With every crossover that Capcom has made, they’ve always done a great job of imbuing the new title with elements of both franchises relatively well. The Marvel vs. Capcom series was fast paced and filled with over-the-top attacks, as expected of any Marvel comic; the Capcom vs. SNK series incorporated the hodgepodge of gameplay systems from SNK games; at their cores, though, both games still felt like Street Fighter titles. With Street Fighter X Tekken, Capcom has aimed to combine two drastically different areas of fighting games – 2D and 3D games. Despite the monumental task they had, Capcom managed to create a wonderfully fun game that somehow captures many of the same systems from Tekken games and injects it into a 2D title.
Like recent Tekken games, Street Fighter X Tekken not only has a wide array of systems, but an even larger pool of possibilities that come with it. By pressing attacks in quick succession, given that it goes from a lower to higher strength, players can execute a Cross Chain that can lead to a launch, tag-in, and longer combo if the game’s juggle points permit. Alternatively, like Street Fighter 4’s focus attack cancels, by pressing tag during any attack, players can (for the most part) safely switch out; if the attack is blocked, then at least most of the risk associated with a blocked unsafe attack will be eliminated; if the attack hit, then players can continue the line of attack for some exciting combo possibilities. Both of these options that launch opponents into the air lead to juggles that are reminiscent of Tekken games, a feeling that is only reflected more by the inclusion of wall bounces and ground bound states that lead to extended combos.
Beyond tagging, there are still a variety of ways to use meter and create new combo possibilities. Quite expectedly, team supers are included alongside the Street Fighter series’ traditional individual supers; in addition to dealing out bigger damage and costing a full meter, these also take out any recoverable health the opponent may have had. The new Cross Assault mirrors the old dramatic battles from Street Fighter Alpha 3 by not only tagging in a partner but staying in and pounding down on the opponent together. As a last ditch effort, players can also activate Pandora mode, which lasts roughly seven seconds before the player automatically loses, by killing off the current character and tagging in the next; during this time, the character has additional damage and infinite super meter. It’s a large reward for an equally large risk. Both of these will require practice from players before they’ll be able to implement them in real matches.
As with every game in the Street Fighter series recently, there is an ample amount of gameplay to be had with the single player mode. Not only is the character and combo teaching trial mode included, but a tutorial mode that takes players all the way from simple movement to the game’s systems is included for the first time. Sadly, for seasoned players, the tutorial mode will provide little information that they can’t discover on their own in ten minutes or so. Players who are more concerned with aesthetics will appreciate the user friendly color edit mode, which can change almost every aspect of a character’s color palette. However, without any of the planned color pack DLC, this mode is severely limited at the moment.
On the multiplayer front, standard ranked battles and lobbies are certainly included. While the latency was decent and always provided acceptable matches, even after the initial launch day patch, there were still issues with the sound cutting out and frequent rollbacks that cancel out a previous action. I never thought I’d say this, but the experience is actually less pleasant than that of Street Fighter IV. For gamers who are lucky enough to still have real life friends who play fighters, they can invite them to jump into matches with them both online and offline for some 2-on-2 action. Unlike other fighters that have constantly pitted friends against each other, Street Fighter X Tekken actually encourages them to play together as well.
With upgrades coming out frequently from Capcom within the last two years, most notably Super Street fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, it’s a breath of fresh air to see Street Fighter X Tekken. The myriad of gameplay systems included make for exciting possibilities, whether they’re strategic or combos. Though the PR fiasco including the twelve on-disc DLC characters may enrage many, it’s also nice to know that we won’t be shelling out more for a “Super” version of this title in the near future.
Available on: PS3, Xbox 360; Publisher: Capcom; Developer: Capcom; Players: 1 – 4; Released: March 8, 2012; ESRB: Teen; MSRP: $59.99; Official Site
Note: A retail copy was provided to Denkiphile for review purposes by the publisher.