Street Fighter X Tekken (PS3) Review
Title: Street Fighter X Tekken
Rated: E for Everyone
Capcom sure loves their crossovers, don’t they? Hot off the heels of Marvel vs Capcom 3, Capcom is back with a new crossover, Street Fighter X Tekken. Street Fighter X Tekken takes a wide variety of characters from Street Fighter, including characters only loosely tied to Street Fighter such as Final Fight’s Poison and pits them against a wide variety of Tekken characters, including a handful of people who were just introduced to the series in Tekken 6. How does this crossover hold up? Let’s find out.
Tekken and Street Fighter are two very different fighting games. Tekken is a 3D brawler that uses 4 attack buttons with no projectiles, while Street Fighter is a 2D fighter that uses 6 attack buttons with all sorts of projectile attacks. So how has Capcom managed to combine these two different franchises? Simple. They’ve taken a handful of Tekken elements such as the tag-in tag-out system seen in Tekken Tag Tournament and re-tooled all of the Tekken characters to have Street Fighter controls. It may make some hardcore Tekken players angry, but Namco is currently developing Tekken X Street Fighter which will throw the Street Fighter characters into Tekken’s style of gameplay.
The most important thing to note is that all of the characters are relatively balanced. It must have been extremely difficult to tweak all of the Tekken characters so they can compete with the likes of Fireballs and Hurricane Kicks, but Capcom has pulled it off well. All of the Tekken characters have moves extremely similar to their move sets in the Tekken games, although it’s frustrating when your favorite Tekken characters don’t have attack patterns or combos the way you remember them. With that said, most of the changes are for the better.
Street Fighter X Tekken uses the Street Fighter style of gameplay, meaning every character has a weak, medium, and heavy attack for both kicks and punches (except for characters such as Balrog who only use their arms). The fights, however, are played with teams of 2 and use the Tekken style of tagging. This means that only one character needs to lose all of their health on a side before a fight ends. This means that you’ll have to constantly monitor not only your character’s health bar but your partner’s as well, since you need to make sure you’re not about to tag in someone who could lose the fight for you. Like most fighting games the fighter not involved in the fight can recover a certain amount of lost health, and this becomes a big aspect of the game and can really drag out fights if managed properly.
The big addition to Street Fighter X Tekken is the gem system. As you progress you unlock gems which you can attach to each character in the game, offering potential enhancements to your character. There are two types of gems. The first is a boost gem, which gives a boost to your character’s speed, defense, or attack. The second type of gem is the assist gem, which gives your character an advantage such as giving your character the ability to auto-block an attack, but at the assist of your Cross Gauge, which is used for performing specials. Most gems have to have certain conditions met to be activated, such as successfully blocking three times to activate the block gem for 10 seconds.
Gems are an interesting addition to Street Fighter X Tekken. On one hand they add a significant amount of strategy to every fight. Now instead of two players using Ryu and being on equal footing, you’ll now see someone using Ryu with a boost in defense in speed versus a Ryu who can auto-block and does more attack damage. You can customize every character to your liking using the gem system, allowing top tier players to make themselves even more powerful and cover up their weaknesses while giving casual players a chance to experiment and play to their strengths. The gem system is what really separates Street Fighter X Tekken as its own fighting game and not just another Street Fighter IV with Tekken characters and a tag system. While Street Fighter X Tekken is better off for trying something new in the gem system, I absolutely do not want to see every fighting game add in these strategy elements. Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple.
The other new addition to Street Fighter X Tekken, although not quite as significant as the gem system, is the Pandora Mode. Pandora Mode is basically a last ditch effort to try and save a match for the losing team. Activating Pandora Mode transforms your character, giving you unlimited Cross Gauge at the expense of not being able to tag your partner and draining your own health bar. You only have 10 or so seconds to defeat your opponents before you die, so you need to act quickly if you want to be successful. Pandora Mode is a cool addition that’s just like going all-in in a game of Poker. It may blow up in your face, but it may also turn the tide of battle and give you the edge you need for a big comeback.
In the trial against ugly art direction, I present evidence A: Balrog.
