Hey Look, a Bear!!!
Street Fighter X Tekken does its best to combine two franchises into one game. The plot of the game involves a strange cube, dubbed Pandora’s Box, falling from space to land in Antarctica. It is soon discovered that the cube has immense power, and that just about every character is after it. Much like Street Fighter IV, you and your partner will start each fight with a still shot, and after each victory, dialog boxes pop up to reveal more of the story. The only cut-scenes take place during the “Fight Your Rivals” portions, and, of course, in the ending. However, each character has their own separate ending after the credits; if you want to find out everyone’s fate after opening the box, you’re going to have to beat the game separately with each.
Fighting does take place on a 2D platform; however, both the fighters and the environments are 3D, exactly like Street Fighter IV. Players choose one character and receive a tag partner for the fights. Each fight ends when one, rather than both, character’s health bar is fully depleted. Along with the Street Fighter-type power up bar (used to pull off super moves), there is also a gem system which, when activated, allows the player to boost the character’s offense, defense, speed, and more. There are multiple slots to use gems, which helps to balance out the game quite a bit.
Now Zangief Really Can Spar Against A Bear.
When it comes to the character models, the Street Fighter characters are as you remember them from Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV, or Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, while Tekken characters have been given the Street Fighter IV treatment. For this version, a few characters have been given some makeovers, but nothing too extreme. Stages in the game range from vibrantly colored outdoor scenes to dark, dank building interiors. Most stages have a lot going on in the background. You can sometimes spot a robot Zangief hanging onto a window’s ledge, or even a few dinosaurs stomping around the scene.
That Was More Like A Ha-Don’t-Kin.
The controls of the game are exceedingly simplistic, very responsive, and extremely intuitive. The Tekken characters have move sets that are similar to standard Tekken games, so fans of that series shouldn’t have too much of a problem adjusting. The best advice to prospective fighters is pretty basic: use the tutorial to pick up the controls, and then practice with a few people to see who works best with your style of play.
Finish Him!!! Oh Wait, Wrong Game.
The voice acting in the game is exceptional, with both Japanese and English voice actors being used for most of the characters. You can set all of them for English, Japanese, or they can be toggled individually, giving the player the choice of how they wish to have the characters represented. The soundtrack follows a typical fighting game formula: aggressive-type dance music that fits well with the feel of the game.
It’s No Iron Fist Tournament.
One of the major problems with Street Fighter X Tekken is that this is probably the first game where you can actually feel hindered by a regular controller. Having a fighting pad would undoubtedly help a serious player do much more with this game. Some of the teams themselves feel off as well. For every Ryu and Ken, there’s a strange team, such as Ibuki and Rolento. While it’s understandable to have some strange pairings over the course of the game, the writers did their best to make each team work. However, after the final cut scene and credits roll, there is a secret ending that tells the fate of the first character you chose. The problem with this is if a player wants to unlock all the secret endings, they have to use the same team twice, using the other character as the lead.
One of the other hindrances of the game is the customization mode. While customizing the gems does help out in game play, there’s nothing too outstanding about it. Also, there is a customization mode that allows the player to change the skins of the characters; however, this is extremely limited, with only a few different colors to choose from for each part (pants, shirts, etc.).
For the PS3 version, so much ado has been made about the DLC characters being included on the disc, but locked until you pay extra. It could be a moot point, though, as extra characters Toro and Kuro don’t exactly fit into the game; however, Cole MacGrath is an excellent addition to the game’s roster. An even greater downside to this, though, is that the extra characters are not playable during the Arcade mode. The big drawback on the Xbox 360 version is that only one player can play online at one time. For one reason or another, the 360 version will not allow two local players to play online on the same team.
With all that said, the online function does work exceptionally well, with minimal lag time. In fact, there is a function that allows other players to challenge you as you’re going through the Arcade mode. Luckily, though, for those of you who don’t like being interrupted, it is possible to turn this off before you start playing.
At the end of the day, Street Fighter X Tekken is a solid fighting game. Fans of both franchises should at least give it a play through to see where they stand on it. It’s some of the best features that the Street Fighter franchise brings to the table, mixed with Tekken characters that hold their own wonderfully. However, newcomers to either series might not find this a proper introduction to either, as it doesn’t fully represent what either franchise represents. While it doesn’t necessarily compare to other fighting franchises, the concept of the game does it’s best to hold it’s own.
Final Verdict: Street Fighter X Tekken gets 7 Fat Mega Men out of 10.
[xrr rating=7/10, max_stars=10]
This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Street Fighter X Tekken by Capcom