You got your Tekken in my Street Fighter!
Written by Super User
Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012 20:00
Having released a few successful cross-overs during the past few years, it comes as little surprise to see Capcom at it again. This time they are bringing two of the most celebrated fighting franchises on the market together in one complete package. Do these rivals prove to be a perfect match or should they never cross paths again? We have the answers you’re looking for...
Whether you look at Marvel vs. Capcom, Namco X Capcom or any other fighting cross-over imagined by Capcom, they usually have one thing in common, they are all quality experiences. This time around, things could have been different. As fans quickly pointed out, Tekken is arguably one of the kings of 3D fighting, while Street Fighter is one of the 2D champions. How does Capcom handle the situation? They simply made the choice to stick with what it does best: a 2D experience. The story mode allows players to choose from a cast of 38 characters, inviting them to fight their way to a crash site where a mysterious cube fell from the sky. Unsurprisingly - and in true Capcom cross-over fashion - that’s about all there is to the minimalistic story. Will it matter to most players? Absolutely not. The vast range of all-star characters from two of the most beloved series in the genre will do more than enough to please fans.
"When it was all said and done, one can safely assume that fans of the Street Fighter series will be pleased with this new installment."
Let’s get to the important part: the gameplay. While Tekken fans may be disappointed by the lack of 3D fighting stages, the 2D gameplay is refined to the max. Capcom’s experience with 2D fighters really allows the title to shine in this department. All the basics are covered, the controls are extremely responsive and precise, the combos are varied and rewarding to perform, and the characters are well balanced, despite their different roots. One of the most notable additions is that each fight is always composed of 4 characters - 2 for each player - much like what is found in Tekken Tag Tournament. With that comes the ability to seamlessly switch between the two selected fighters and perform spectacular combos at a frenetic pace. An important choice was also made by Capcom to keep the fights as short and intense as they are meant to be, as only one character needs to be knocked out for the round to end. This was also done to encourage players to manually switch characters and use the new mechanic more often rather than stick to their old habits.
Despite these additions, the feel of the game remains very similar to that of Street Fighter IV. While it’s never a bad idea to take the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach, this move might disappoint Tekken fans, and may generate a bit more fatigue for seasoned Street Fighter players. Special EX moves and Special Arts are back again in Street Fighter X Tekken, and it still uses the six buttons traditionally used in the main Street Fighter series. The pace of the game, however, is even faster than what you’d expect from a classic SF experience. New combos and strategies are introduced with the new dual character mechanics. For example, players can now perform “Cross Rush” which involves switching characters in the middle of a combo, “Cross Arts” which is pretty much the same thing, but this time involving special arts, or even perform a “Cross Assault”, which is a special move that allows both of your characters to briefly unleash a series of combined attacks on your opponent. Another notable addition to the mix is the introduction of gems, which are the Street Fighter equivalent of Call of Duty’s perks. The gems allow characters to have certain advantages during fights (simplified combos, damage increase, etc.) The catch is that gems will not have any effect until certain tasks are completed in each fight. I’ve personally found this system to be a bit flawed since it clearly advantages skillful players rather than give a chance to newcomers, but the system does bring a rewarding aspect to the table for people who take the time to master everything it has to offer.
In terms of modes, the title does not break new ground; instead preferring to stick with the tried and true classics. The tutorial and training modes unfortunately do very little to help newcomers get accustomed to the mechanics. The arcade mode is your standard single player experience, complete with a poor excuse for a story that fortunately takes a back seat to the fantastic gameplay. The appeal of this mode is very limited, and the fact that you can complete it in less than 30 minutes certainly doesn’t help. Though it clearly isn’t the main reason why one would buy a Street Fighter and Tekken cross-over, I still wish they put a little bit more effort into this aspect. Meanwhile, the Versus mode allows for quick matches where up to 4 players can fight locally. The online functionalities are well made and very functional, despite a slight hint of lag that could ruin some matches given their frenetic pace. A replay feature allows players to keep a souvenir of their most stellar performances, and a well-populated community makes it possible to find a match quickly. As with most fighting games, you’ll definitely want to make sure you master the subtle nuances before attempting to take on an online opponent, who tend to be more seasoned.
The visual experience offered by Street Fighter X Tekken may not be the most unique, but it remains a great one nonetheless. The cartoony and colorful art style will quickly remind everyone of Street Fighter IV’s fantastic visual flair, and the animations will continue to impress fans. The framerate is still silky smooth, and the visual effects that accompany the combos are nothing short of mesmerizing. As for the music, it is also very good and is clearly inspired from the Tekken camp. The overall presentation of the game manages to impress and improve on the already stunning formula set by Street Fighter IV.
When it was all said and done, one can safely assume that fans of the Street Fighter series will be pleased with this new installment. While Tekken inspirations are definitely a bit scarce, Street Fighter X Tekken still retains the best elements of both franchises. As unlikely as this cross-over was, we couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. With a stellar all-star cast of characters, refined gameplay mechanics, stunning visuals, and an honest amount of content to keep players busy for a long time, Street Fighter X Tekken proves to be another worthy entry in Capcom’s cross-over series.
Release date : 2012-03-10
Publisher : Capcom
Developer : Capcom
Gameplay : Fighting & Wrestling
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