Street Fighter X Tekken Review
A marriage made in fighting heaven.
There are very few games that pull off crossovers successfully. Capcom seems to have a natural talent for them, having pitted their Street Fighter franchise against Marvel already and established a loyal fan following. The latest franchise to get the crossover treatment is the much loved Tekken, and as weird as that pairing may be, it’s resulted in a game that features much of the loved elements of Street Fighter and much more.
With a roster of more than 40 characters to choose from there’s plenty here to whet your appetite, with more characters being unlocked as you play through the game. For the first time though, the game packs a very intuitive 20-chapter tutorial, that goes through every single aspect of the game – from basic attacks to deadly combos, everything is explained in great detail. It’s a great addition to the game given that it’s easy to get lost in the different type of combos and moves that can be pulled off. You’ve also got access to two modes called Trial and Mission – Trial mode includes a number of different challenges to finish, while Mission mode pits you against other AI players with certain battle conditions.
After you’ve got your bearings in the game, you can instantly jump into the arcade or versus modes for some two-on-two fighting action. The two characters you choose can be swapped around at any time during combat, and can even pull off devastating combos together. You can even have all four players on the screen on the same time for some utter fighting chaos, but should one of your players be knocked out, the round is over.
Winning in Street Fighter X Tekken is all about managing the energy bar at the bottom of your screen, which is divided into three blocks. You can consume parts of the bar to pull off more advanced special moves, or summon your partner for a devastating combo attack. You also have a new feature called Pandora, which is sort of a last-minute attempt to win a match when you’re being beaten. This mode will kill your main character and provide a large energy boost to your second character. You then have roughly eight seconds to beat the living crap out of your opponent and win the match – if the timer expires then you instantly lose the round. It’s a mechanic that you might not always use, but it’s great for when you’re being smacked into oblivion in a corner. Also in this version of the game is the inclusion of gems. Gems can be equipped to your characters to dramatically alter your match, giving you either an attack or defense boost. The implementation is quite simple, but if you want to turn gems off in online play you can’t which is a bit of a downer. Gems aren’t easy to come by, as you’re only awarded them as you improve your fighting skills.
After you’ve honed your skills on some offline play, you can take the battle online and pit your skills against other players. You can team up with a friend to take on online players, as well as check out match replays to pick up tips and skills from other expert players. Unfortunately, the online play does tend to get a bit erratic at times so it’s less enjoyable than the offline modes. There’s also a Fight Request mode thrown in which lets other players jump into the game and challenge your fighters.
Graphically the game looks very slick and smooth on the PS3, retaining the 2D animation style seen in previous Street Fighter games. The audio is also great, with the characters and background music staying true to the Street Fighter and Tekken universe respectively. Overall the game does deliver some fast-paced and often brutal action, and the well-laid out tutorial is a very welcome addition. Street Fighter X Tekken is a great game that despite the lack of a story mode manages to win you over with its no-nonsense gameplay and staggering roster of characters (including special characters on the PS3 version). If you’ve not played a crossover game yet, then this is the one to pick up without a doubt.
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