by Liam Edwards
previewed on X360
Hardcore X Casual
Being a Capcom game, Street Fighter X Tekken’s gameplay style is centred mainly around the Street Fighter style 6-button combat system of three punches and three kicks. However, many of the Tekken characters are able to pull of combos and moves using the classic Tekken style 4-button combat system of two punches and two kicks. Street Fighter X Tekken allows each player to pick two characters from either of both series to use in a tag-team. The tag-team consists of a starting character and a character which players are able to switch in at any time, similar to Marvel vs Capcom’s style of play. The game focuses heavily on the ability to start a combo with the character on screen and then tag-out mid-combo to the waiting character to carry on the combo. This heavy emphasis on tag team combos, provides many different possibilities of tag-team choice, with many characters working well with other characters to provide high-damaging combos. A good feature for any experimental players, with hours of different combinations to experiment with.
Although the combat, the use of EX attacks and super combos is ripped straight from Street Fighter IV, the format of the fights are closer to Tekken Tag Tournament. With a round ending once one of the player's characters has lost all of its health, unlike previous Capcom crossovers, where you must defeat all the opponents characters to win. Managing the tagging of characters and their life bars puts heavy emphasis on strategy, with players having to be careful when tagging or having characters switch out for tag-combos. One slip up in a combo could mean the end of a round.
While the gameplay is standard for Capcom, Street Fighter X Tekken brings in two new game mechanics that cater to the more casual fighting game players. Both the gem system and “Pandora Mode” are new mechanics that allow players to change a character’s stats and allows them the ability to choose buffs for their characters. Players are able to choose 3 gems for each character and there are 6 different gem types to choose from: Attack, defence, speed, vitality, assist, and cross gauge. Each gives a character a certain buff but players must complete certain prerequisites in a match before gaining the gems power. “Pandora Mode” is a state a character can enter to change a match. In “Pandora Mode” the character gains strength buffs and an infinite cross gauge. But as good as that sounds, in order to enter “Pandora Mode” a player must sacrifice a character with less than 25% health remaining to transform into the “Pandora Mode”. If a player enters “Pandora Mode” and fails to defeat their opponent before the time limit runs out, they automatically lose the round. Both mechanics seem similar to gameplay modes such as “Test your luck” in Mortal Kombat and the “Heroes and Heralds” found in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and offer some variety in terms of gameplay, which casual players will enjoy more than just set fighting all the time. However, I can’t see high-level play ever featuring these mechanics in tournaments unless they are remarkably balanced and are just advantageous to the clever strategic player.
From what we have seen so far of Street Fighter X Tekken and the comments from players who have played it, Capcom is on to a winner. The roster of characters features the best from two beloved series, the combat system takes the best elements from the top two fighting series, and modes for both casual and hardcore players are turning out to be great decisions by both companies. It is looking like a fighting game that will please both sets of fans and although very centred around the Capcom universe and its franchises, it seems to be staying true to the Tekken fans too. This is looking to be an absolute must for fighting game fans.