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Tekken Mobile review: A bit of an oddball

It might just be a little too strange

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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.

More quirks

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.

SEE ALSO: Asphalt 9: Legends now available on iOS, coming soon to Android

Apps

TechDen helps create better and healthier screen habits

Time to pull ourselves away from those addictive screens

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I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of us spend a majority of our time staring at a screen. This is all fine and dandy, technology is awesome, but we also have to admit that our devices have changed how we interact IRL. The founders of TechDen has thought of a way to pull us away from our screens and back into the real world.

TechDen merges software and hardware to create a system that can help build healthier screen habits. The Den lets you charge and store up to two devices, and manage multiple ones. The accompanying app lets you create “sessions” of specific time periods with their own duration based on people’s schedules, as well as schedules to remotely lock and unlock the doors of The Den.

You receive notifications when devices are removed as well as time usage, and in the family setting, this system creates opportunities for collaboration — you can talk to your kids about the session schedules, and even utilize these sessions as incentives.

TechDen is marketed towards families to encourage more real-world interaction with an “out of sight, out of mind” point of view. Really though, this tech would be very helpful for anyone who wants to build a healthy relationship with their devices for themselves.

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Spotlight: What’s new with Free on Spotify?

All these new features!

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Time to rejoice, music lovers! Last April, Spotify quietly announced the new and improved Free on Spotify, and today, we got up close and personal with all the new things the app can now do.

The streaming company’s Free on Spotify redesign will make for a better listening experience for all free users. How, you may ask? Well, it all boils down to five new key features.

Pick your favorites

Spotify’s taste onboarding allows you to pick five (or more) of your favorite artists and this will set the stage for your Spotify experience — a home screen and music discovery experience tailored to your choices will await.

Pick and play… list

15 playlists will automatically be curated based on your music preferences for your listening pleasure. These playlists are different for each individual person, and they update depending on your interactions. Talk about personalized listening!

When you decide to make your own playlists, you’ll also get suggestions based on your artist choice and even playlist title.

What you want, when you want

Previously only available to Premium users, Free users now have unlimited skips — yes, you heard right! The caveat: The feature is only available for those 15 curated playlists, which isn’t half bad as those are catered to your personal taste.

All ❤️s

Actions on specific songs will help you create a better experience on the Spotify app. Hitting ❤️ on a song means it will go to Your Favorites, a playlist that’s found on your home screen.

You can also “unlike” songs which removes said offending song from future playlists. Don’t worry though, this is reversible — simply searching for the song and tapping ❤️ will undo the action.

Optimize your data

For the data-conscious, there’s now a data saving mode! This isn’t turned on by default but all you need to do is head to settings and activate it.

Happy listening!

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SafeDate gives you ease of mind going into a date

This app lets your friends keep tabs on you

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In 2005, Emma Sayle started Killing Kittens, best known for its extravagant sex parties. It aims to enable women to explore their sexuality in an open and safe space. Since it started, KK has had an incredibly strict code of conduct for their parties to ensure that women feel “empowered, safe, and confident.” Members are vetted before being admitted and there is a rule wherein only the women can approach men.

Last July, she launched the SafeDate app which puts a modern twist to what girls have been doing for years. This app lets you input information for your dates, including a profile for the person you’re going out with. You then designate a “safe friend” to whom you will have to check in with at a time which you set. If you don’t check in by the time you set, your friend will be notified and given the details of your date, and it would be up to them to decide what to do next.

Sayle told Wired that we can’t stop bad things from happening, nor can we tell people what to do. But if someone seeing the SafeDate logo makes them think twice, and women feel safer knowing that someone they trust is keeping an eye out for them, it’s a step in the right direction. We definitely couldn’t agree more!

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