Review: Street Fighter X Tekken
It’s time to take two of the most popular fighting franchises and mash them together to make possibly one of the most unique cross-overs in fighting game history. With Namco’s version a ways off, Capcom is up first. Have they taken the right approach, or is the game as weak as Dan’s hadouken. Find out in this review.
When Street Fighter X Tekken was first announced, I thought Capcom and Namco were trolling me due to the fact that I love both series and consider them to be two of my favourite franchises along with SoulCalibur. As it edged closer to release, and especially with the announcement of characters and moves, the hype was pretty unbearable. Now, after a few solid weeks playing the title, I can easily say this is a mash-up worth fighting for.
Street Fighter X Tekken combines two very different fighting games into one unviserse. This time around as Capcom was first to take the leap into the cross-over series, you’ll notice that this is the first time that Tekken has entered a 2D environment, as well as being the first time for some pretty epic face-offs. Thankfully, it still maintains features from both series so will not alienate either fan, though the primary gameplay style is that of Street Fighter IV. As you start, the game will introduce you with a tutorial, which while initially may not sound too impressive, it’s a first for a Capcom fighter. As you can imagine it covers pretty much everything a new player would need to know and maybe some veteran fighters may enjoy learning the new style and pace of the fighter. The tutorial is a nice added feature, but it is overcrowded with so much information you probably won’t be able to take it all in. I personally left the tutorial after a minute or two and decided to face the Arcade mode with my Super Street Fighter Arcade Edition skills.
When entering Arcade mode a lot of players new and old to the series will notice the huge variety in the roster, there are many characters who I love and adore from both of the franchises and finally I can partner them up to pull off some amazing unique combos. When choosing fighters for both the Arcade and Online mode, a new addition is the ‘Gem system’. Initially I thought “Great, here comes the unbalancing”, but funnily enough I was proven wrong as the Gem System doesn’t really affect the outcome of the match too much as to give another player the upper advantage, just look at them as small little perks.
Along with the Gem System, another new feature is the Cross Gauge, and when built up allows you unleash standard EX moves, Super Arts, as well as also perform certain counters and tag cancels. This meter is filled by landing and taking hits, and appears as a section of three bars at the bottom of the screen. Once your meter’s full, you can choose to pull off either a Cross Art – essentially each of your team’s Super Arts performed in succession – or Cross Assault, which puts both of your characters onscreen for a few seconds. This option emphasises in tag-team combo’s is essential and messmurising to pull off.
Strekken is a very team focused game, and utilises the tag-team functionality brilliantly, giving players the opportunity to pull off amazing combos. With the mention of tag-team the game also uses a single overall health bar, by this I mean even though the two fighters have their own separate health bars, if one of the fighters looses all their health the round will be over. No matter how much health your second character may have, if one looses the team looses.
Along with all the over changes, fans of the Street Fighter series will notice that the game has stepped up a little more pace since SSFIV/AE. With the game upping its speed for faster fighters and action, combos have also changed to fit around the change of pace. The Combos have been well designed and focus on a lot of linking for attacks to connect. Input reaction at the precise moment is key and will require a lot of work to master certain combos, but is very rewarding when doing so. Linking combos was never really Tekken’s thing, since it mainly focused on chaining combos together, and thankfully this is still represented. The Tekken characters have been well balanced and somehow fit into Capcom’s universe. Hit the light, medium and the two heavy attacks buttons, and you’ll launch your opponent into the air, with your teammate running in to continue the combo. It’s a brilliant basic technique, and gives a lot of opportunity for different attacks and combos. This said, don’t forget that chains can’t be canceled into special moves.
Many players like myself would of been worried about how smooth the combination of the two games would be and if it would even work. It works great thanks to the engine implemented into the game. There have been a few noticeable changes however from previous Street Fighter titles, including no longer being able to use Focus Attacks.
Aside from the Arcade mode, Capcom have put a lot of emphasis on customization, and with the Gem System players can also change costume colours and character colours. Capcom have already confirmed that they will be releasing a steady flow of costumes, colours and gems in future DLC.
The multiplayer features are very similar to what we saw in SSFIV, meaning that Endless Battles returns along with Ranked, Player Matches, Replays and online co-operative Tag Team functionality. Xbox 360 players however will be required to play online on separate Xbox’s to participate together, as opposed to the PS3 version where two players can play on the same system when heading online for Tag Team battles. I initially didn’t think too much about this omission, however when taking into account Ranked matches, it’s more preferable to have your team mate at your side. Unfortunately, the online suffers from many issues including sound drop outs, and even cases of no sound at all. When punching and connecting combos, you can barely hear them connecting which does take away some emphasis to the fight. I found a number of issues with lag, even with connections that show full green bars.
Strekken is the perfect example of what can happen when you mix two of the best fighting game franchises into one universe. Street Fighter X Tekken offers fans of both franchises a very enjoyable experience all-round. The Arcade mode has charm and challenge, with a brilliant roster and upcoming DLC in the works already shows the dedication Capcom will be providing players. The Tekken characters seem to feel right at home and it will be almost a shame to see them leave after Namco’s approach to Tekken x Street Fighter. The only downside to the game is the multiplayer issues, but with possible future updates hopefully the online functionality can improve and make the game feel much more complete. A recommended fighting title for both Street Fighter and Tekken fans.