by Justin Snyder
previewed on PSVITA
I am sure many will agree with me when I say that Street Fighter X Tekken is one of the most exciting titles in development for the Playstation Vita. Capcom has been less than forthcoming with details on either the handheld or the Playstation 3 versions of the game, but I’ll gladly share the little that we do know.
Given what we know about the Vita, its power in particular, it is safe to assume that Street Fighter X Tekken will have quite a bit in common with its console brethren. The handheld is easily strong enough to produce a fully fledged beat’m-up and Capcom is not one to pass up on an opportunity to bring gamers what may well be the best handheld fighting game ever.
Street Fighter X Tekken will play less like Street Fighter or Tekken than it does the games of the “vs.” franchise. It's faster paced than its titular crossover titles and really combo-heavy (a trait it does share with Street Fighter). Movesets will all look familiar, but they'll play differently. For example, in a recent build shown off at the NorCal Regionals 9 tournament, Chun-Li's Lightning Legs had been changed from simply spamming the kick button to involving a quarter-turn.
Unlike some of Capcom's other titles, Street Fighter X Tekken will lack any kind of built-in comeback option. In Street Fighter IV, there's the Ultra Combo, a super-powerful attack that could be done only after taking a certain amount of damage. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 had X-Factor, which regenerates character health, raises power and defense, and reduces all chip damage to 0. Street Fighter X Tekken will not feature anything close to X-Factor, and Ultra Combos will function a bit differently. The number of times I've heard people complain about the "comeback button" tells me this is one concept that I know many fighting game fans will gladly see being left out.
The victory conditions for each match are a little different, too. Each player will be battling with two characters of their choice which they can tag in-an-out at any time. Once either character has been KO'd, the match ends. This will force players to switch between characters much more frequently and creates the opportunity for a single massive combo to win a match with the other player incapable of retaliating in any way. On the other hand, determining the winner when match time runs out is based on the sum total of both characters' health. An interesting disparity, but one that does seem fair.
Street Fighter X Tekken introduces a new, beginner-friendly method of performing EX moves and Supers. By holding down the buttons for a special attack for a certain period of time, you can perform the EX version of that move. It will still cost a bar of the EX meter, but provides an easier way to do the moves before really getting into the nitty-gritty of the combat system. Similarly, holding down the buttons for 3 seconds will execute a Super Combo. Again, beginner-friendly, but it is practically useless once you get to mid-level and above. No skilled player is going to just let you build up for three seconds without throwing out some kind of counter. Since it only takes a single attack to interrupt the charge, it's not exactly difficult to break it when it needs that much time to build up.
More info at TGS?
The E3 build of the game showed a total of 16 playable characters, two of which are still hidden. It was also announced that Cole MacGrath would be exclusive to the Playstation platforms, so Vita purchasers will see that benefit. Set for release sometime in the first quarter of 2012, more details are due to start pouring out of Capcom any day now and we can expect an information blowout once this year’s Tokyo Game Show rolls around.