That Street Fighter lot have a real chip on their shoulder. Setting their sights this time on the Tekken gang, Street Fighter X Tekken answers the age old question that gamers never asked, with the latest addition to a long line of beat-em-up crossovers. Round one – Fight!
In a plot of B-Movie proportions, a mysterious object falls to Earth that grants fighters more power than they can possibly imagine. As you may have guessed, it falls into the wrong hands and it’s up to the Street Fighter and Tekken gangs to fight amongst themselves before eventually deciding to save the world from the forces of evil. Not exactly awe-inspiring, but each character has a unique take on the scenario with some beautifully drawn comic style story boards. Besides… who worries about story in these games?
Gameplay is pretty straightforward, as a mix-and-match combo of two fighters from a roster of around 38 (depending on which format you buy the game on) takes on the arcade mode. The Ex bar has been rebranded as the Cross Gauge to fit in with the title. It works the same way as you fill up your meter in order to unleashed devastating special attacks. There is a new Pandora mode included in the game, which means once a character is beaten to within an inch of their life (or rather 25% of the health bar) they can choose to sacrifice their partner in order to regain full health and increase their Cross Gauge in order to defeat the opponent. However, if they fail to do so before the time runs out then it’s game over.
The big addition is the customisable gem system that also lends itself well to the story line. By fitting your character with a specific type of gem, special moves become easier to pull off and there’s no need for as much button bashing. By customising each character’s gems, you can also benefit their speed, defense, or the Cross Gauge. It’s a nice addition, but one that takes practice itself so it’s worth spending some time on the (rather funny) tutorial mode in order to fully understand it.
Based on the Street Fighter IV engine, the game has all the intense colour and flashing lights you’d expect from a Japanese beat-em-up. The Street Fighter cast perhaps looks at their best since the update came back in 2009, while the Tekken characters look and feel comfortable in their new Capcom skin. The fighting stages are also gorgeous, often tongue-in-cheek, even if at times they don’t make a whole lot of sense.
The game suffers from three major flaws. Firstly, the pick-up-and-play aspect associated with beat-em-ups doesn’t quite work with this one. Relying a lot on the gem system, it’s a lot harder to get to grips with than say, Super Street Fighter IV or most of the Tekken games. Secondly, it seems that the days of unlocking characters are over, seeing Capcom instead opt for making a few quid on the downloadable content. Characters such as Blanka, Sakura and Jack-X have been promised as DLC but the game would surely have had much better replay value if they were unlockable upon completion of the Arcade mode. In fact there’s very little to do in single player, except learning the skills of each fighter, or your favourite combo.
The final flaw comes with the online mode.The matchmaking style remains from Street Fighter IV but it’s in serious need of an update. The sound seems to disappear in favour of the fast-paced music and makes the experience rather off-putting when ever the smacks and bangs of your special moves don’t make any sound. Capcom have promised an update, so at least we can look forward to one flaw being sorted.
Street Fighter X Tekken is one of those match ups we’ve all wondered about finally becoming a reality. A visually stunning beat-em-up, it lives up to the high standards of the Street Fighter franchise. However, it’s not exactly the pick-up-and-play game you’d expect from a beat-em-up and with little to do expect the arcade mode for the solo gamer, only the hardcore Street Fighter fans will get their moneys worth out of this one.