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 is opening Maps for game developers!
Get ready for more AR games
There’s a wave of location-based augmented reality games that highly depend on Google Maps. However, the inability to create accurate mapping has been keeping developers from optimizing game design. Luckily, Google just announced that it’s opening up its mapping platform to game developers. This means anyone one can create AR games now with more ease.
Google says that its new Maps platform has been optimized for game developers. These developers can start by signing up to be given access to real-time Google Maps data.
To support developers after signing up, Google is also working on launching a new software development kit on Unity. Unity is one of the most popular game engines in the world so incorporating mapping data into this engine will help aspiring developers everywhere.
Even further, Google is introducing a new API to help create gameplay experiences around real-world locations. Google will be working closely with developers on this aspect, especially regarding appropriating elements, like span points and quest locations, within games.
One of the goals of the project was to help developers build detailed worlds using Maps data as a base to paint over.
“In this way you can create unique game environments that still feel connected to the real world,” says Patrick Donelan, lead engineer on the project.
This is a much-awaited move from Google. Following the raging success of Pokemon Go’s launch, they started receiving a surge of requests from developers looking to utilize Google Maps data for mobile games.
Over the years, Google has had a multitude of discussions with game developers and players as to how to help create a platform that optimizes AR game development. Google’s new Maps gaming initiative is the result of those discussions. This, Google says, focuses on location-based AR mobile games.
Google says it will be talking more about the initiative at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on March 19-23.
Tinder Feed rolls out to users worldwide
Times are changing, and so is Tinder
“Welcome to the world beyond the swipe.”
Tinder, as you know it, is about to change.
Last December, the world-famous dating app was testing out a chronological timeline feature. This allows users to swipe around for potential mates with more than just a bunch of photos as basis. On a post, Tinder said: “It’s an exciting new way to see more of what someone is all about by giving you a true glimpse into their world — their passions, their personality, their latest adventure — all leading to better conversations and deeper connections.”
Today, Tinder announced that they’re rolling out the Feed to users worldwide.
For all swipers, expect a different type of soulmate-search experience. More and more, the dating app is moving towards a more social experience through a chronological feed structure similar to what most social media apps used to have. The scrolling list will include user activity and the ability to comment on each of these activities.
Think of it as a Facebook feed solely dedicated to dating. More talk points? Definitely. Will this mean more matches for you? Not necessarily, but you can try!
Google Maps get Plus Codes in India to make navigation simpler
Google Maps will also support voice navigation in six additional Indian languages
Google unveiled an open-source project that aims to make sense of the chaos of India’s hyper-growing cities: a shifting web of hidden alleys, ever-changing landmarks, and missing street signs. Called Plus Codes, it’s a location-based digital tagging system that divides the landscape into tiles and assigns a unique code to each, making navigation easier.
Google Plus Codes are based on the concept that the world can be divided into small grids, each of which gets assigned a unique code to ensure a more consistent address system. On Google Maps, Plus Codes assign six characters to a location plus the city name. According to Google, each Plus Code represents a unique geographical location.
For example, instead of typing out the long address for an office, the Plus Code can be shared with people. Typing in the code in Google Maps or even in Google Search will take you to the location. The seven-string code is unique to the location, on a global scale.
The project used to be called “Open Location Codes” which worked as an alternative to using latitude and longitude. It worked like a street address for places that don’t have a specific address. But back then, it could only be seen on the desktop application of Google Maps.
Plus Codes may be the future, but it’s still far out. Plus Codes are not replacing the traditional street addresses in India anytime soon. And for that too, Google has a solution. Using machine learning, Google will parse the addresses to find known landmarks or a familiar street name to get the user as close as possible to the destination.
Google has made the process of adding missing addresses much easier with the “Add an Address” feature wherein users can contribute to improving the Maps experience. To ensure that the addresses are accurate and not duplicated, Google will verify the added address and ensure that it “is searchable in due course.”
Google has also added support for Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam so that the users who speak these languages can use these languages for navigation.
While the Plus Codes feature has been rolled for the Android version of Google Maps, the iOS version of the app will get the feature later.
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