Street Fighter X Tekken
Genre: Beat 'em Up, Fighting
What we liked
What we didn't
A great crossover of the two biggest fighting franchises of all time
Finally, the two greatest fighting games go head-to-head to create Street Fighter X Tekken. Now this game has obviously been modeled after the Street Fighter 4 engine, having the cell shaded, almost anime style that I absolutely love, but has the Tag Team style of play that is very similar to the old Tekken Tag Tournament on PS2 (which means if one of your team members loses all their life then you lose the round, so remember to tag in a lot). The look of the Tekken characters in this game have been done so well that you will think they where originally made for the Street Fighter games. Also, the whole design of the game looks great, I especially like a lot of the level designs where you can really see a lot of detail that has been put into them. I nice touch on the levels is the inclusion of some cameos from both Street Fighter and Tekken characters that didn’t make it into the game, including Kunimitsu from Tekken 2, Mecha Zangief from Marvel Super Heroes VS Street Fighter and Haggar from Final Fight. But I will warn you, although this may look like Street Fighter, I’m telling you now that it doesn’t play exactly like it, but this isn’t a bad thing. I went into this thinking ‘I’m gonna be awesome at this, I was great at Street Fighter 4, so I’m gonna pick Ryu and Ken and kick some butt’. I played and got my arse handed to me. So, I recommend to all new players to play the Tutorial before playing the game as it will help you get around the new controls, as well as show you how to effectively use your tag team to your advantage. After doing this myself I went back and had another go and did a lot better.
The gameplay of Street Fighter X Tekken really emphasizes the use of your tag team partner, regularly switching between them to really pull off the big combos. There are a number of ways to utilize this including; the Cross Assault, where your partner comes in for a brief period of time to help you rack up some combos, the Cross Launcher, where you hit your opponent with a light attack/medium attack/heavy attack/heavy attack, launching your opponent into the air so your partner can run in and carry on the combo, and the Cross Art (my personal favorite) where you do a Super Art special attack and then your partner comes in straight afterwards to do a Super Art attack of their own, causing lots of damage. Nice. Street Fighter X Tekken has also kept the EX attacks and Super Art combos from Street Fighter 4
I found that the characters from the Tekken side play quite differently from their Street Fighter counterparts with most of them having a lot more special moves. This is mainly because a lot of the Street Fighter characters have projectile attacks, like Yoga Flames, Sonic Booms and HADOKENS (gotta love a good Hadoken), whereas the Tekken characters don’t (with the exception of Jin). I also found that although most special moves for Tekken characters have been changed so that there used like Street Fighter moves (down-to-forward than a button, down-to-backward than a button, etc), there are still some moves which retain there Tekken origins (like Jin’s 5 button combo of quickly pressing light punch, medium kick, light punch, light kick, medium punch, think thats it if remember rightly). So those people who are used to Tekken over Street Fighter may still be able to find some of the moves they have learned and use them in Street Fighter X Tekken. An added bonus is the inclusion of being able to set up 2 quick combos for each character which helps anyone struggling to perfect their combos (I found this very useful when first starting out).
Another new gameplay component added to Street Fighter X Tekken is the Gem System. Now I admit that when I first heard about this, I didn’t like the sound of it. I’m not really a fan of using power ups in fighting games, I prefer to use my skill to beat my opponents, rather than special power ups. But after using the Gem System, I found that it’s a nice little addition which although helpful, it wont swing the fight that dramatically. There are a number of useful little gems which can be used and they are activated in different ways, including things like blocking 5 times, get hit 4 times, hit with 3 special attacks and so on. The different types of gems which can be used are the red gems (power boosts), yellow gems (defense boosts), green gems (speed boosts), orange gems (health boosts) and blue gems (cross gauge boosts). There are also purple gems which are assist boosts like auto counter, auto block and other things like that. Following on from the gem system is another special power up that really can swing the fight one way or another, but it has a high risk as well and thats Pandora mode. Now you can only use this if your life is below 25%, you then sacrifice your current character to give your partner a massive power boost as well as giving you an unlimited cross gauge, so you can keep throwing out EX attacks and Super Arts. The catch is is that if you don’t beat your opponent before the time limit expires, then you automatically lose. So like I said, this is a high risk, high reward attack and should only be used at the correct moment, otherwise your gonna lose.
