Street Fighter X Tekken Review
Extra Features: Online Multiplayer (2 players), Leaderboards, Download Content
Capcom is well known for their cross over fighting game series that pits characters from various franchises against Capcom's own characters. Street Fighter x Tekken (pronounced "Street Fighter Cross Tekken") is the first time that Capcom has joined up with Namco. Street Fighter x Tekken pits Street Fighter characters and other Capcom characters against Tekken characters and other Namco characters.
The results of Street Fighter x Tekken are quite different from other fighting game crossovers that Capcom has done since Street Fighter is well known for being a 2D fighter and Tekken is a well known 3D fighter. Street Fighter x Tekken is a 2D fighter with Street Fighter 4 style graphics. The game is geared more toward a Street Fighter fan, with its overall look and gameplay, but it carries many elements from a Tekken game as well! It's quite a fine blend of the two fighting game franchises. There are altogether 38 playable characters from the start.
It's quite interesting to see how Tekken characters transfer over to a 2D style. Each of the Tekken characters feels like a completely different character with their usual trademark moves in a 2D style. The Tekken characters still have some string attacks that they can perform, such as the usual Light Punch, Light Punch, Medium Punch for Heihachi and Kazuya. Returning Street Fighter characters have their own unique tweaks for Street Fighter x Tekken - they retain the same basic look, but they all play slightly different to some extent. Basically, any character that returns from Street Fighter 4 has some changes that make them feel different.
A player can choose two fighters from Street Fighter and Tekken. The tag system is much like Tekken Tag Tournament - once one fighter is defeated, the round is over. A player can switch between fighters at any time by tapping both medium attack buttons. Switching in and out of a fight constantly between your two characters is basically required. The game is set up to where a player can constantly tag characters in and out while attacking. Each fighter has a basic string combo that can lead into a launcher. Once the launcher is performed, the partner will tag in and the combo can be continued. There is more emphasis on juggling when compared to the usual Street Fighter game - much like a Tekken game, a player can juggle an opponent in the air for quite a while after a launcher or other move that knocks the opposing player into the air. This can make for some very deadly juggling!
The cross over gauge constantly charges as players continue to fight and take damage. The cross over gauge has many uses. A player can perform EX special attacks for the cost of 1 block. EX special attacks have become much more useful than in previous Capcom fighters since they are required to string together some combos for certain characters! At the cost of two blocks of the cross over gauge, a player can perform the usual super attack. Each fighter has one super attack. At full charge, the cross over gauge can be used to perform a cross art, which is basically a tag team super (highly damaging). There is also a cross assault that can be performed where both fighters will be called into the battle - you will control your current character and the CPU will control the partner for a few seconds while both are free to attack.
Instead of using the cross over gauge to perform EX special moves and super moves, each fighter also has a certain special move that can be charge to make it an EX or super move depending on how long the button is held - this is basically a free EX or super move if the player can manage to charge the attack without getting knocked out of the charge animation. There is a unique move called "Pandora", which is basically a last-ditch effort for a losing team (all or nothing). A player can activate Pandora at 25% life for the current character. The current character will be cast out of the battle for the remainder of that round and the partner will receive an attack boost, unlimited cross over gauge and twice the current character's remaining health.
Each fighter also has two slots that a player can equip with Gems (Boost Gems and Assist Gems). Gems give a player certain enhancements by requiring a player to perform a certain action a few times in a row (ie. block an attack 10 times, attack 5 times with normal attacks). Some of the enhancements include an attack or defense upgrade (Boost) or an instant throw escape (Assist). Several of these gems can be unlocked and equipped to each fighter through the customize menu. There is also a Quick combo string that can be assigned to the Light Kick + Heavy Punch or Heavy Kick + Light Punch buttons. Basically, for the cost of one block of cross over gauge, a player can press either of the two button combinations to launch an instant string of attacks assigned to that button.
As for overall content, Street Fighter x Tekken is up to par with Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition for the most part. The game has the usual arcade mode, training mode and challenge mode. Arcade mode pits a player against several teams until the final boss is reached and explains the main story of the game. By choosing certain groups of Tekken or Street Fighter characters, a player can see a team's unique story unfold on the way through. If you choose two characters that don't make a team, you'll just receive an overall generic story that is the same for each basic team.
