Well, Street Fighter X Tekken is almost here and after playing the game to death for the past 3 days and i would like to share with you what i think Capcom’s latest fighter.
As you should know by now, Sf X Tekken uses the SF4 graphical engine, so to put it plain and simple, the characters look like they just jumped from Street Fighter 4, which is not a bad thing at all. The graphics are fluid, colorful and almost easy on the eye (we’ll get back to this later).
While Street Fighter X Tekken does not offer many stages, almost all of them a re three layered, battling each round in a different layer, giving the impression to play in 3 stages in one match. A very welcomed feature in the package.
This is a Capcom fighter so, again, Like Street Fighter 4 you should expect a nice catchy music for most of the stages. Rival battles offer a remixed theme for the 2 fighters you are batteling, and bringing in your street Fighter partner to the screen unleaches a remixed of the Street Fighter 2 waorld warrior theme, a music i haven’t heard in years.
Much like Super Street Fighter IV, SF X Tekken offers a multitude of both offline and online modes that have become quintessential to the fighting game genre. Offline mode consist of an arcade mode, Versus, Training, challenge, and customize.
All these modes are self explanatory, the arcade mode let’s you pick up your fighter and fight your way through the end for an ending movie. Versus is as youe xpect, however it also offers 2 players versus 2 cpu characters, or even 2 players against 2 players, for either the normal tag mode or the fun scramble mode that let’s you have all four characters on the screen at the same time.
Training mode is essentially the same as in SF4. Challenge mode consist of trial mode that teaches you some nice combos, and a mission mode, in which you need to defeat your opponent under some special circumstances.
Customize on the other hand is new to the Capcom games. The option has 2 sub-menus, a character look customization and the Gem System. The look customization let’s you change character colors, for their, skin, shirts, hair pants ect. While this mode seems fun, there are only 4 available colors to choose fromas of now, making the customization not so much customizable (if that is even a word). Capcom however promised to add more colors to choose from, via free DLC. The second sub-menu is the Gem unit: As you have guessed, this menu will allow you to equip gems to your characters. We will go into gems later in the review.
SF X Tekken is the first crossover of 2 giant franchises Street Fighter and Tekken. The roster is true to this previous statement as it boasts a massive 38 characters including fan favorites from both series. If this number sounds too little to you, Capcom will adding 12 more DLC characters down the line.
While the DLC warriors do not have release date yet, some xbox360 hacker already unlocked every single on of them making us all question the fact that we will have to pay for characters that are already complete and on the disc (bad Capcom, BAD).
Another controversy that surrounds the roster, is the fact that the PS3 version of the game offers 5 extra exclusive characters in the form of: Toro, Kuro, Cole, Mega-man and Pac-man. Capcom made it clear that these characters will not be available on the Xbox 360 version, however recent hacks of the 360 version unlocked Mega-man and Pac-man. So whether or not these 2 characters will be officially added to the Xbox 360 will remain to be seen. But if i have the choice between the 2 console versions this will easily makes me choose SF X Tekken on the PS3
Let’s get something straight: If you come to SF X Tekken expecting it to feel like Street Fighter IV then you will be surprised. Unlike street Fighter IV and SSF4, SF X Tekken is a tag team game. Meaning you have to choose 2 characters, that each have their own life bar, but need to keep them both alive in order to win a round. If one of your characters loses all his/her life you will lose the round even though your second character still has a full life bar. This makes the gameplay a bit tricky (and more interesting) as you will need to keep an eye on both life bars and tag out the character who is losing life so he/she can regain some of it while being out of the screen. Much like previous fighters, your character have a shared super meter, that allows you to use EX moves, Supers, and once full, you can unleash the cross assault attack, which makes both your character do their suppers in a nice cinematic form.
If one of your characters is less that 25% of Meter you can sacrifice him by entering pandora mode. Pandora instantly kills one of your characters and grants your other remaining warrior infinite meter and some damage boost for 20 seconds (as well as an evil crazy look, as you can see above). If you do not defeat your opponent before the 2o seconds elapses you will instantly lose the round. It is a very tricky bargain but one that adds more strategy and depth to the game.
While not the main gameplay mode, Sf X Tekken offers, what is called, a scramble mode. In this mode, you get to fight 2 vs 2 at the same time, meaning you have four characters ducking it out in the screen. Each two characters share on life bar. this fun little mode allow you play with 3 other players, both Local and Online.
As mentioned before, the game feels very different than the SF4 series, both in the pace and mechanics. The fact that most Tekken characters do not have projectiles changed the whole Street Fighter gameplay into a more personal punches and kicks exchanges rather than a projectile world war. Pretty much all the tekken characters have a way to safely evade projectiles forcing the player to actually jump at his opponent and fight on a close personal range.
The most controversial aspect of Street Fighter X Tekken gameplay is the GEM system. The Gem system allows you equip each of your characters with 3 gems that activate under special circumstances and grant your character some sort of advantage for, either, a short period of time or the whole round. The gems are divided into 2 categories: Boost gems and Assist Gems.
Boost gems, once activated, give your character some kind of boost depending on which gem you selected. Some give a 10% inflicting damage boost, other gives extra movements speed and so on. Assist gems on the other hand are for beginners who are new to the fighting game genre, these gems allow their characters to use special moves with easier inputs or even autoblock. however they also cost sometimes health and super meter, and are not going to make you win, that is for sure. If you have played a fighting game before, then you will not need to use these assist gem as they handicap more than they boost.
After playing the game for three days, i can tell you that i did not mind the GEM system, however i find myself ignoring it most of the time. The fact that you need to equip gems for each character of the roster makes the pace a bit slower if you have 2 or more friends you are playing with locally. My main grip about the gem system however, is the character flashing. The constant red or Yellow flashing once a gem is activated is really heavy on the eyes, and caused some of us headaches after extended amount of play. While te gem system adds some minimal strategy to the mix, i would have still preferred if these GEMs were either optional or completely removed from the game.
Online mode in SF X Tekken offers both ranked and un-ranked matches, as well as a, welcomed, online training mode. All these modes can be played by up to 4 players online. Scramble mode is also an option to use online, and while not very competitive, it still is very fun to play. While it is still early to judge the netcode, the game is so far okay and not too great when played online. Many players are suffering lags, slowdown and music cutting off during gameplay. I am sure these will be patched soon, as Capcom has promised frequent patches to fix any issues with the game.
Street Fighter X Tekken is great! great visuals, competitive gameplay, and multitude of fan favorites characters from two of the biggest fighting game franchises. The controversial GEM system does not add much to the table, and does not break the balance of the game, and you might find yourself ignoring it all together, except for the annoying character flashes. Other than that this is a game that will be here for a while, and will have its weight on pro tournaments, even though we are not sure how, and if, the GEM syetm will be adopted by pro players.
Things i loved:
- Competitive gameplay
- Well Balanced
- Great MASSIVE roster
- Great visuals
- Mutli-layered stages
- Nice catchy Music
- Online modes, including online training
Things i did not care much about:
- The Gem system
Things i hated:
- Characters flashing during GEM activation
- No option to disable the GEM system online or offline.
Final Score: 8.5/10