The world of gaming is becoming more and more about established franchises, and the bigger its longevity the more followers it attracts along its way. Tekken is probably one of the biggest franchises in gaming history and present, and future of course with the upcoming release of Tekken 7, due in a month on arcades, ready to steal the show everywhere. Tekken is not only about button supremacy anymore now though, since it is now also in card form.
Virtual cards, that is. Tekken Card Tournament is a spin-off of Bandai Namco’s juggernaut fighting game, and while far from delivering the frenetic, non-stop action of the console games, it aims at offering a similar experience in terms of depth and strategy, as well as having a much lighter impact on your wallet, since it’s free! In fact, Tekken Card Tournament is almost a toned down version of everything in the game, and taking the animations from the latest iteration Tekken Tag Tournament 2, albeit more choppy due to the far lesser size and also because of the fact that the game is running on Unity and not on console engines, which although a marvellous creation certainly cannot power console graphics on a browser based game. The game is also available on mobile devices, and one can also take it for granted that animations will not be identical to console. Still, a lot of effort has been put into a game which fares quite well, and succeeds in its aim in delivering a strong experience, shoving it in the face of doubters of the free to play model.
Tekken Card Tournament is basically the same as a turn-based JRPG but instead of having different parties made up of several elements, there are only two characters in battle, yours and your opponent’s. There may be more with the introduction of Tag Battles in the latest version of the game, which are very interesting, but the game will still revolve mainly around your primary character. Battles are pretty straightforward, and with a tutorial which starts just as you fire up the game for the first time, players will have no problem understanding the game. Mastering it, on the other hand, will definitely require time, devotion and skill, as well as the usual bit of luck. Basically, the game features three main commands, being Focus, Strike and Block. You start the game by Focusing, which makes you draw a card. Players start with no cards so this is the only thing one can do in the first turn. Strike will unleash all the cards you possess against the enemy, dealing the damage written on the cards themselves. Striking an enemy will also destroy their first card held as well. The third command is Block, which as the name implies, will block enemy attacks. Block nullifies only the first two attacks, which means up to three strikes can hit you even when you hit block. This is because the maximum amount of cards held is limited at five. There are various cards which have an additional effect, such as offer protection for that turn, or that increase the damage, once specific conditions are met such as focusing or attacking. These conditions may happen in three time frames; when the card appears, after an attack or in the beginning of a new turn. This element of card effects will keep enemies on their toes, since even though the cards coming out are random, one can still strategize with the cards in hand.
There is quite a decent selection of game modes, ranging from solo play in arcade or campaign to online multiplayer, unlocked upon reaching level 2, which takes only one or two solo battles to do. This is a nice touch since it will prevent total newcomers from entering multiplayer instantly and facing a tough defeat. The game also features a store where to buy new decks or boosters, which can contain your character’s cards or also other characters, ones to which players do not have access yet. The most frustrating bit of this is finding a rare gold card which belongs to a character which you do not use, which honestly does not appear all that often. Tekken Card Tournament also features customization items which help differentiate your character from other users’, which is faithful to the fighting franchise’s latest instalments.
The latest update to the game, version 3, added a new character, Jin Kazama, as well as the previously mentioned tag option as well as the achievement system, consisting of over 80 achievements waiting only for players to unlock them. While the character pool is relatively small, offering just 11 for now, it is hoped that the selection will increase little by little, and considering the enjoyment and the very high number of downloads, support will not diminish any time soon.
Tekken Card Tournament embraces the free to play model in a way few F2P games do. It is a game which does not prove to be pay to win, like a whole majority of other games do, and although luck ingame surely is a factor, most battles are carried out fairly and real money rarely is the result of difference in the game. The stamina system, which is a bar which regenerates over time, grants matches to players, and when the stamina runs out players cannot fight anymore, and is a very good system since it regenerates fairly fast which means less waiting time for players eager to play the game. Coupled with the fact that one can purchase boosters with ingame currency, which can be earned very easily by playing a couple of matches regularly, one can build a killer deck for his character without spending a dime. This was quite the unusual foray for a fighting game, but considering the very positive result, may not be the only improbable spin-off that the Tekken franchise produces.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.