Street Fighter X Tekken |
The big guns of the fighting genre are back and this time itís a fight like none other. Street Fighter X Tekken(pronounced Street Fighter Cross Tekken) originally released on the consoles a few months ago and while I only got a little sample of it I rather enjoyed the marrying of the two franchises. Itís finally time for PC gamers to get a taste of some good old fashioned beat downs with the release of Street Fighter X Tekken.
For the first time, the two juggernauts of the fighting world collide as both the Shadaloo criminal underground and Mishima Zaibatsu corporation faceoff as a mysterious cube "code name Pandora" falls to Earth in the Antarctic. Anyone that comes in the proximity of this cube gains immense power and rivalry hits an all-time high as it causes chaos. Street Fighter X Tekken brings 38 of the heaviest hitting all-star characters from both worlds together so there youíre sure to find to find at least one of your favorites from Team Capcom or Team Namco. I'm siding with Team Capcom for this slugfest.
Fans of the Street Fighter franchise, like myself, will instantly fall into step with SFXT's 2D fighting arenas complete with its familiar 6 button controls from Super Street Fighter IV. My fighting experience with both these franchises is almost entirely one-sided thanks to my late introduction to the PlayStation consoles growing up, although I have it from a reliable source that Tekken fans won't be left out in the cold despite using the updated 6-button system. Many of the classic attacks from your favorite Tekken characters can still be pulled off with their original 4-button inputs.
No matter your favorite series, Street Fighter X Tekken has several gameplay features that made my experience pretty enjoyable. To mix things up on the Capcom front they added Tekken's signature Tag Team system to double your chances to lay down some pain. This also is an added incentive to make sure youíre not on the receiving end of a K.O. as it only takes one to lose a round. Having two characters on a team also opens up the ability to execute various new attacks such as the Cross Rush and the even more powerful Cross Assault, which allows you to simultaneously have both your fighters on the screen at the same time. To do this you have to completely fill your Cross Gauge by the usual method of taking damage and dealing it out.
One of the things I really liked about Street Fighter X Tekken is that they made it accessible for newcomers to the fighting genre as well as old-school veterans. I sit somewhere comfortably in the middle of that spectrum despite years of playing fighting games. Two new systems were created for Street Fighter X Tekken that can turn the tides of battle for you or your opponents. The first is the Gem System that adds stat boosts to your fighters if you meet the conditions in battle to use them like blocking a certain number of times to activate damage reduction by a percentage. There are six different gem types: assist, speed, defense, attack, vitality and Cross Gauge that can be used each with a different color designation. The most useful of these gems that I found are the one or two that make it easier to perform Super Combos.
The second mode that you have access to is Pandora Mode, which is really cool and deadly to the fighter on the receiving end. Named after the mysterious box, this ability can be used only when one teammateís health drops below 25% allowing the other character to gain increased strength and an unlimited cross gauge for a limited time at the cost of the otherís remaining life. The only downside is that if you don't finish off your opponent before the timer expires you automatically lose.
Street Fighter X Tekken gives the player and their friends plenty of ways to play. The default option for at least 2 players is to share a keyboard to fight together or against one another. Unfortunately this was neither comfortable nor enjoyable, as it lacked the refinement of a controller or better yet an arcade stick like the Mad Catz Arcade FightStick. I even pulled out all the stops and gave the 2 vs. 2 local play option a run with some of my friends and few of the guys at the office and its actually pretty fun.
On top of being fun, Street Fighter X Tekken looks great on my 1080p monitor or an HDTV. For those that played Super Street Fighter IV, you'll be treated to the same oversaturated graphic novel look that I really liked. The Tekken cast, right down to the oversized pet of Heihachi, Kuma, is well rendered. Fans of either franchise will also notice several guest appearances and locations for other Capcom and Namco games. To add to the awesome visuals, Street Fighter X Tekken also features an upbeat score.
Street Fighter X Tekken also has a rather interesting default voice track with the entire Street Fighter cast in Japanese, while over half the Tekken cast is in English. You can select to have all the fighters in either English or Japanese if you want, which is cool. The only real issue with sound is that occasionally when fighting online the sound will just cut out, and this happened more than once.
This PC edition of Street Fighter X Tekken comes complete with all the modes from the console versions including Arcade, Challenge and Versus mode. Arcade mode is the meat and potatoes of Street Fighter X Tekken as it follows the story and if you allow it, accept challenges from other players over Games for Windows - LIVE. The only other mode takes the player online with the LIVE Battle mode. As with the 360 version I was rather disappointed that taking the game online drastically takes the game down to one player with no true tag team support. You would think that a game that hinges on a dynamic duo formula would allow four-player online support. There was also the matter of running into some lag while online. I had a pretty good lag to lag-free ratio during matches, but it was totally random at best. Street Fighter X Tekken for PC currently doesn't have any DLC available such as the added Gem Packs.
Despite some rather disappointing lack of features on the online front, Street Fighter X Tekken, was actually a lot of fun. I have to say that I really enjoyed the ability to play locally with up to three other friends, though itís probably a good idea to have a computer compatible HDTV to allow for good breathing room when the digital fists are flying. I also think they did a rather descent job of bringing these two fighting titans together in a show of compromise and pure fighting mechanics. Newcomers and veterans alike should give Street Fighter X Tekken for PC a go.