Friday, March 23, 2012

Street Fighter x Tekken Review

These days it isn't good enough to have one elite roster of characters to fight with anymore. Gone are the days of owning a Street Fighter, Tekken and Soulcalibur title. These days you are playing titles which take the best of the best (for example the Marvel vs Capcom series) and now two of the biggest franchises in the business have joined together to create one almighty package. Now true fighting fans will be able to recognise that Street Fighter is a 2D battle which Tekken takes to a 3D arena for their fights. For this title the Tekken characters have lost a dimension to accommodate for the Street Fighter style of play (A Tekken x Street Fighter game is rumoured to be in development by Namco). There is a lot to offer in this game that improves on the already powerful SFIV offering we witnessed last year.


Being primarily a Street Fighter title means that the art direction of Super Street Fighter IV has been taken on board when creating this game. All the characters have been heavily stylised with the cartoon layer on top of what could be realistic graphics. All the character models look brilliant and the Tekken characters have been crafted with a lot of detail which is especially important.

As always, the backgrounds are weird and wonderful creations that feature complete different environments depending on the circumstances, whether it be story related or just a random match. A lot of action happens in the background with people moving around which to me just adds an extra layer on top of a stationary location. Moves are flashy and super moves bestow an extra sense of power as they hit an opponent. The flashes and special effects that evolve while fighting all add to the brilliant consistency of this package and why Street Fighter is such a robust series.

There is quite a nice soundtrack which compliments the gameplay. The tracks aren't going to be anything you have heard before, instead opting for beats that fit the fighting genre. They work well but aren't going to deliver a memorable experience. While there isn't a colossal amount of voice acting present in the game, the small amounts which generally appear in cut scenes between fights throughout the course of arcade mode are well done and fit the character nicely.


For those who have never ever touched the fighting genre before, this is probably a brilliant title to start your adventure off on. For me this is my third fighting game after Mortal Kombat and Super Street Fighter IV, even though I have played a bit of Tekken previously. Mortal Kombat is all about brutality and vicious finishing moves but Street Fighter is aimed more at skill and the actual fighting involved. This is a good thing because it extends just how much you can play this game. Going from a beginner with a limited skill set to someone who can hold their own using devastating combos online is a challenge that will take a vast amount of time to complete. That being said, this game does a good job to make it more appealing to new players by tweaking the way matches are played.

To perform moves that extend past basic kicking and punching you need to be able to successfully string a range of button presses together. I know from experience that this is a daunting task for newcomers and may throw some people completely off the game. That is why you can play with either 'gems' which help you perform some tasks. These are great but only make one small part of the game easy to use. The other are beginner controls which make the move sets able to be pulled off with fewer manoeuvres, which come at a cost of decreased power for example. This is an excellent idea that lets new players hold their own in online battles without advanced people using this to advantage to beat others. While you will still most likely get beaten by a seasoned pro who knows it all off by heart, you won't get embarrassed like previous iterations.

Playing Street Fighter can be done by either playing other humans or the computer, these are available in a variety of modes. When going solo, you can attempt to conquer arcade mode. This is a fun mode that while only lasting several battles encourages multiple playthroughs. You choose two characters, what franchise they are from is irrelevant, and take them through a short story mode as such fighting other duos and eventually an end boss. The great thing is that while this repeats itself, the story is different for every pairing so some interesting results appear at the end of the game. With a huge list of characters to choose from this could easily control your attention for many hours. You can also take part in certain missions which challenge your skill and provide you with objectives to complete. This mixes up the standard arcade formula and adds a bit of variety.

For the social creatures among us, you can head online or play locally with up to 4 people. Tag team matches in Street Fighter x Tekken are a heap of fun and provide you with some good bonding fun with friends. A bit of a warning, tension may build if one person has a bigger ego than the others and refuses to tag you in. Fighting online is a heap of fun and will take over your life if you let it with the addicting action that will engage you. There are a variety of different modes on offer that you can't play against the computer which really encourages you to get involved. As stated earlier, players can use easy controls so they don't get blown away by the extreme competition which is lurking out there. This is vital for making the experience enjoyable for everyone and I love it.


Collaborations are the new thing and you won't find many better than the partnership between Street Fighter and Tekken. Adding the Tekken brand to the Street Fighter universe expands on the already great quality of Street Fighter IV. I really enjoy the new features they have added to make this a more user friendly experience for newcomers while also keeping the challenge and thrill for players of old. This is a fighting game that everyone can play and that isn't a statement which can be stuck on many fighting games these days. If you were ever thinking of picking up a title from this genre, Street Fighter x Tekken is the game for you.

Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 8/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Overall - 8.5/10