Street Fighter X Tekken Zombiegamer Review | As Good as Arcade-Brawlers Get

In Short

There is something wonderfully indulgent about arcade brawlers – the outrageous combat that varies from basic to complex, the insane speed and the over-the-top combos – it’s just so appealing and satisfying. Both the Street Fighter and the Tekken series have always been on top of the pile in the genre; but when mixed together, and with the finest combat mechanics I have experienced from Capcom; the result is something very special indeed.

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Distributor: SterKinekor Entertainment
For fans of: Street Fighter, Tekken, arcade brawlers
Reviewed on: Playstation 3
Also available on: Xbox 360
If we had to give it a numerical score: 9/10

Overview

Capcom surprised the gaming world and sent brawling-game fans into frenzy in 2010 when they announced that Street Fighter was to mash it up with Tekken in one game. This was particularly unexpected because of fact that the Street Fighter series belonged to Capcom while Namco publish Tekken games. That said, Capcom are no strangers to mashing it up.

Street Fighter X Tekken features fan favourite characters from both series, which are two of the most renowned arcade fighting titles. Since Capcom produced and publish Street Fighter X Tekken, the gameplay is based on the 2D gameplay of Street Fighter. Namco were involved more in the licensing of the Tekken cast.

Likes 

  • Combat
  • Tekken characters
  • Visually stunning
  • Gems
  • Customization

Not so much

  • I suspect players with Arcade Sticks will have the edge

 

Gameplay and Features

Street Fighter X Tekken offers 38 characters in total, half from each franchise. All the major characters are there with a few exceptions, like I would have loved Eddy from Tekken in from the start. We believe the rest of the characters will be making their way into the game in future via purchasable DLC. The PlayStation 3 version includes some Sony exclusive characters – Toro, Kuro and Cole (inFamous). Capcom deliver a really comprehensive package with this wonderful crossover which is not normally the case with brawling games which normally lack substance. So your characters can be customised to your heart’s content. You can customise their gear and save three extra outfits on top of having two standard ones to choose from. You can change the colour of each item of clothing to create your unique looks.

The variation theme continues throughout the game and not even the game modes suffer from the lack of variation. You can go straight into fights in singleplayer of multiplayer modes. You choose two characters as you can tag between them. Besides the normal offline battles, you can go into a training mode to hone your combat skills or go into the arcade (story) mode. Fighting fans will not need to be told that the story modes in arcade fighters are never deep or that impressive – it is simply a pre-determined avenue to go fight some AI. It’s enjoyable but shallow and definitely not why anyone would buy Street Fighter X Tekken. There is also a very extensive tutorial mode that covers everything from the basics to the more complex moves.

It’s the multiplayer mode that sells arcade fighting games, and Street Fight X Tekken shines in this department. You can choose between picking up a partner to tag with you and play against another pair, or go into a straight forward one player versus one player with a pair of fighters each. With multiplayer you can also choose to go into a lobby that works in a round-robin format. I had reservations about the online code before the review as this absolutely makes or breaks a fighting game. No game works well with lag or latency issues, but I find fighting games unplayable if that is the case. Fortunately, even on my entry level adsl line, I could pick to fight within my location and experienced no lag issues whatsoever. I did experience some humiliating beatings, but unfortunately I couldn’t blame it on anything. I needed to download a patch when I popped the game in and didn’t notice the previous sound issues that early reviewers complained about. The code works, making fighting online opponents trouble-free. Even the searching for fighters was quick to my surprise providing I was playing during peak times for locals. So if you stay within your location, you should be hassle free.

Tekken fans will need to keep in mind that the game is built up from the Street Fighter series, so the control-mechanics and gameplay is totally based around the 2D-model of the primary series. This took me a little getting used to as I have played more Tekken and more recently to. Any gamer who has spent some time with an arcade fighting game should quickly become accustomed with the mechanics. It’s pleasantly surprising how Capcom managed to incorporate the Tekken fighters into the Street Fighter way, and it works exceptionally well. The Tekken characters can still perform their famous moves and combos, but have been configured to the Street Fighter control mechanics. Even the Tekken ‘big’ moves are there in the form of finishes to combos or by engaging throws as you would with Street Fighter titles. The result is nothing short of splendid and enormously satisfying.

Capcom took the Street Fighter IV engine and tweaked the combat mechanics, making Street Fighter X Tekken the most engaging and fluid game in the series. The combat’s better that ever with some welcome editions like ‘Gems’, ‘Pandora Mode’ and the ‘Cross Gauge’. The combat also seems more frantic than I remember the previous games being. The control mechanics are as before with some welcome tweaks. You have the lower, medium punches and kicks on the face or the controller, and then the high or stronger kick and punch set to R1 and R2. Gems have been added to your combat list which is basically offensive or defensive ‘super’ moves. You need to fill up a power bar or the ‘Cross Gauge’ by successfully chaining together combos, and once your bar is full you can unleash either a super combo attack, or use the gem to defend an otherwise un-defendable attack. The button-configuration can be changed for quick throws or launches, you can assign different gems as you wish and you can even choose a quick combo and assign it to your R3 or L3. In those fights that are not quite going your way, you can use Pandora mode when your character hits 25% health or less. When Pandora Mode is engaged, your second character is powered all the way up and pumped up to deliver more devastating combat. Your cross gauge will also stay full for around ten seconds. Unfortunately Pandora cannot be used at will because if you do not kill your opponent within those ten seconds, your character will die. So you need to see it as a defining finishing move when you’re in trouble – a ‘do or die’ move.

Visuals and Sound

Modern day Street Fighter titles stay true to their roots, and are then modernised with the ‘comic book’ style look. Street Fighter X Tekken continues with this style and looks better than any before it in the series. The colours are vibrant and pop off the screen in true arcade style. The fighters are defined and extremely well textured, but as they would be in a comic. The men all look buff and angry thanks to their sketched design, and the outfits are wonderfully audacious in true Japanese style. The backdrops (12 of them) are more dynamic than ever, following the humorous theme of the game. The backdrops or venues have always been a highlight with the series, but Capcom really pulled all the stops with this one. Amongst others there’s a skate park, Jurassic themed park and a space station complete with an astronaut comically bobbing around in the background. Simply brilliant!

The sound and sound effects are typical to the series and arcade brawlers – comical to a certain degree, quirky and macho. I can’t say this aspect has evolved elaborately, but it is of top notch quality. There are the obligatory one-liners as is expected with games from the region, keeping you entertained and “pumped up” as you should be with a fighting game.

Street Fighter X Tekken is a stylish package with masses of little touches here and there that make this an authentic package.

Closing Comments

In Capcom we trust with games of this genre – the Street Fighter is a legendary series that has gathered a cult-like following. The combat-system is flawless and the modern titles in the series have peaked on the presentation side of things.

If you were a little concerned how the Tekken crossover would work out, fear not as it works brilliantly. The Tekken twist just adds to the cast and Capcom slotted the new fighters in perfectly.

Streeet Fighter X Tekken works offline and more importantly it works online, so this high-quality package will only build on the following the series has already enjoyed. This is simply as good as arcade brawlers get!

Zombiegamer rating:

 

 

Read about our ratings here.

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