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The Tekken series is one of Namco's biggest properties, a beloved handful of games that helped pioneer the 3D one-on-one fighting genre. Tekken Arena is an embarrassing mobile cash-in, with no 3D element to speak of and barely any portion that could be called "fighting." It might just be the most absurd deviation from the central element of a gaming property that I've ever seen.

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Namco calls Tekken Arena a "Massively Multiplayer Online Strategy Fighting Game." What does that mean? It means that this is essentially a text-based RPG, wherein you guide your fighter through a series of ever more improbable excuses for beating the crap out of strangers. Each fighter has a set of RPG-style specifications, plus experience points in a handful of different fighting styles. Until you get into a fight (and again, "fight" is a pretty liberal term here) you're basically looking at a series of short text screens set on static backgrounds from the latter Tekken games.

Then the battle starts. This consists of two sprites, front-facing art featuring your fighter versus your opponent. You can do exactly two things: punch (with a single button) or heal (with a consumable drink). That's it. This is "fighting" with less depth than the average game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Pressing the button isn't even required - your fighter will attack automatically if you do nothing.

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There are social features in the game, but if there's a true multiplayer element in the horrible interface and various bloated game modes, I can't find it. The only real point to the game appears to be increasing your fighter's arbitrary stats and recruiting Tekken characters as apprentices, then customizing them with outfits. I suppose you could say that getting through the story is the point, but show me a fighting game with a compelling story and I'll show you a gamer who needs to get out more. Eventually you'll run out of money, stamina, or both, inevitably leading you to pointless grinding or spending real money on in-app purchases for replenishments.

Tekken Arena is a lamentable excuse for a title, a textbook study in how to completely abuse source material and insult mobile gamers in the same time. It's also compatible with almost nothing, but at this point, that's actually more of a blessing than an issue.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Mauritz Van Zyl

    Haha that last line, priceless!

  • Juan Manuel Tastzian


  • MeCampbell30

    What this is . . . I don't even know.

  • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

    LOL, "This app is incompatible with all of your devices." Oh well! It looks a lot like the card battling Star Wars game from Konami.

    A real mobile Tekken would be neat. Or if they would upgrade Soul Calibur iOS for widescreen.

  • vlad

    I hope it's compatible with my S40 java phone... You don't need Android to play this kind of crap game...

  • Matthew Fry

    The one I feel most sorry for is the (probably) one developer who spent the last 4 months writing this crap.

    • MyLeftNut

      Four months? Don't be generous.

  • Tomo

    This deserves an article on major video game news websites.

  • asdfghjkl

    "Time is money" and yet this game really took a great portion of my time because of the replenishment time which are sometimes very long, and it often crashes without any reason (suuuucks dude) << namco says this is because my device memory is low, hell no it doesnt bcs i still have more than half of the full memory goddamnit lol

  • kkk

    faggot probably likes wartune. shit son, you don't know how bad it can get. be lucky you can even fight at all. go play other facebook "mmos" and you'll appreciate this one

    • GamerGurl227

      Lol. He Should Just Reveiw COD Games, And Not The Free Games.

      • kkk

        yea, just send him off to ruin the p2p games like everyone else. keep the f2p pure as they fucking should be.

        • kkk

          probably doesn't know what mardek is or thinks m&b is bad. probably even thinks tor > wow. fucking hell man, a community that is shitarded enough to think dispel is a def cd deserves a spanish inquisition

  • My name is….

    Jeremiah, why you dont use G+ any more?

  • Bwiddow

    This is a good game, sorry if your device doesn't play this app, I have an iPhone and love this app, just need more apprentices to help me open up some needed things in the game, if you want to help please send me your player ID so I can find you