Video Game Review: Street Fighter X Tekken
:Large character roster, gorgeous visuals.
:SFIV deja-vu, gem system
Can this hybrid crossover deliver double the punch?
Fans of the fighting genre have just been dying to see two of gaming’s biggest franchises face-off in an epic encounter, but the concern whether a hybrid of beloved series wouldn’t work was always an issue. Such was the case with Mortal Kombat vs. DC, where the former lost a lot of its violence and grittiness for the sake of a teen rating.
It’s safe to say that Street Fighter X Tekken doesn’t lose any of its charm, but definitely caters to more of the Street Fighter fan base. Understandably so, as SF veterans Capcom were the developers being this particular title. I’m pointing this out because (without trying to confuse anyone) there is going to be another game within this crossover series – the second being developed by Namco. As you can imagine, Street Fighter X Tekken (developed by Capcom) follows a traditional 2D fighting and art-style seen within the likes of Street Fighter IV, while Tekken X Street Fighter (being developed by Namco) will use Tekken’s trademark 3D fighting engine and carry an art-style seen in the series’ past. It’s as if the two developers couldn’t decide on who would control what throughout the development process, and ended up both being spoilt children and getting their own game.
Now that all of that is out of the way, we can examine Capcom’s bash at the hybrid son of these two highly-acclaimed franchises.
Street Fighter X Tekken maintains the fast-paced arcade fighting mechanics from Street Fighter IV, although now boasting a much larger character roster and some new mechanics to mix up the action.
As you could expect, all the main SF and Tekken characters are here. So finally being able to have a head-to-head between Ryu and Jin Kazama, or Ken and Kazuya, has finally been realised. The game also features the tag element, where players can select two fighters and alternate them throughout the match.
The tight fighting mechanics and control schemes of SFIV apply here, with the frantic speed and attacking elements playing a large role, while the Tekken series has its fifteen minutes of fame, as the game features throws and some favourite Tekken moves fans will find familiar.
Another new feature are gems, which are basically pre-match loadouts or perks, which can help enhance certain abilities of your character, such as increased kick damage or auto-blocking. While an ambitious and customizable addition, these gems do throw the balance of some of the characters off quite a bit, and will undoubtedly be exploited by hardcore fighting fans.
The visuals hold up to the high-standards set by the recent entries into the Street Fighter series, sticking with the over-the-top hand-drawn stylised look. Seeing the familiar SF characters in this direction isn’t anything new, but getting a good look at the Tekken roster in Capcom’s unique design is quite refreshing.
The backgrounds and stages are still gorgeous, and some new Tekken inspired scenery adds a great fantastical element to the streets and alleyways of the Street Fighter universe.
Street Fighter X Tekken is a very solid fighting game, and while it does have its downfalls in under delivering in some creative modes given the great fiction it has to work with, it does manage to execute just what it needed. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s a must-buy, but if you’re a more casual fan of either series, maybe wait for Namco’s shot at the crossover and see which stands out.