“The game to buy if you want to smash Nina Williams’ face in on the go.”
Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a Tekken game available on the BlackBerry App World. I could not imagine my little BlackBerry Bold 9700 being able to run a 3D Tekken game, so I was suspicious at first. After checking out the screenshots of the game however, I learned that this was a 2D fighter. Quite a change for Tekken! As a huge fan of the Tekken franchise, I purchased the game for a few dollars and gave it a try.
The most upsetting thing that I learned right away is that the game will not play music and sound effects at the same time, forcing you to pick which you would rather hear. This was a little disappointing, as both the music and sound effects make the Tekken experience into what it is.
From the main menu, you can choose between a few options. Arcade, Story, Practice, and Tekken Force are all present. There is also a “Custom” option on the main menu, which I presume is for making your own outfits.
Tekken Force and Custom are locked initially, and I have not experienced either feature since, well, the game just isn’t interesting enough for me to want to unlock them. I have a pretty good idea as to how Tekken Force would play anyway, and I severely doubt that the custom costumes would be any good at all in this mobile Tekken game. So, let’s head straight to the reason why anyone would even buy this game – to play some Tekken!
There are eight characters. Jin, Kazuya, King, Law, Nina, Paul, Xiaoyu, and Yoshimitsu. Initially, only Jin and Xiaoyu are available. The rest of the cast must be unlocked by completing game modes.
I immediately took notice of the graphics when my first fight began. They are really quite nice for a mobile fighter. The backgrounds look fairly vibrant and the character sprites animate very well, except for King who seems to be suffering from the worst case of Parkinson’s that I have ever seen. King, in his idle stance, is moving and shuffling at a frighteningly uncontrollable speed, and it just looks very awkward. The rest of the characters look just fine though, and I was actually genuinely impressed. They really do look pretty decent, and I could tell that effort was put into the sprites.
The controls aren’t as bad as what I’ve had to endure in some other games on my BlackBerry (I’m looking at you, Mega Man 3), but they leave a lot to be desired for. If you are exceptionally lazy, you can play the entire game with just the BlackBerry’s trackpad. Pressing it will make your character perform a punch while moving your finger across it will, of course, make your character move as well. If you want a little more depth (which you should), you can perform other kicks and punches by pressing a few buttons on your phone’s keypad. All attack and movement buttons are cluttered together, so if you are on a BlackBerry Bold such like I am, the controls become difficult to manage and many mistakes will be had. The game is certainly playable however, it’s just very difficult to adjust to.
The music and sound effects are hardly even sufficient in this game, and you can tell that they are of a very low quality. I find that I enjoy the game most with the sounds turned off.
Despite the fact that this game has a story mode, there isn’t much of a story at all beyond the characters trash talking each other during matches. The interaction between Jin and Paul alone was cringe-worthy.
The fighting itself is awfully simple, which could be expected from a mobile fighter. AI opponents have a habit of just walking into attacks, and they are really slow at being any bit defensive. Wins will come often and easily, and there is literally no point in trying to pull of any signature moves with your chosen characters because they won’t be needed.
The gameplay really isn’t too bad. It’s flawed and lacks a lot of depth, but it can briefly hold my attention. It’s not really awful or anything, it just doesn’t have anything to hook me and make me want to keep playing. I suppose that I could just say that the gameplay is bland.
Overall, this game could serve as a decent two or three minute diversion, but it is unlikely that you will want to sink much time into this game to unlock all of the goodies it presents when you can just as easily do that on Tekken 6 for the 360, PSP, or 360, or on Tekken Tag Tournament 2 next summer. Still, it’s enjoyable in small doses. If you want to beat up some popular Tekken characters on the go, then this may be a decent game to check out for only a few dollars.