Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Played on: Xbox 360 / Price: $59.99 / ESRB: Teen [Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence]
A new cross over is here taking one of the best 3D fighting games and one of the best 2D fighting games and mating them together to create this beautiful master piece for the fighting community to enjoy. Street Fighter X Tekken is finally here. This may have been the topic for most fighting fans at one time in their life. Just the thought of pitting Zangief against King would make any fighting fan interested in giving this game a shot. Street Fighter X Tekken has a ton of content and possibilities to make the game last for a very long time. Let’s jump in to see what SF X T has to offer.
A variety of options and game mechanics make SF X T inviting for both casual and hardcore players to enjoy. The ability to have up to four players on screen at once should be enough incentive to check out the game, since it’s such an unorthodox approach to modern tournament fighting games. Street Fighter X Tekken also has the complexity and in-depth gameplay that hardcore fans expect from a Street Fighter game. Footsies, mix-ups, frame data, and high-level execution will satisfy pad and stick players alike.
So how does Capcom take two of the best fighting games and merge them into one? They’ve had practice before with the 2000 release of Capcom vs. SNK. But trying to incorporate a 3D fighting game like Tekken into a 2D playing field while keeping what made Tekken famous was the real challenge. And Capcom did this very well, with a majority of Tekken’s massive cast present. So who are the true stars in this “versus series?” In my opinion, it seems like the Tekken characters steal the spotlight from the Street Fighter characters.
The Tekken cast has more command moves, can wave dash through projectiles, and play well against the Street Fighter cast. Tekken’s characters fit right in alongside the well-known Street Fighter roster. That said, Capcom did a great job at balancing the game between each roster.
Street Fighter X Tekken is a team-based fighting game of two-versus-two matches. This opens up many game tactics and techniques, and the game mechanics focus heavily on these match-ups. With 38 playable characters, the amount of team combinations is almost endless, which also makes for interesting multiplayer modes. Yes, Street Fighter X Tekken can be played with up to four players either in two-on-two team play or an all-out battle with all four characters on the screen at once in Scramble mode.
Another aspect of Street Fighter X Tekken is the introduction of the Gem system. While following the development of Street Fighter X Tekken, the introduction of the Gem system got some negative reactions from the fighting community. Players speculated that the gems would make the characters over-powered and would cheapen the gameplay. This is not the case. The Gem system serves to help you develop certain tactics, not as a comeback mechanic. Gems give you certain boost ability to your character when certain conditions are made. There are five different types of gems to use. This includes Attack, Defense, Speed, Vitality, and Cross Gauge gems. You choose you gem set per character in the character select screen. Instead of affecting the way you play against your opponent, it affects the way you play with your characters. This also demonstrates that two of the same characters will play differently from each other if certain gems are set.
Since this is the Street Fighter universe, you can be sure that EX Special Moves and Super Arts have returned. The Cross Gauge is similar to the Super meter in Super Street Fighter IV. With this gauge you are able to unleash EX Special Moves, Super Arts, Cross Assaults, Cross Arts, and the infamous Pandora mode. New to Street Fighter is the Cross Assault. This brings out both of your characters on screen at once for a limited time. This is fun because you have the opportunity to jump your opponent two-on-one.
And there’s also Pandora mode to be used when your point character has less than 25% health. While using Pandora mode you sacrifice your lead character for a power boost for your tag character that only last 10 seconds. If you don’t defeat you opponent during this time, you lose the round. Pandora mode is definitely not a comeback mechanic; if anything it’s a last ditch effort to stay alive. Going back to the Gem system, if your gems are set up correctly, you can do even more massive damage during Pandora mode, meaning it’s both deeply strategic and can potentially be really useful. Not only do you get a power boost in Pandora mode, you also regenerate Cross Gauge while in this state.
Street Fighter X Tekken is packed full of game modes to enjoy. Certain modes serve to introduce newcomers to the game and some are for the hardcore Street Fighter fans. In Versus mode, you have the option to fight against the CPU or against another player, and this mode also supports up to four players via the Scramble option, where all four players appear and fight on screen at once.
In an interesting move, you have the option to practice online with friends. This is a cool feature for recruiting buddies or potential teammates. You can also turn on your fight request and accept online challenges straight from the online practice mode. This is especially nice in that you don’t have to go looking for your online partner to be a part of the fight.
Challenge mode is broken down into three parts: Trial mode, Mission mode, and Tutorial mode. In Trial mode you are faced with special moves and command attacks to complete in order to get a grasp on how the fighting mechanics work in SF X T, almost exactly the same as SSFIV. One thing I’ve been hearing concerning the trial mode is the lack of explanation to complete certain trials. If you are new to Street Fighter and don’t know what a two-in-one execution is, then it may be hard for you to complete most of these trials, as the advanced challenges are technically very difficult.
In Mission mode you are given an objective to complete while fighting against the CPU. Some of these missions consist of defeating your opponent using only normal attacks, or only special attacks. This is a pretty useful tool to discover the best techniques for certain situations.
The last challenge mode is Tutorial mode. This is an introduction mode for those unfamiliar with Street Fighter fighting mechanics. It seems as though Capcom is catering to the casual gamers a little bit more here. I’ve notice this through some of the assist gems that you can choose, such as the easy input gem and the auto blocking gem. This is a good gesture to try to get those players that would like to learn how to play Street Fighter X Tekken but are intimidated by the skill level it holds.
One interesting aspect about the controls for the Tekken cast is the button layout. Gamers that have played Tekken before know that the button layout consist of Left Punch, Right Punch, Left Kick, and Right Kick. This was also integrated into Street Fighter X Tekken. Even though most, if not all, Street Fighter games have a six-button layout of light, medium, hard punch and kick, SF X T has given the Tekken cast the ability to use the light and medium attacks for their left and right attacks. For example, light punch and medium punch represents left and right punch, while light and medium kick represents left and right kick. From this you are able to perform Tekken-like command attacks. This works extremely well, so fans of the Tekken series can enjoy their Tekken characters without having to learn how the moves will be executed in a 2D plane.
Ever since the release of Capcom vs. SNK in 2000, seeing Ryu fight against Jin in some type of crossover game has been a topic of debate across most of the fighting game community. To have Capcom and Namco make this come true is an honor to the fighting community. Not only did they do a great job of giving Tekken the justice it deserves from an artistic and gameplay perspective, but they also incorporated the switch from 3D to 2D very well. As a fighting game fan myself, Street Fighter X Tekken has given me everything I’ve dreamed of and more from a fighting game.
From an awesome character roster of 38 characters, great replay value with the ability to have up to four players, and satisfying in-depth fighting mechanics that don’t prohibit new players coming to the world of Street Fighter, what more can you ask for? The story is a little disappointing and the trial mode could use a little more explanation for rookies, but these issues are petty if you look at the game as a complete package.
I’m very excited to see what else Capcom has in store for this game. With so many characters still missing from the roster on both the Street Fighter and Tekken cast like Blanka, E. Honda, Miguel, and Devil Jin, there’s no telling what kind of DLC we have to look forward to. The possibility of having Law and Fei Long as a team can be right around the corner. And that’s one of the key points of Street Fighter X Tekken. The combinations of different teams are vast. This also shows that Street Fighter X Tekken will be around for a long time. If you are a Street Fighter fan or a Tekken fan, you will definitely not be disappointed in this purchase.
9.5 / 10