As far as the fighting genres goes, Street Fighter and Tekken are perhaps its most recognisable cornerstones across the globe. Though one boasts a slightly longer lineage, both series have enjoyed a lucrative existence both in and out of the arcades, across a variety of gaming consoles.
When it was announced that both franchises would come together in a two-part crossover the news was met with mixed reactions. There isn’t exactly huge contention between Tekken and SF fans but given that the games adopt completely different fighting mechanics and their recent over-saturation, it’s easy to see where this cynicism originates from.[drop]In a nutshell, Capcom had an open sea of potential when approaching this latest title yet still managed to cast its net short. Despite cramming in a huge roster of characters and exhibiting refined mechanics, Street Fighter X Tekken feels empty at times, never fully capitalising on a portion of its fanbase who have a casual appreciation of the genre. The handheld portability of the Vita version does little to alleviate these issues, suffering from its own small pool of technical problems whilst carrying the burden of its home console counterpart.
As with most crossover games, X offers little insight as to how the Street Fighter and Tekken universes collide, at least not to begin with. What we do know is that combatants from both series have partnered up in order to procure an other-worldly “box” that has fallen from the sky. Despite being transparent it’s still fit for purpose, though the way in which the unfolding story is presented doesn’t make it any more palpable. Players simply drudge through a conventional arcade ladder with two cutscenes bolted on either end. It lacks any sense of reward, even for those who have an attachment to the on-screen characters.
Speaking of characters, there are 56 in total and they’re split between the two franchises. There are a few strange omissions here and there though this is remedied by an additional cast of off-beat characters including Pacman, Megaman, and every Sony fan’s favourite anti-hero, Cole McGrath.
Street Fighter X Tekken is only the first in this two-part series, its gameplay heavily influenced by its Street Fighter lineage. During fights players will stack combos before unleashing devastating special moves that come in a number of super-charged flavours. Even the command inputs are identical to Street Fighter’s and, as a result, many Tekken characters have had their movesets moderated to gel with their Capcom counterparts. It definitely works well, and benefits from the game’s tag-team focus, but will still present problems for newcomers.[drop2]Street Fighter’s ultra sensitive approach to button inputs and the complexity of its systems immediately establishes a firm barrier that separates good players from the bad. It’s easy to see how this benefits those with experience but, at the same time, it kneecaps rookies. Though comprehensive, tutorials are conducted in such a mundane and unattractive way, slamming the player with jargon with little on-screen information to guide you.
With no definitive campaign to play through or any interesting game modes on offer, all your left with are vanilla, 2-on-2 battles. There are plenty of options to mess around with in the extras menu including character outfits and editing your battle ID though nothing stands out as being worthwhile.
- Plays well. Tag-team mechanics are a bonus.
- Plenty of characters to select from.
- Looks a treat.
- Online play holds up.
- A number of interesting extras for SF/Tekken fans.
- Data can be transferred to PS3 version.
- Not very accommodating for new fans.
- Long loading times.
- Only consists of straight-up, 2 vs. 2 battles.
X certainly has its merits but when all is said and done only it feels like a game that is specifically tuned towards series veterans or those who are invested in the online community.