By Tony Maher
“Street Fighter X Tekken,” the latest crossover fighting game, is great start to finish. The title maintains what made each of these franchises into classics, and introduces new accents to keep it interesting. Although each franchise has added recent releases to their histories, Street Fighter X Tekken seems to stay true to the original formulas that made the originals so legendary.
Since the days of my youth, “Street Fighter” has been the series I compare all other fighting games to. I spent many a quarter battling my friends at Maxwell Street Pizza with Ryu, Ken, Guile and the gang for the title of current champion. I honestly cannot count the hours we spent playing Street Fighter on any available system. Since then, there have been many different versions of Street Fighter and many other fighting games. Few of those, however, could hold a Hadouken to the original Street Fighter 2. But Street Fighter X Tekken is excellent as a new incarnation of an old breed.
The first thing to mention is how well Street Fighter and Tekken compliment one another.
Both games are set up with relatively easy moves, which makes for an easy pick up when
you are not struggling between two different styles. The two are not exactly the same, but close enough that if you were a fan of either title you would have no problem picking up this game at all. Both series’ character designs have similar qualities, so seeing Street Fighter and Tekken fighters side by side is a more comfortable sight than than the juxtapositions in, say, “Mortal Kombat vs. D.C. Universe.”
The game designers’ ability to seamlessly craft one game from two series is what is most impressive about Street Fighter X Tekken. Street Fighter is known for its great super moves, and Tekken has a reputation for great fighting combos. This game manages to capitalize on both. Players have the ability, with enough practice, to use any character and stream together a series of moves that can be finished with a classic super finish. Of course, don’t expect it to be easy if you are playing a seasoned veteran. Unlike some fighting games out
there, there is no quick fix to win.
Street Fighter X Tekken plays as a two-on-two match up and players can switch between either team member at any time with relative ease. Players can also tag a character’s partner while in the middle of executing a combo, which means a skillful player can unleash even more punishment on an opponent with the right timing. The game’s lineup of selectable players is huge, and players spend hours trying to learn which moves work best with one’s fighting style. The variety and differences keep the game exciting and continually refreshing.
The really great thing about game’s team-up feature is that is a real team-up. Instead of throwing down quarters on a console while waiting for turns, up to four buddies can play together. This is also true for the online matches, opening fights to virtually anyone anywhere in the virtual world.
Aside from the versus mode, Street Fighter X Tekken also has the standard story mode. The game doesn’t have much as far as actual story as much as a little set up to give the fighters a reason to travel the world and then a little wrap-up at the end. Playing the story mode is a pretty straightforward expereince, as players fight their way through several opponents before facing the end boss, Ogre.
Street Fighter X Tekken also has a “Gem System” that gives players little bonuses. They won’t make anyone invincible or guarantee a win, but they are definitely something fun to mess around with and add to character customization. The system only awards bonuses after certain events and they only last for a short period of time. This way, players actually have to learn how to use characters to become the best Street Fighter, or Tekken warrior.
Street Fighter X Tekken combines two of the best fighting series and adds some new twists to smooth controls and a variety of fighting styles. This is one of the games that are made for all-night battle royale. I already have a stack of quarters waiting for my friends to come challenge me.
Street Fighter X Tekken
Capcom/Namco Bandai Games
PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, XBox 360 (Reviewed on XBox 360)
Rated T for Teen