It seems that ever since the reintroduction of the Street Fighter franchise with Street Fighter IV, fighting games have been on the rise. Marvel vs Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat and the recently released Soul Calibur V are letting us know that the fighting franchise is far from dead. It’s no surprise Capcom is at the forefront when it comes to fighters with some of their most famous iterations stemming from cross overs from other companies. Street Fighter X Tekken is no exception to this. Capcom’s #1 fighting franchise and Namco’s #1 fighting franchise team up in an unprecedented match! While being familiar to a play style we all know, Capcom has brought some new elements with the Tekken brand name.
Although the name might throw you for a loop, the game is actually made by Capcom and in the style of Street Fighter. This is not to be confused with the three dimensional space that’s derived from the Tekken series which will actually make its debut sometime in the future from Namco Bandai. What we got here is a 2D fighter with a slew of new characters to the world of Street Fighter.
The game uses the Street Fighter IV engine which is a great pallet to see the Tekken Fighters in as they all realistically are new characters. There is an even mix of both sides, about 19 characters from each. All with their own way of play. What you will notice that while this is the SFIV engine it is not the same game in many respects or any other fighter. Too be honest it is somewhat a blend of both games.
The core is Street Fighter but elements like the Tag System and juggle moves have been brought over from Tekken. Unlike the Tag in MVC3 once one character dies here the round is over. Combos are also something to be taken advantage of here but serve mostly as the gateway to popup your character. This new move allows you to keep your opponent in the air and tag your partner to continue your combo on them. Your Cross Gauge meter is broken up in to three bars. One can be used for a Cross counter or EX move, two for a Super Combo and three for either a Cross Special or Cross Assault. The Cross Special will do a Super Art with both characters and Cross Assault will allow both players to come in to attack your opponent for a period of time. Not to mention that one of your basic special moves can now be charged which will turn it into a Super Art sacrificing no Cross Gauge bars. This I’ve found to be one of my favorite add-ons.
Another addition is the inclusion of the Gem system. Gems can be equipped on to each player to give your character attributes during a match after meeting certain parameters. Boost Gems have Power(attack), Speed and defense type gems to tinker with. There are also Assist Gems which will allow your character to do auto actions like auto block or cancel a throw, this is not without the sacrifice of a piece of your Cross Gauge and power. Gems can also go towards Pandora Mode which is another new feature in SF X T. Pandora mode is like a desperation mode when in a match. You sacrifice the player your currently in battle with and give your teammate immense health and unlimited Cross Gauge. This only last for short period so it can make or break you in a pinch.
Online works well comprising of Rank Match, Endless mode (lobby with fighters where winner stays and loser rotates) and Scramble mode which allows all four fighters to be in the fight at the same time. We’ve found minimal slowdown and hiccups here.
The game isn’t without it’s faults and is lacking in some areas. Arcade mode has a hard time of letting you understand how it works. If you mix match your team then you will only get 1-2 intros and one ending in the entire game/ Each characters ending will only be a set of words with a narrator ..? For example to get a real intro you need to pick teams like Ryu and Ken. However the real endings are actually better then what you received in SSIV. The combo system while fun to do seems technically flawed as they all lead to a pop up and can’t be chained to end with a characters special move. In other words it seems very difficult to string combos together without popping up or switching characters.
One of the more distracting flaws comes from the games online. While hiccups and slow down isn’t to much or an issue, when it’s there it’s there. Another thing is how the sound cuts out for your teammate or opponent. This is actually a problem when playing ranked matches or scramble battles as you can only hear a quarter of what’s going on…
While the set number of characters is always an issue in games like this and you can’t please everyone it seems somewhat note worthy that there are currently 40 fighters made for the SFIV engine and Tekken themselves have over 40 characters which could easily bring the game to 80. That number is an astounding amount but a roster of 60 could have been done as 38 characters seems kind of a low offering. On top of this each character while Tekken being new themselves goes back to having one Super Art. We’ve all been spoiled by having two Super Art options in SSFIV so adding a variety of what kind of super you may want to use is out the window.
The tough part is to not see a more robust amount of features since this engine and half the amount of characters have been made before so new characters, stages and modes should have been it’s biggest priority. It’s wild but as much as I hate the idea of a Super Street Fighter X Tekken, it seems almost warrant to be able to receive possible mix match character story intros, endings, new super arts and an overhaul amount of new characters.
What Street Fighter X Tekken does, it does well. It brings the world of Tekken into the Street Fighter stomping ground for some kick ass gameplay that easily rivals if not beats SSFIV. The game is slick and a bit more accessible this time around. This engine is still one of my favorites of any fighter and only gets better as time goes on. While it lacks in some features and overall elements seem somewhat shallow at times, the core of the fighter is still at it’s peak. You won’t get anything better then what is right here for sure.
[starreviewmulti id=2 tpl=20]