How does this highly anticipated hybrid fighter stand up in the ring?
Given the history and performance of mobile fighting games, not to mention the competitiveness of arcade fighting fanatics, most people view the genre on phones with suspicion. How many characters can you really pack in? Can you maintain that magical 60 frames-per-second to ensure tactical tightness? How on earth are you going to pull off those blistering moves with two fingers scrabbling over a piece of glass?
Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile is the most high profile fighter title to launch on mobiles for some time, and features the once-unthinkable combination of two of fighting's biggest franchises. Taking two fighters into each battle adds a level of strategy, not just in when to call a character into play, but finding complimentary partnerships that also suit your own playstyle.
With the extraordinary number of characters finding their way into console fighting games, hardened series fans will likely feel an unavoidable degree of disappointment here, although there are twelve fan-favorites on offer, each with a decent collection of moves that can be practiced in the training mode before heading into the single-player campaign. The d-stick is placed a little high and awkwardly, although button responsiveness is crisp, albeit paired down to a single punch, kick, adaptable special move, as well as the tag button.
As well as a beefy character move set, there's some nice variety in the environments. There are five in total and include ancient pagodas, neon streaked cities, and more staid urban stages. The Jurassic Era Research Facility packs in an animated T-Rex, a nice touch that also helps to bring the world alive. In terms of flair, pizazz and character content, Capcom's produced a generous package with their latest fighter.
There is more than one 'but' however when it comes to this game. The lavish environments, character models and breadth of moves come at a price, and it's most apparent in the low performance which we can only estimate is pegged at around twenty frames-per-second. Mercifully, it's at least locked at this rate, so you'll never be entirely cheated from a victory as a result.
You're unlikely to pull off some of the tighter strategies that you might be accustomed to in arcades or on consoles though, and so hardcore fighting fans should come to the game expecting a far simplified experience: an amusing time-killer to satisfying your cravings on the move, rather than a full-blooded fighter.
If your preference is for multiplayer gaming however then you are going to feel a sense of disappointment and on more than one front. In every match we played, the frame rate plummeted or often failed to refresh for seconds at a time, and gameplay occasionally froze entirely. It will also cost you currency to enter each multiplayer round, with more available from the in-game cash shop. It's a further disappointment, considering this is a paid-for download.
As a single player game, there is a great deal to like about Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile, and even the negative elements such as the low framerate can't detract from the varied moves, decent selection of characters and sparkling environments. Sadly it's only half an offering at present, but if the problems at the core of the online portion of the game can be improved, the game will become much more enticing.
What's Hot: A decent collection of characters, stages, and a pretty good implementation of touchscreen controls.
What's Not: Extremely poor online multiplayer. Many fighting fans will find the framerate a turn-off.