I think the reason I really love this game is the choice of characters in Street Fighter X Tekken. It includes pretty much all my favorites from both series like Ryu, Akuma, Chun-Li and Cammy from Street Fighter and Jin, Hwoarang, Paul and of course my favourite of all time, King (hail to the king baby), as well as some new and obscure characters like Poison and Hugo from Final Fight and Rolento from Street Fighter Alpha 2. Also, with a further 10 characters (5 Street Fighter and 5 Tekken) already been announced for later this year when the Playstation Vita version comes out, that is a lot of characters to choose from. Another added bonus for me and any other PS3 players out their (sorry 360) is the inclusion of 5 bonus characters. These are Cole from Infamous, Toro and Kuro (PS3 mascots from Japan who are nearly identical to Ryu and Kazuya respectively) Namco’s Pacman (who rides in a giant Mokujin robot, how cool is that) and finally, after being gone for quite a while and having his latest game cancelled, it’s Capcom’s very own Megaman. The funny thing about this Megaman though is that he doesn’t look like the typical Megaman most people would know him from. They actually modeled him on the box art of Megaman 1 released in USA about 20 years ago. So he basically looks like a fat, middle-aged guy in a Megaman suit with a gun. Now some people have gotten very annoyed with this (stupid fanboys) but I think this is a great homage to Megaman and he is also very fun to play as. Plus it’s nice to finally see him in a new crossover fighting game (I’m looking at you Marvel VS Capcom 3).
Another great thing about Street Fighter X Tekken is the amount of different modes
that are available. Some fighting games have been knocked in the past for not having enough, different game modes, but that’s not true here. There is the standard Arcade mode, with the story being that a strange cube called Pandora has crashed into Antarctica and affects fighters when they are in conflict with each other. So different people are hunting down Pandora for different reasons, like Jin and Xiaoyu want to use it to get rid of Jin’s Devil gene, M.Bison and Juri want it for power, Hugo and Posion want it for fame and glory and so on. So you pick two characters and then fight against a few other teams, then defeat your rival (only occurs if you pick a tag team like Ryu and Ken, Marduk and King, etc), then defeat a team powered up in a Pandora state (M.Bison and Juri if your a Tekken team and Jin and Xiaoyu if your a Street Fighter team) and lastly you face off against a powered up boss who causes extra damage and has a ton of health (Akuma for Tekken teams and Ogre for Street Fighter teams). Once this is done you’ll see an actual cut scene (which is better than most fighting games nowadays), which is again different depending on if you have an actual tag team or if you just have two random characters. Thats pretty much the gist of it. There is the added bonus of being able to play this 2 players co-op, which is a nice touch, but ultimately there isn’t really much of a story mode. I think this is the only negative thing I can say about Street Fighter X Tekken, but then again, there’s not really any good fighting games with a decent story mode anymore, so this isn’t a major problem.
It’s in the other modes that Street Fighter X Tekken really excels. You have the standard Versus mode, with 2 on 2 combat, which you can play up to 4 players at the same time, which is awesome for a fighting game. You then have Trial mode, which is individual for each character. This is basically a comprehensive move and combo list for each character, but it is very useful if you want to try to expand your repertoire of moves for your favorite characters. You then have Mission mode, which is as it suggests, lots of different missions to complete, like beat your opponent using only special moves, beat your opponent in a certain time limit, etc. Both Mission and Trial mode start off pretty easy but get steadily more and more difficult and with 20 missions and 20 trials per character, it’s gonna take you a long time to finish them all. The mode that most people will probably play for the longest amount of time though is the Online mode. All fighting games need to have a decent Online mode nowadays and Street Fighter X Tekken doesn’t disappoint. You can choose to just go straight into it and play online or you can turn on your accept a challenger mode while playing Arcade mode and accept challengers whenever one comes your way. You can even play 2 player co-op online and try to take on the world with a friend. The last mode Street Fighter X Tekken has, which is a very fun, if a bit frantic, is Scramble mode. This is where both combatants on both teams are all fighting at the same time and again this can be done online and up to 4 players at home. Now this mode can get very crazy, especially when you have special moves and projectiles flying all over the place (HADOKEN, sorry, couldn’t resist doing it again) but is ultimately a very fun mode to have a go on and something that hasn’t been done before, at least not recently anyway.
All in all, I really enjoy playing Street Fighter X Tekken and I’m still playing it now (time for me to take on the world online, let’s go King). This is a great addition to the Street Fighter and Tekken series and just generally and great fighting game. You’ll be playing this game for a long time with all the different game modes and online play. Now I just hope that when Tekken X Street Fighter comes out about a year from now, that it as good as Street Fighter X Tekken (I think Namco has its work cut out for them).