Monday, March 26, 2012

Mashbuttons crosses two great fighting franchises in this review

It seems only yesteryear when fighting games, nevertheless good fighters were few and far between and nowadays it seems to be that the next big blockbuster fighter of the generation is being released multiple times a year from the same developers. This time around, we have been provided with a copy of Street Fighter X Tekken from Capcom to review, but before we get to that, let's lay out some of the features of this crossover fighter. This is still a 2D fighter that carries over the appearance and engine of Street Fighter IV, but this time around we get a 2 vs. 2 tag team fighting game. Gameplay controls use either the traditional Street Fighter 6 button or the 4 button Tekken layout. So, here comes the new challenger, time to see how it holds up.

Tekken has never been on my radar as a fan of the fighting genre, but crossover fighters have always piqued my interest. What made this an easy transition for me was the different button configurations, as a fan of Street Fighter it was fairly simple to pick a new main, I try to have one from each side, and learn their controls with the layout I am most comfortable with. What I particularly liked was the new tag team fighting style, if you don’t tag in your other character before your life bar runs out then the round is over, so you have to keep a close eye on your life bar and choose your teammate wisely. I also preferred this crossover to the recent Marvel vs. Capcom, as it is less hectic and more technical, much like Street Fighter IV is. Just like Mortal Kombat for the PS3, the PS3 version of this title also includes Cole MacGrath from InFamous, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Sony feline video game personalities Toro & Kuro. None of the exclusives fit my preferred fighting style but it is nice to have a reason to choose one console version over the other.
At the same time, it also seems like Capcom was trying to get in as many features as possible, with the inclusion of the gem system, scramble mode, and Pandora mode. Though it is nice to have more to do than some missions, arcade, and online, but there comes a point when it just seems like filler. The gem system is something that I thought the game could do without as you can customize buffs in the way of gems, much like heroes and heralds in Marvel vs Capcom, it adds depth but really doesn’t change much and can make online matches incredibly one sided. I had no problem finding matches online, but due to people mapping their buttons to spam combos or exploiting single moves and spamming those made matches downright painful at times, much like that encountered in previous fighters. Load times, what happened with this game, I don’t recall Street Fighter IV or any recent fighter for that matter having load times as long as this, the first couple matches I had both on and offline, I thought my PS3 had frozen waiting for the match to start.
I had a great time with Street Fighter x Tekken, and it was a great way to introduce me to the Tekken universe and even prepare me and other newcomers for Tekken x Street Fighter.  This game was much more forgiving for me to get into, over the other recent crossover Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Though there were issues that stood out to me, mainly the load times, can we get a patch please? There were redeeming factors like the tag team gameplay and large roster of characters new, old, and exclusive, but why was Blanka not in the initial roster? Those hesitant to jump in and be an early adopter of this title can wait a few months for the Ultimate Street Fighter x Tekken Arcade Edition and those are typically announce just shortly after DLC has been released and offered at a forty dollar price point.

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