Challenge mode offers various challenges against CPU teams in the trial mode. There is a mission mode where a player can attempt to accomplish a series of command objectives for each of the game's playable fighters. There is also a much needed tutorial mode that teaches a player how to take advantage of each of the game's old and new features - Dan Hibiki is your trainer!
There is a customize option that allows a player to equip Quick Combos, Gems and customize character colors. Like the usual online Capcom fighter, a title can also be chosen for your profile. The game has a replay channel where a player can watch and save replays of other fighters. You can save replays through spectator mode while online as well. Other players can be followed through the online leaderboards much like in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.
The online mode of Street Fighter x Tekken has three main modes of play - Ranked Match, Endless Battle and Scramble Battle. Ranked match is the standard match between two players to increase overall rank. Endless Battle is basically a player match lobby where players can group and watch others players battle it out in a lobby through spectator mode while waiting for their turn to play. A player can equip gems and look up info on other players while watching in spectator mode. A lobby list can be pulled up while players watch on from spectator mode.
Scramble Battle allows a player to pick a team of two fighters and have both fighters on the screen at the same time. Basically, there will be four characters on the screen at once. The player controls the first character in the team and the CPU controls the second character. This is much like Street Fighter Alpha 3's Dramatic Battle mode except this has a total of four characters on the screen at the same time. As you can imagine, this mode can get quite chaotic and random since a CPU controls one fighter.
The online play for Street Fighter x Tekken has sound glitches all the time while fighting online. The problems cannot be seen through spectator mode, but once you start to fight another player online, the sound will cut in and out while you fight and there will be several points where attacks and voices of the fighters cannot be heard. The actual fighting while online seemed to work well while I tested it, with very little noticeable lag during each round - the actual gameplay is fine. Even though the gameplay is smooth, the sound problems were a major distraction for me - every single sound effect can glitch to where it is unheard. Hopefully, this issue will be patched by Capcom at a later date, because it's quite disappointing to find a flaw such as this in such an otherwise high quality game.
As already mentioned the game has a pair play feature where two characters can be on the screen at the same time. With the Xbox version, two players cannot group together and go online and control two characters at once - this was omitted from the Xbox version because of the profile system of the Xbox 360. The pair play co-op option is available on the PS3 version however.
Street Fighter x Tekken has some of the best character personalities that I have seen in a fighter. The Tekken characters are completely brought to life with their new 2D appearance and voices. Paul Phoenix constantly yells out hyped phrases while fighting and characters such as Rolento still have their unique phrases from other games - "Mission complete." There are several soundtracks for stages that are truly fitting and catchy. The game has around 10+ stages that can be fought in. The controls are very crisp and responsive. Street Fighter x Tekken is a game that can easily appeal to both casual and hardcore players easily. Many of the commands and combos are easy to perform and the game also offers assistance through quick combos and gems.
If it weren't for the online sound glitches, Street Fighter x Tekken would be near perfection. It blends elements from both Street Fighter and Tekken quite well into a unique 2D fighter. Out of the cross over fighters that I have played from Capcom, Street Fighter x Tekken stands out as being the most unique. It is unlike any of the other cross over fighters and is a great blend of the two franchises that it brings together. The Tekken characters literally all feel like new characters and the Street Fighter characters feel somewhat different as well, which makes the overall feeling of this game, very fresh!
+ 38 playable fighters
+ Tekken characters in a 2D style basically makes them feel like new characters
+ The game takes ideas from Street Fighter and Tekken for its fighting engine
+ The game basically offers all the content of Super Street Fighter IV - replay channel, trials, follow a player, etc.
- Online play has sound glitches (sound will cut in and out)
- The Xbox version has no pair play co-op (two players cannot control two characters at once)
Final Rating: 86%. Street Fighter x Tekken is a very unique blend of a 2D fighter and a 3D fighter and feels fresh in a variety of different ways.