-Error reading from ESRB datastream-
Street Fighter x Tekken is 1/2 of the mashup series where the ‘visiting’ franchise borrows the flagship title’s engine. As the name states, characters from the Tekken series are thrust into the world of Street Fighter 4. Now, something to note here, Tekken characters have their moves altered so that they can fit the command types that Street Fighter is known for. They have balanced characters fairly in that aspect, yet decided to allow Street Fighter’s catalog of characters to keep their projectiles. While not a surefire way to vistory, I absolutely cheesed some fights by spamming Ken and Ryu hadoukens.
So, what is the premise behind this mashup? Well, an artifact with untold power was discovered and in the world of Street Fighter, the Shadowloo has decided that they will deploy their usual villians to retrieve this item. The Mishima Corporation has also decided to pursue this artifact and has sent out their trained assassins and mercenaries to also retrieve this box. Well, since the bad guys are making their move, all the heroes have also decided to stop their opposing forces before they acquire untold power. That is mostly what you will gather once you get the game started, yet you will miss out on MOST of the extended story if you don’t know how to pick your tag-team correctly. Basically, if you were to pick Ryu and Hworang, you would be treated to a mostly generic story with a bland ending after beating the final boss. Yet, if you pick Ken and Ryu, you get a nice little back story that fleshes out both fighters as the story progresses and even a neat little cinematic to wrap your Story Mode up. While the correct story mode is actually kind of cool, I feel like this setup would have been better suited if the game just chose your partner automatically.
The online facets of Street Fighter x Tekken appear to be plagued with lag spikes, glitches and leavers. Matchmaking also seemed to be quite flawed, the first times I played people online, I was matched with a guy that hundreds of wins (I had none) and then another game where I could barely control my fighters. Even in the few times I was able to have a normal match with, I was constantly living in fear that there would be another issue right about the corner. The other, non competitive modes were difficult to get anyone to stick around in, but also seemed to work decently. In short, the online multiplayer features of Street Fighter x Tekken are quite flawed.
The game concept itself isn’t a bad one and the collection of characters at your disposal is quite expansive for a Capcom based crossover. The additional mechanics added into the game do take a creative twist on boring mechanics. The two most noticeable things that I saw added in happened to be the Gem Mode and Pandora Mode. The Gem Mode takes gems that you earn while playing and plugs them into a character, that character then enjoys stat boosts. As a bit of a purist, I wasn’t incredible impressed by the inclusion of a mode that allows you to power your favorite character beyond conventional means, but it was fun to use with characters I wasn’t so good with. The second mechanic is Pandora Mode, which was a little cooler. In Marvel vs Capcom, there was a feature called X-Factor, which allowed you to boost the abilities of your fighters for a limited amount of time. In Street Fighter x Tekken, Pandora Mode sacrifices your tag team partner if they have less than 25% heath and initiates a timed “Super Mode” that allows your other fighter to be significantly boosted. This is still quite a gamble because if you fail to win the fight before your Pandora Mode runs out, you automatically lose. It’s actually a quite enjoyable risk/reward!
Although Street Fighter x Tekken is a ground breaking crossover when you consider that two extremely popular genres that oppose each other have come together, it isn’t as wowing as something like Marvel vs Capcom. What it is, though, is a decent fighting game that helps bridge the gap between the next installments of their respective franchises. There are moments of brilliance, where I find myself sitting back and saying “Wow, that is pretty cool”. Unfortunately, this is rather eclipsed with what I can simply describe as “Meh”.
How do these ratings work? Click here for descriptions!