The latest VS fighting game from Capcom, Street Fighter X Tekken has been getting massive amounts of attention well before it’s release. Ranging from multiple pre-release campaigns such as beta and alpha builds showcasing at various tournaments and even a reality gaming show named after an in-game feature, Cross Assault, SFXT easily stands as the most anticipated fighter of 2012. As with any game surrounded by such tremendous hype, it is also more subject to massive disappointment. So where does the latest VS game stand?
As with any cross/vs game, the roster is pretty size able. Excluding exclusive character content, the roster caps at 38 fighters that cover just about everyone ranging from the flagship characters (Ryu,Ken,Guile, Chun-li – Jin,Kazuya,King, Bob) and just about anyone you could imagine in between to be asked for. Visually, this game does an impressive job of dodging an “imported feel” bullet by adding more color and life to the Street Fighter cast and pleasingly separating them from their Street Fighter 4 appearances. The Tekken cast has surprisingly translated extremely well into the 2D plane, a feat not seen since the 90′s, very much looking like they belong.
It usually comes off as a far fetch to convince the audience as to why or how two totally different universes should merge together for battle, this title being no exception. While the story of Pandora’s Box falling to Earth, in UFO/meteorite fashion, isn’t exactly the most engaging delivery; the presentation carries the game very well. Since this is primarily a Street Fighter title, locations and themes are based off the SF world. Character alliances and rivalries on both sides are very entertaining and make a lot of sense almost to the point where these two worlds were destined to merge at some point. Dialogue exchanges look to have received more attention from the developers, keeping introductions and win quotes to act as an icing on the cake for wins.
There are only about 9 stages, all of which are extremely lively and animated with plenty going on in the background that makes this game so fun to spectate as it is to play. It would have been nice to see more stages considering the themes to each one are pretty good. Outside of Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3, there has been a lot of neglect in this department from Capcom fighters. After winning of each round, stages will either alter or relocate the fighters to a different viewpoint, which is a nice touch but even more so a reason why there should be more stages available to select.
The learning curve of this game is rather agreeable with all ranges of gamers novice through advanced. The combo system isn’t like Street Fighter 4 where the player must perform strict timing “links” in order to do their moves in succession. Instead players can execute combos in the form of “chains”, a manner much easier to move from one attack to the next to create a combo without the strict timing in between. The in-game tutorial does a nice job of covering just about all useful features, non of which are over bearing to learn since most super attacks and abilities are performed in similar motions for all characters.
There was a lot of fear going around about the Pandora system and how it might be an overpowering come back mechanic. However contrary to said fear, this feature is actually quite useless. Pandora is a special ability in which the player, with minimal health, can sacrifice a teammate for a power boost that is only active for 8 seconds. The fact that Pandora’s lifespan is so short in combination with the fact that there is no real significant boost of anything, makes this feature a wasted headline and use of coding.
The gem system however has turned out to be quite balanced and fair. Each character is allowed to equip up to 3 gems that have different properties split into the categories of Boost, Assist, and Special. These gems require a specific balanced requirements to activate such as landing 3 special attacks, block 5 normals attacks, perform 1 grab in much more. Once activated the player is granted a long list of available rewards ranging from regenerating health, increased speed, boosted damage, stronger defense and far much more in different variations.
There are a couple of modes to SFXT, arcade of course where the player must advance through different stages until reaching the final boss to complete the short story. Trial mode allows players to test and advance their knowledge with different characters by completing the various assigned moves and combos. Mission mode pits you against the CPU with prerequisites on how the opponent has to be defeated and places certain stipulations under the player that will provide the bulk of the challenge.
SFXT Tekken has a very mixed online feature. The great thing about the online play in this game is players can invite a partner into their session and bring them along for every available online mode in the game, Ranked, Endless Battle and Briefing Room without having to ever split up. The briefing room is an online practice lobby where two players can enter the training mode together to practice the depth of combos this title has to offer and simply just brush up on their skills together. The noted flaw of the online play is often the games sound will desync from the action, buffering out a lot of effects from attacks as well as the music which is very off putting to say the least.
In a nutshell, Street Fighter X Tekken does a great job of being a unique VS game by combining a great mix of other fighters fundamentals without seeming to belong to too much of one specific feel. Although Street Fighter is the main theme here, the game play system encourages gamers think outside of that box and create more unique combos and play around with the system. The game looks just as great as it plays with a large roster of staple characters that will appeal to just about any gamer, not falling short of any options.