Many veteran fighting fans will tell you that the Street Fighter franchise is one of the pioneers in delivering the most illustrious versus battles in arcade history! These past few years, Capcom – the genius behind the trademark – had re-invented the franchise by fusing the subsequent installments with the latest technological 3D techniques while utilizing the old school 2D fighting mechanics. The ensuing release of Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV, and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition had become hot-selling items for the rebirth of the Street Fighter series; but the ingenuity of Capcom did not stop there. Along the way, Capcom had expanded its influential Street Fighter concept to include crossover titles such as Ultimate Marvel versus Capcom 3, using its famous warriors – Ryu and Ken – to represent the usual SF team. However, the most anticipated crossover title to date is no doubt, Street Fighter X Tekken, a dream matchup featuring iconic characters that gamers never felt before!
Following the Street Fighter tradition, Street Fighter X Tekken is a well-executed fighting concept. What grabbed our attention first is the huge selection of characters in the lineup! As usual, Ryu and Ken make the cut; so does Guile, Chun Li, and many others. You also have Rolento, Hugo, Ibuki, Poison, and Juri – the special casts representing the rest of the Street Fighter gang; while Heihachi, Hwoarang, Kazuya, Kuma, and Yoshimitsu make up a slice of the Tekken posse. What’s nice about Street Fighter X Tekken is the ability to team up with a friend! Each can bring his own expertise to the table and show the world what real team work is made of. With the burst of Launchers, Throw Escapes, Super Arts, Super Charge, Cross Arts, and Cross Assault, the fighting just becomes wilder! Launchers give you power to toss your foes into the air, juggling them into madness when switching between characters. Super Charge allows you to hold a button to turn a Special Move into an EX Special Move or a Super Art!
Super Art can be done by holding all three punches or all kick buttons while executing a special move – but this requires two blocks of cross gauge. The Cross Arts are probably the most utilized technique in the game. They are much flashier and more powerful than Super Arts. The best way to describe Cross Art is that it is basically Super Arts that involve you and your partner. It requires three blocks of cross gauge. To pull it off, you simply press medium punch and medium kick together while performing the “hadoken” motion. Performing Cross Assault is a little different. It engages both players to be on the screen at the same time. You can do this by pressing medium punch and medium kick together, while tying in the “hadoken” in reverse motion. It’s an awesome beat-down if you can pull it off! The good thing about Street Fighter X Tekken is that it puts emphasis on accommodating individual skills. Let’s say you just started to become a fan of Street Fighter, and your level of proficiency is pretty dull. No problem! The newly added Boost Gems and Assist Gems will make you look like a pro! Just a couple of taps using these gems, you’d be exploiting dragon punches in no time.
If you find yourself in desperate situation and your vitality is falling below 25%, don’t worry – you can still come out of this impressionable despair through the power of “Pandora”. Just press down twice then hit medium punch and medium kick together. Keep in mind, the player that activated Pandora will no longer be available for that round; so this is a major gamble! Coincidentally, the remaining partner will receive an amazing boost of power for a short period – you’ll also notice the cross gauge is maxed out! I know rookies are probably worried about how they are going to stack up against veterans who are well-versed in the game’s combo system. Fear not my namby-pamby friends. The newly added “Quick Combos” got your back! They come preset to each character before a fight, and you can do these by pressing both low kick and high punch, or low punch and high kick buttons. They require one block of cross gauge. We recommend assigning these buttons to one key to do your Quick Combos.
Another cool treat of Street Fighter X Tekken is the Boost Combo and Cross Rush, an exquisite remnant of Tekken fighting mechanics. What you do is chain together normal moves except they can only be chained upwards; this is very typical of Tekken gameplay. Basically, you cannot go from medium to light, or medium to medium attack. It has to be from light to medium, and medium to heavy. This is very beneficial to novices, which should give them a good fighting chance. If you follow-up any heavy attack with another heavy attack, you’ll perform a launcher. In other words, if you finish up a Boost Combo with a launcher, you get a Cross Rush! The gameplay is incredibly smooth and there are lots of special effects on the screen. Executing special moves are pretty easy. Animation is done with superb details. We love the different tier of stages, where you fight at the top and work your way to the bottom. The only gripe we have is the stiffness of jumping forward and backward. It can be frustrating to setup a nice air-to-ground combo, especially when your opponent is dazed.
Overall, Street Fighter X Tekken is a great crossover title and more than meets our expectation of having two iconic franchises duke it out in one intense close combat! The game has tons of creative features, from Scramble Mode to Pandora Mode, from Gem System to Juggle System, from Super Arts to Cross Arts – practically Street Fighter X Tekken has it all! The visuals are so highly artistic that you can almost feel the depth of impact within the special moves. Thanks to incredible controls, it is easy to make lemonade out of a sour situation. Capcom did a great job of making sure there is balance between different skills set with the inclusion of Quick Combos, Boost Combo and Cross Rush. The best part of Street Fighter X Tekken is the cooperative play. I mean, come on! Who doesn’t want to team up with a badass partner? It’s amazing how much effort that went into the fighting engine that made it easy for beginners and fun for old timers. You can trust Capcom to deliver the ultimate tag team matchup.