Street Fighter X Tekken uses the over-stylized and flashy look found in the many versions of Street Fighter IV, and is one of my biggest complaints of the game. The background environments look fantastic just like they always seem to in Capcom fighting games, but the art style has gotten old. It was refreshing and cool to see the art style in Street Fighter IV 3 to 4 years ago, but it’s time to move on. Realistic graphics aren’t the way to go either, but using the same art style from Street Fighter IV feels cheap and unimaginative. The art style is very eye catching, but it’s not visually pleasing. Characters look fine from a distance, but look pretty bad up close.
Up to 4 players can play Street Fighter X Tekken locally, and online battles run relatively smoothly, although playing with other people who have a less than perfect internet connection will result in some lag, which can ruin any good fight. One interesting fighting mode is called Scramble Mode where all 4 characters are fighting at once. It’s kind of chaotic, but it’s fun to play around with in-between more serious fights. There’s also the Endless Battle Mode, which is the Survival Mode found in every other fighting game. Fight continuous opponents until you finally lose. The Fight Request Option is also present from Street Fighter IV, allowing other players to challenge you to a fight during the single player mode just like if someone went up and put in quarters in an arcade machine.
– The Gem system is an interesting addition that adds several layers of depth and strategy to each fight.
– Pandora Mode is a fun addition that doesn’t ruin the balance of the game by giving players a last ditch effort to win.
– The roster of fighters is impressive, with lots of fun additions such as Pac-Man, Mega Man, and Cole (inFamous).
– Each fighter feels different enough to warrant their existence. There doesn’t appear to be any clones of other fighters (Ken and Ryu are always exceptions to the rule).
– Online runs well, assuming both players have good internet connections.
-The sound adapts to the fight, getting quieter and adding in a heart beat when your character is about to die.
– One of the worst story modes in any fighter. There’s a reason it wasn’t mentioned up above. I can barely tell what’s going on, but it sure as hell doesn’t make any sense. Something about Pandora’s Box landing at the South Pole from a meteorite, and now everyone from Street Fighter and Tekken needs to fight over it in teams of 2. Mortal Kombat showed us last year how story modes should be done in a fighter, and now everyone else just looks horrible by comparison. Also, for a game that has such great animation in-game, the cutscenes are non-moving still frames minus the occasional blinking eye.
– The art style needs to go. It was fun in 2008/2009 for Street Fighter IV, but it’s no longer new, creative, or easy on the eyes.
– Some of the Tekken characters have seen significant changes in their play style to adapt to Street Fighter’s style of play.
– I personally prefer the Marvel vs Capcom 3 style of tagging where every character needs to be eliminated to win, but this system isn’t necessarily bad.
You just made a grave mistake, Bison…
Street Fighter X Tekken is an excellent fighting game that has some really creative and fun additions to the gameplay, but will give many players fighting game fatigue. On one hand the Gem system and Pandora Mode are creative, but on the other hand the basic fighting mechanics are extremely similar to the three editions of Street Fighter IV released over the last few years. Again the character roster is large and the characters are fun to play, but the tag-in system doesn’t feel fresh since Tekken has recently re-released Tekken Tag Tournament in HD and has been promoting and showing off Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for a while now. Street Fighter X Tekken will satisfy Street Fighter fans, but it may be time for Capcom to put down the Street Fighter series for a little bit to freshen up the gameplay experience and focus on some of their other fighting franchises.
|Graphics||6.5||The art style felt like a breath of fresh air in 2008/2009, but once that new car smell wore off it revealed just how ugly the character models are up close. This art style needs to go.|
|Gameplay||9.0||The Gem System and Pandora Mode add a lot of depth to a familiar fighting formula that has been awesome since the early 90’s.|
|Sound||8.0||While all of the fighters speak Japanese, the sound design is awesome. Having the music get quiet and hearing a heartbeat when your character is about to lose is both helpful and cool.|
|Lasting Appeal||7.0||It all depends on how often you plan on playing multiplayer online or locally. You can tear through the single player arcade ladder in less than an hour, and the story is just absolutely horrible.|
|Fun Factor||8.0||There’s a whole lot of personality and charm in this game, with lots of nods to other Capcom and Namco properties. The game is a lot of fun to play; it just doesn’t feel as fresh of an experience as it would have if Capcom spaced out their fighting games|
|Overall||8.0 [ Very Good ] legend|