Review: Street Fighter x Tekken (PS3)

Street Fighter x Tekken is, naturally, a mash-up between the Capcom Street Fighter franchise and Namco’s Tekken. It’s a 2D fighter with an impressive roster of 38 characters just to start with. Another 12 (6 from either franchise) is set to come out in fall on the PS Vita version. It has an art style similar to SF4’s, with 3D character models on 2D backgrounds, but that’s where the games’ similarities end. Though SFxT looks and sounds like SF4, its game engine is anything but.

Tag battles are the focus of SFxT, with players being able to select any combination of characters from Street Fighter or Tekken. Some tweaks have been made to the gameplay to accommodate the characters from the 3D fighter – focus attacks have been removed, combos come easier, and it’s easier to juggle an opponent. There are also moves especially for the tag system, and of course, the tag system itself.

Unlike Marvel vs Capcom 3, knocking out a single character means the end of the round. Players thus have to watch their health bars, and tag their characters out in time to keep the fight going. The tagged out character will heal slowly while not in combat, and there are gems to assist this regeneration.

This brings up to the gem system. Indubitably the crown jewel of SFxT’s gameplay, it has been hailed both as a) the most entertaining addition to a fighting game yet, and b) the scrubbiest twist in gameplay, ever.

Gems can be selected beforehand in the main menu. Players are able to customise sets of two gems for any character. These gems come in the Assist and Boost categories, and support character abilities or boost character parameters respectively. They come with activation conditions ranging from something as simple as getting hit by two special moves to connecting with the tag ability, a launcher.

This is a review, so we won’t go in depth into how much people hate these gems. But take note that gems can’t be disabled for online play, though you can ask nicely in the lobby for people not to use gems. You can only avoid using them in offline play.

Speaking of online play – the game runs into sound issues when you go online. Sound and voice trip up midway. This has something to do with the way the netcode was written, which Capcom has apologised and promised an update soon, but is also a trade-off for a smoother online experience that allows for up to four simultaneous players per match.

But if you were hoping to get in a few games with your tag team partner, you may be disappointed if you’ve got the Xbox 360 version. While promises have been made for two players to be able to go online as a team on the same console, this functionality only works for the PS3 version. Capcom has also explained that “due to time and resource issues”, the team wasn’t able to get that feature onto the Xbox 360 version in time.

You can still enjoy playing online with a random player, so not all is lost. SFxT also features a Scramble mode, which is more like a party game than anything. In this mode, both players appear on screen at the same time, so one match can potentially be enjoyed by four players. Expect lots of chaos and button mashing.

However Capcom has fallen a little short when it comes to the single player portion of the game. The explanation of how the characters from both series collide is a poor attempt at best, and even less effort is made to explain how your choice of tag team might have gotten together. If you overlook these details (and most players probably will) then SFxT is tons of fun.

That’s because on a whole, SFxT makes for a much easier game compared to other 2D fighters, such as the Street Fighter series. We’ve heard players claiming their grandmothers could play SFxT and pwning with it. Inputs are looser, making links connect much more easily, and this bodes especially well for players who might not have gotten their timings down pat yet.

If you’re able to overlook the hiccups that come with SFxT’s online play and work around – or better still, work with – the gem system, then you’re in for loads of fun. More characters are being planned as DLC releases, and DLC gem packs have also been announced. Even alternate costumes have been planned, to allow for Street Fighter characters to dress up as their Tekken counterparts.

We’re sure that SFxT will improve with age, just like how Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 only bettered their predecessors.

SCORESHEET (out of 10) OVERALL
8.0
Good
Graphics 9.0
Similar to SF4’s, but with an intensity in its colours and shading that just make the game look oh-so-good.
Sound 7.0
Upbeat and catchy bgm with well voiced characters. Points off for the lack of quality in online play though.
Gameplay 9.0
(Relatively) easy button mashing fun! I’m going to introduce my grandmother to this game.
Lasting Appeal 8.5
DLC and a huge amount of gem combinations should keep you occupied for a while.
How the RGB Scoresheet works

 

Street Fighter x Tekken  is a crossover fighting game developed and published by Capcom, utilising characters from both the Street Fighter and Tekken series. 

Comments