. However, the report traces the origin to an unspecified private company that works with governments to monitor individuals. So, there is a real possibility that it has been used to spy on us. And rightly so, since specific individuals were targeted in a certain country.
The report also warned that over one billion smartphones across all continents could be at risk to the vulnerability — and you could be one of them.
Response to the attack
In response to the discovered vulnerability, industry association SIMalliance has already put up recommendations for network providers to secure their networks. At this point in time, you can’t do anything to secure yourself from the vulnerability, unless you decided to go SIM-free.
But as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t just give your smartphone number like a free lunch. It also pays to update your smartphone once in a while, since some updates are designed to secure your phone from these kind of vulnerabilities and attacks.
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