Capcom is keeping fighting games alive with its newest title “Street Fighter x Tekken.”
Taking place in an alternate reality where members of the Street Fighter and Tekken universes collide, the game combines the highly strategic fighting the Street Fighter series is known for, with the insane juggles and combos of the Tekken series. This fusion of styles creates a whole new experience for gamers with a thirst for crossover action that thus far only fan-fictions have been able to quench.
The largely forgettable story features a mysterious box known only as “Pandora,” which crashes in the Antarctic. It is said the box contains an item that will grant the wish of any who prove themselves worthy. Hearing the news of Pandora, fighters from around the world team up to find this mysterious box and claim the prize.
The gameplay of “Street Fighter x Tekken,” will feel familiar to Street Fighter veterans. Tekken players, on the other hand, may feel a bit awkward at first. With time, however, they’re sure to become experts at applying the skills they’ve acquired from Tekken in the new game.
On the surface, the game seems pretty straightforward. Players have a point character and a back-up character they can switch to during combat. Players can utilize a standard combo that launches opponents into the air long enough for the back-up character to step in and continue the combo. While the move is effective for beginners, more advanced players can optimize combos by mixing and matching different attack buttons and special moves. Street Fighter players know these tactics as “link combos.” But don’t fret, Tekken players, the characters from the Tekken universe are largely intact. Although they don’t sport every combo from Tekken games, these characters are still a force to be reckoned with. Many Tekken combos mimic the “four-button” style of Tekken games. The players who can utilize both of these advanced styles will be damage dealing maniacs in this game.
Two new features that are worth mentioning are “Pandora mode” and the “gem system.” When one character’s life is 25 percent or less, the player is given the option to sacrifice that character for a power boost and unlimited super meter. However, Pandora mode only lasts eight seconds, and if gamers don’t win in those eight seconds they automatically lose the round.
The gem system is essentially a game changer. Players are given the option to create specific gem load-outs that will aid them in fights. The good news is gems add a new layer of strategy without breaking the game.
“Street Fighter x Tekken” features a wonderful soundtrack. Many character’s familiar theme songs are in the game in a remixed form. These character-specific songs normally play during “rival matches,” and level specific tracks are not a bad listen.
“Street Fighter x Tekken” sports a plethora of offline modes compared to the latest iteration of Street Fighter. Arcade mode allows gamers to experience a preset or player-customized team’s story. From rival battles to official endings Arcade mode is pretty standard.
Versus mode allows up to four players, computer controlled or human, to fight either two at a time or four at once.
Challenge mode offers three options: a trial mode that helps teach players combos for each character, a mission mode that adds conditions for victory to a given fight, and a tutorial mode that walks players through the game’s basics.
The customize mode of SFxT allows players to customize their favorite fighters, though just out of the box the customize options aren’t very wide or varied. The available downloadable content brings in more customization options. Customize mode also houses the creation of specific gem load-outs, quick combos and the ability to customize players’ battle profile.
The online mode offers a replay channel to view past matches, those of with friends or matches of random strangers – which, let’s be honest, is always fun. There is a leader board to check out who is the top player on XboxLive or PSN. Leader boards can be filtered to show specific parts of the world, friends or followed gamers.
Last, and probably the most important, is the online battle mode. Here players can search for ranked matches (which earn battle points), endless battles (which allows repeated fights) and scramble battles (2v2 battles). While in a ranked match or endless battle, PlayStation 3 users have the option of local multi-player online – meaning two people can play on the same account against other players, online. Unfortunately, Xbox 360 users do not have this option as of the time of this review. Both systems, however, have the option to search for a random partner online, or partner up with a friend on another system.
“Street Fighter x Tekken” is a great game. Capcom brought its A-game when it decided to combine these two fighters into one crazy concoction of fighting madness. At first glance, the game seems like any other fighting game. But when one gets down to the meat of the game, they will be treated to a three-course meal of shoryuken-flavored greatness.