chris-littlechild - April 21, 2012
Street Fighter X Tekken was recently released on consoles by fighting game behemoth Capcom. It's the first time denizens of two of the premier fighting franchises have met in this way, and is a real dream setup. Many a geeky youth (my own included, but of course) was spent imagining fantastical scenarios involving this very concept. Rather like the notion of Sonic and Mario collaborating, it seemed unlikely to actually materialize beyond that. (But look at the two mascots now, the bromance has reached such a stage they're likely to elope for a dirty weekend in an equally imaginary hotel room somewhere. There's a piece of fanart nobody wants to see. It probably already exists though, the alarmingly amoral qualities of the internet know no bounds.) Tangential man-love musings aside though, Capcom have a wonderful premise on their hands here. But did they do it justice?
Play uses a tag team system. There's a reasonably vast roster, comprising half Tekken and half Street Fighter characters. From here, you create your perfect pugilistic pairing and enter the fray. Unlike the hyperactively trippy Marvel vs Capcom 3, each player has their own lifebar but the match is lost if either is brought to a vicious fist-flavoured end. You're able to use the ubiquitous fighting game super bar of great ravage to switch characters in instantly. This technique allows for some quite mindbogglingly intricate combos, and delightful gravity-defying beatings. As such, Street Fighter X Tekken is far more combo-heavy than its father of sorts, Super Street Fighter IV. If the aforementioned title made sweet, forbidden love to the Blazblue series, this could well be the result.
It probably wouldn't bother calling after that, and certainly wouldn't respect Blazblue in the morning. Street Fighter is one of those guys.
The core gameplay is a blast, but there's no denying that the game is a little light on content. I fondly remember Tekken 3, and its ludicrous wealth of modes. Some were ass, granted, like the death by beach ball of all things minigame. Among these were the mighty force mode, a wtf sidescrolling beat-em-up which culminated with you beating a old dude in the face. (This was fantastic geriatric fighter Dr. Boskonovich, I hasten to add, not just an innocent pensioner in the street. That would be morally dubious at best.) By contrast, here we have arcade, trials and missions, and the online options. At the same time, this is the case with just about every current fighter. Worldwide play is the focus now, and no amount of OAP bitching about the good old days between sips of cocoa and/or failed attempts at taking a dump will change that.
Bringing the Tekken folks to life with Street Fighter IV's zany toon art style serves as a welcome injection of personality. For me, they had always seemed rather lifeless in comparison. The Street Fighter crew of feral electric beast-men and gargantuan hairy bastard bear-wrestlers always had the upper hand in this regard. But it's great to see them all together, coexisting harmoniously. The next step would probably be to stop pummelling each other in the groin. Perhaps they'll all sit down for a meal and sophisticated conversation. I'm sure though, at some stage in the proceedings, someone's face will be punched.
That was my cupcake! I appreciate your poignant argument regarding the decline of western society et al, but nowI must kick your testicles!
A needlessly melodramatic trailer approaches! For your delectation:
Article by Chris Littlechild
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