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Street Fighter X Tekken Review

by Diogo Miguel March 9, 2012

It’s always nice to see video-games companies get along like best friends. Some have to do it for financial reasons by merging into a new company like Square Enix and Eidos. But there’s times when companies work together to do crossovers involving their popular franchises.

It certainly isn’t a surprise that Namco Bandai and Capcom have finally caved in, given the rich history both companies have when it comes to fighting games. The first game to come out of this partnership is Street Fighter X Tekken.

If Street Fighter X Tekken seems similar to Street Fighter 4 then that’s because it’s based on engine for it. Those familiar with the latest Street Fighter games will find it easy to get into this game. The game makes use of a few moves that are more or less the same such as Ex attacks and cancels.

It’s even possible to use a modified version of Super moves where a character’s special move is activated or even perform cross over moves. It’s not enough for this game to pit two characters against each other. It’s now possible to pick two characters to fight with and it’s even possible to mix and match characters from both universes.

Fortunately the inclusion of an extra character does not mean that the game is fast paced like the Marvel Vs Capcom games. The pace continues to be the same as in Street Fighter 4 and there is a focus on skill rather than button mashing.

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Perhaps one of the most satisfying moments in the game comes from using both characters efficiently at the same time. It’s possible to use certain combos to automatically exchange characters and continue juggling the adversary in the air. Use of special attacks will consume the cross gauge so it’s vital to time each attack properly. Being reckless in battle will leave characters open to attacks which means that spammers won’t do too well in this game.

There is much to be discovered in this game in terms of techniques that go beyond the basics discussed so far. One of the most intriguing features is Pandora mode where a character with low health is sacrificed to empower the remaining one. This too has its limitations in the way of a timer limit ensuring that it doesn’t make the game unbalanced.

One vital rule is to pay attention to character health as it’s game over, if one of them is knocked out. An odd decision considering that it does require the player to pay less attention on the actual fighting. Changing characters is not particularly difficult, but it’s stressful when health is low. So it’s important to get used to swapping characters while health isn’t an issue as it also recovers some health for that character.

Another intriguing feature is the addition of gems that will empower each character with different abilities. Two of these gems are equipped before a battle and a gem is used when certain conditions are met. In all honesty it’s not a feature that seems to heavily influence the outcome of a fight.

An option to have fights with this feature turned off might have benefited those that are purely interested in relying on fighting skills. But at least it’s not the case that using the gems will give players an unfair advantage. It would have been unfair if someone won plenty of online fights based on having a powerful set of gems.

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Game content is similar to what is available on the various versions of Street Fighter 4. Arcade mode for example continues to be the area that most players will spend their time when playing offline. What is interesting about it is that the story will change depending on which characters are paired up.

An incentive that will make a lot of people want to see what each duo will get up to. A welcome change also comes in the form of the final boss, that each pair of characters faces, as it’s one of the less frustrating bosses found in a Capcom fighting game. The other offline mode worth mentioning is challenge mode, which contains a rather difficult set of missions and the tutorials aimed at initiating new players.

The online mode is the real meat of the game and it’s where most players will spend their time. This game allows the use of more than one character but it lets spectators watch matches online. Endless

Battle mode is the perfect place to hang out with friends, or even random players, to engage in casual matches. Those looking for a challenge can always venture into ranked matches but only the strong will survive. Battle points are given for winning as an incentive for continuing to battle online. There’s a couple of minor issues found on a few occasions involving sound quality dips and strange character movement.

In the game’s defence there are variables beyond Capcom’s control, such as internet connection speeds, that could be the reason behind it. Capcom also attempts to take advantage of the two character scenario with an unique tag mode called Scramble Battle. It’s possible to have a four player fight where each player takes control over one of the characters. It’s also possible to do this offline in the Versus mode and the result is satisfying.

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Those inclined to do so can play the game with the intent of unlocking extra content used to edit a personal battle tag. It’s nothing new as it’s implemented in Street Fighter 4 but there’s new titles and comments to unlock. Perhaps one of the biggest mysteries is why there isn’t a wider variety of areas to fight in. It would have been nice to be able to have a wider choice but the ones available have plenty of background detail.

One of the biggest accomplishments in the game is how Tekken characters are efficiently implemented. All characters have kept their own trademark moves which is impressive. The visuals still look incredible considering that they are similar to those found in Street Fighter 4. It’s a smart move to continue taking the fantasy approach to character models as it makes the game likely to age well.

Street Fighter X Tekken doesn’t try to accomplish anything new that the popular Street Fighter 4 already hasn’t. But the vast cast of characters from each of the games is a clear reminder that it’s more about fan service. The inclusion of an extra character to fight with works extremely well without ruining the fighting mechanics. It’s the sort of game that fans of this genre will enjoy for a long time as it’s on par with Street Fighter 4.

To put it bluntly Street Fighter X Tekken is a game that anyone can get used to with time, but only those that put in the effort will get the most out of it. Street Fighter X Tekken is a testament of what two video-games publish can achieve, when working together, that fans of either of the games shouldn’t miss out on.

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