October 21, 2012

A closer look at SFxTK Mobile for iOS touch devices

Street Fighter Tekken iOS
Kudos, Capcom. Before I get into the details, the point that stands out to me the most with their recent release of Street Fighter x Tekken Mobile is that this game really doesn't feel like a port, this version has been reworked from the ground up to suit touch screen devices. Read my review after the jump...

Street Fighter Tekken iPhone
SFxTK iOS Chun Nina
SFxT iPhone App SFxTK
Street Fighter Tekken Mishima
SFxTK Nian Williams iOS
Super Arts SFxTK App
Super Arts SFxTK iPhone App
SFxTK iPhone SFxT iOS
The tag system has been entirely re-imagined for the iOS version. Your tag partners don't have a health bar, instead  you get to fight with them for a set amount of time, to either deal some damage or soak up some damage while your main character's red life (sorry, Tekken term) regenerates in the background. The game switches back to your main character if your secondary character has taken too many hits; Pandora mode will sacrifice him permanently for a temporary power boost. Of course you will also tag in for tag combos and Cross Assaults, the latter being unleashed by a tap on the upper corner character portraits and looking almost as beautifully animated as the console version ones. You have a punch, a kick and a special button and the x button to swap between your 2 characters. Arcade mode unlocks Trial which will give you the chance to practice combo moves while the standard Practice mode is available from the get go. With currently 10 characters to choose from (5 from each franchise) the roster is a bit anorexic. But who cares? Nina is there and she has 9 other characters to kick the shit out of. Expect to see additional characters being made available to buy in the future (we're talking Capcom here after all). Graphics and sound can't be faulted, character models and backgrounds all look polished, some new artworks have been added exclusively to this version's menus and it even has a beautiful (despite its lack of Nina) intro movie (remember the 8 minute Vita Episode 1 Cinematic?). You can fight other players online via WIFI and locally via Bluetooth, both silky smooth in my test run. But I'm not an online player type of person and my time online was limited, so don't quote me on it. Precise execution will take you far online, and let me tell you, you have to be very precise in your handling of the touch interface, something I've always had problems with. Don't get me wrong, I have the beautiful spidery fingers of a master piano player, it's just that while my eyes are glued to the 2 characters on-screen my fingers tend to slide away from where they should be. In short, I'm a lost case when it comes to playing fighters on the iPhone. The iOS edition of SoulCalibur made me learn my lesson the hard way and I'm glad I only just bought it to support Namco's iOS releases and make them release a Tekken mobile game. So, it goes without saying I didn't buy SFxTK mobile for the competitive experience it definitely is able to provide, I bought it to have Nina on my smart phone, naturally. Will I ever be able to use her to full effect? No. Do I want to? Nah. I'd rather play my old school Broken Sword point and click adventures which are a perfect fit for touch devices and my incompetent fingers. But it's good to see Capcom put so much care into this mobile version. It's also good to know that if ever I were to shipwreck on a deserted island, I'd be able to vent my frustration for a few minutes, kicking derrière aplenty with Nina Williams in Street Fighter x Tekken Mobile.

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