Review by KillDozer123
Good Game, Flawed Product
It seemed like an unlikely combination. One was the best selling fighting game series in 2D format. One was the best selling fighting game series in 3D format. It did not seem like the two would be compatible. And yet, Capcom and Namco were determined to make it happen, and thus, two crossovers between Street Fighter and Tekken were announced.
This review covers the Capcom product, Street Fighter X Tekken. In a brief summary, it is a fairly good game, let down by a few flaws as its product. Doesn't make sense? I'll explain as we go deeper.
The idea behind the two crossovers was that each would be done in the style of the two companies own series. As a result, Street Fighter X Tekken takes on the style of a typical Street Fighter game, mostly based on Street Fighter 4. Players familiar to Street Fighter will no doubt recognise the wide range of characters included, from fan-favourites like Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li, to relative newcomers like Abel, Rufus and Juri. Each plays with their signature abilities and trademarks, and if you've already played Street Fighter 4, you shouldn't have much trouble picking up and playing.
Of course, the regular cast is only half of the draw here. Aside from the 19 Street Fighter characters, we also have a further 19 characters from the other side of the crossover. For the most part, I honestly think the Tekken characters fit into the Street Fighter world very well. Granted, they do not have as many moves as they did in their series, and some of their controls are a little touchy, but it still works really well. I found myself utalising the Tekken characters much more than the Street Fighter characters, itself an odd thing since I've never been able to really get into Tekken.
Being based on Street Fighter, the graphics are done very much in the same style as Street Fighter 4, with a distinctive "cartoonish" look not seen in the Tekken universe. That in itself is not a bad thing, as the graphics look very good, as do the backgrounds. Also worth a note are the voices - like in Street Fighter 4, the voices can be switched between English and Japanese and, for the most part, are pretty good, if a little cheesy for all characters. The only real issue I have with the voices is that all of the Street Fighter characters are set to "Japanese" by default. In addition, I felt that the music was relatively uninteresting, aside from Ogre's boss theme. I mean, granted, you won't be paying too much attention to that, but it is still a small drawback.
Of course, the gameplay is the real meat of Street Fighter X Tekken. Being made by Capcom, it follows Street Fighter's 2D style of gameplay and by default the matches are "best of three". However, in a small twist towards Tekken, the gameplay core is much like that of Tekken Tag Tournament. Players battle with teams of two characters, which can be switched at any time during battle using the Medium Punch and Kick buttons together. However, unlike the Marvel vs Capcom series (but like Tekken Tag Tournament), the battle ends as soon as one player on a team is knocked out. Therefore, keeping both players alive is a neccessity.
As in both series, the fighters have a series of regular punches/kicks and also a bunch of special moves which can be executed by movements of the control stick and a press of a button. According to the official website, there is supposedly an option to use the Tekken characters with their traditional 4-button gameplay, where each button corresponds to a single limb, although I have set to see this, personally. Control can be somewhat hit and miss, unfortunately. I frequently found myself wiggling the analog stick in desired movements and not performing the special moves, and other times performing them quite by accident. In addition, performing some of the combos given in game, especially for the Street Fighter cast, is somewhat unforgiving. The Tekken cast is a lot easier to pick up and play, in my personal opinion. In fact, even performing a Boost Combo and Cross Rush, which is basically a string of attacks followed by a powerful launcher (which automatically swaps out partners) can be difficult to land.
Also of importance is the "Cross Gauge", which fills up as attacks are blocked, special moves are made, or health is depleted. A familiar feature of Capcom's more recent fighting games, it has various different functions. One bar will boost a special attack. Two bars will allow the use of an extremely powerful Super Art, which can make or break the match. Three bars allows two extremely dangerous moves. The Cross Art allows a team to utalise a powerful Super Art that uses both characters. The Cross Assault allows both characters to come out at once. Whilst these two moves are useful, it is rather disapointing that, unlike the Marvel vs Capcom games, these provide the only real "assisting interaction" between the two fighters.
There are also two other "features" included in the game, but frankly both are unnoticable. The first is "Pandora Mode", which basically allows you to sacrifice a character when under 25% health in order to boost up the other for a short time. Frankly, I've never used it. There really isn't much of a use for it. It's much easier to just keep your characters refreshed at all times. The second come in the form of Gems, which many thought, when they were first announced, would break the game. The reality is that they are barely noticable, and not once did I really feel like they played any sort of an effect.
There are several gameplay options in Street Fighter X Tekken. Arcade Mode takes you through the main storyline (and trust me, it is rather cheesy...if you want to see how a crossover story should work, I'd recommend Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe) and pits a team of your choice through eight battles. You can use any characters you wish, but each character (except Akuma and Ogre) has a designated teammate, which will add rival battles and cutscenes during the game - and considering these are more interesting than the generic team cutscenes, it means Arcade might get old quickly. There are also Missions to complete, although 20 is a rather low number when you take into account that Mortal Kombat had 300. Versus Mode allows you to play a normal game, or "Scramble Mode", which has all four players on the screen at the same time. A word of warning - it is not worth playing this mode if you are the only player - your computer controlled team-mate will quite comfortably demolish the opposing team. I tried this with Rolento, Zangief, Heihachi and Lili (I was Rolento) and won with only minimal contribution.
All in all, the gameplay for Street Fighter X Tekken is good....not outstanding, but not terrible.
Street Fighter X Tekken has had a lot of controversy going on since its release. Online Mode has been criticised, but as I have not been able to try it yet, I really cannot comment. However, I can comment on the Downloadable Content. In this game, it comes in the form of additional gems, colours for Character Customization (this doesn't interest me...it might do for you), "SWAP" costumes for each character, which allows them to dress up as characters from their opposite series, and 12 new characters. However, it was discovered that all of this "Downloadable Content" was already on the disc, and as a result, it caused a lot of frustration and drama amongst reviewers, both official and fan.
My thoughts? I certainly do not agree with the decision to include the data on the disc - although I can sort of understand why, it really should have been implimented better. Actually, my annoyance is more due to the fact that we have to wait until Autumn to unlock the characters, when the PS Vita version is released. If it was just a month or so after release, maybe I wouldn't have minded. However, this whole DLC-drama, which Capcom believed would increase the replay value, has in fact decreased it, in my opinion.
Does this have an affect on the gameplay? No, in my opinion. Street Fighter X Tekken is a flawed product - very flawed in some cases. But it is still a good, acceptable game that is worth a play if you're a fan of the series, or are just looking for a good fighting game for the PS3. If one is willing to look past the flaws in the product, they should still like the game. Nonetheless, these flaws do hamper the experience slightly, although my vote of 7/10 still stands - it is still worth the time to play.
Namco's side of the crossover, Tekken X Street Fighter, will most likely be out early next year. Here's hoping they don't fall under the same problems as Capcom's attempt.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Street Fighter X Tekken (EU, 03/09/12)
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