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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

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Prepare your meals through your phone, fridge using Samsung SmartThings

The kitchen, simplified

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With everything going on in the world, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time in the kitchen and looking out for new recipes.

The good news? Samsung has just the thing to get it sorted quickly and easily. They’re bringing in Family Hub features into mobile users through the SmartThings app.

Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking service helps bring all of your Samsung kitchen appliances together. How? It lets you search, plan, purchase, and meal prep seamlessly through your phone or fridge through the SmartThings app.

On top of that, it recommends customized recipes based on your taste and preferences while considering ingredients available to you. You can scroll through recipe collections when you’re undecided or quickly zero-in on meals that suit your cravings.

SmartThings Cooking, powered by Whisk, is accessible through Samsung’s SmartThings. If you’ve got the Family Hub in your smart kitchen arsenal, there’s no need to fret.

The fridge keeps tabs of what you have and don’t, adding missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home deliveries. Not to mention, you can shop through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.

With SmartThings added to the Family Hub smart fridge, you get to enjoy all the cool features and more! You get to access your other smart kitchen gadgets through widgets on the screen, prioritize most used apps, and feature family photos, notes, and recipes.

And, if cooking is what you’re worried about, Samsung has you covered for even that. SmartThings guides you through easy cooking steps and lets you control cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings with one touch. Leaving you with little room for error.

So, with all that in mind, was it really a surprise to see Samsung’s Family Hub win its sixth consecutive CES Innovation Award this year? For us, not quite.

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Adobe starts blocking Flash content for all users

The final death blow to the once-popular software

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Do you still use Adobe Flash?  Then, you might have to stop using that sooner. Starting January 12, Adobe will all Flash content from running, bringing an end to the once-popular software platform.

Adobe’s process of discontinuing Flash actually began a few years ago, with end-of-life (EOL) notice dating back to 2017. Popular browsers began to drop support for it, with Firefox the first to do so last December 2020.

Adobe officially dropped support for the Flash player by December 31, 2020. Users were still able to run Flash content after that aforementioned date, however. That changes this January when Adobe blocks all content from running.

For most users, the effect will be minimal since Flash players are already disabled on most browsers. Also, most companies have already migrated to alternatives. Web developers, for example, are already using standard HTML5 to provide interactivity for their websites.

Popular in an instant, gone in a flash

This 2021 is the final death blow for the once-popular Adobe Flash. In the early part of 2000, Flash gained widespread adoption thanks to the rich interactivity it provides to the user. Most games found on the web during those times were built with it. Miniclip, for example, used to have a large library of games built with Flash.

The turning point for Flash came during the early 2010s with the adoption of HTML5. This HTML version introduced interactive elements which made Flash redundant in most use cases. Some also believe that Steve Jobs actually played a role in its downfall by not letting earlier versions of iOS support it by default. It also doesn’t help that Adobe had to issue numerous security updates over the course of its development.

So, if you’re still sticking to those old .swf or .flv files, now is the time to move on. Sure, Flash animations were great and quirky (and are still today) but you shouldn’t also risk your device to malware caused by an outdated software. If you are somewhat missing those days of viewing Flash right from your browser, you should check out the Internet Archive’s archive library with hundreds of animation that you can enjoy.

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WhatsApp users move to Signal due to changes in privacy policy

Signal has Musk’s seal of approval

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Over the week, a big change has come to WhatsApp with Facebook updating the messaging app’s privacy policy. As a result of the change, most WhatsApp users are now switching to another encrypted messaging service, Signal.

The whole thing started when WhatsApp notified its users about the updated terms and privacy policy this week. In a nutshell, the updated terms expand the type of data WhatsApp can collect from its users. This includes the user’s account information, contacts, status information, and payment data.

WhatsApp also collects device information, location, and user cookies. To make matters worse, the updated terms even include provisions for collecting ” hardware model, operating system information, browser information, IP address, mobile network information including phone number, and device identifiers” which previous terms don’t contain at all.

As a form of reassurance, WhatsApp will never touch user messages and conversations. The service will continue to encrypt messages end-to-end, and will never display third-party ads in the meantime.

All the data collected by WhatsApp will supposedly help improve Facebook. The data will also improve the services on other Facebook products such as Messenger, Instagram, and the Facebook app itself.

The updated terms also removed the option to opt-out of this data sharing. Users who don’t exactly agree to the terms will have their accounts disabled by February 8, 2021. Those who live in countries covered by the GDPR will continue to see an opt-out option.

See also: Privacy and security tips for your smartphone

Signal gets a heads-up

As a result of the change, Signal — an open-source encrypted messaging service — has seen an influx of users migrating from WhatsApp. The service even got a friendly recommendation from Elon Musk and Edward Snowden. For those clueless about the latter, he is the famous whistleblower who leaked the illegal privacy-invading acts done by the US’ National Security Agency last 2013.

Due to the influx of users signing up, the service has experienced delays in verifying phone numbers, which is critical in the registration process. Since then, the team behind Signal has resolved most of the delays in the past few days.

Users who don’t agree with Facebook’s invasive practices are also encouraged to join Signal. The messaging service boasts of having end-to-end encryption built-in by default and not collecting any user information. It is also run by a non-profit organization, which is different from popular messaging services usually run by large for-profit tech companies. It is available for Android, iOS, and desktop.

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