I attended Capcom’s Fight Club event on Feb 2nd, and I got to play two versions of Street Fighter x Tekken; the Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 versions. A playStation Vita version is forthcoming after the launch of SFxTekken on consoles. SFxTekken for PSVita is going to be released in the fall. PC players are going to have to wait until May for their port of SFxTekken.
Most of the kiosks that were at the event were all situated on the Gem System. The mode has been featured throughout Capcom’s Fight Club on Feb 2nd, to help promote the game’s mode. Some players were better than others at it.
What is this Gem System?
The gem system in a nutshell a battle system that allows SF x Tekken players to receive a ‘boost’ of sorts. These 5 gems are selectable at the character select screen. The gems correspond to the abilities that you are able to execute in-game. There are many types of gems available, here are a few: An attack gem is red, to get speed you need a green gem, for defense you need a yellow gem, to have the c. gauge you need a blue gem, and to have an assist ability, you need a purple gem. You can mix all of these gems together to form a combination of boosts. The gems is connected to the super/EX meter at the bottom of the screen.
Want to see just how deep the Gem System is? Check out the video:
Okay, so how does the game play?
I’m a casual fighting game player, I have played Street Fighter before, I have played Tekken before. The last game I played were Street Fighter 3, and Tekken 6.
Street Fighter x Tekken is a 3D fighter graphically, but the game is played on a 2D plane. So, accordingly, the controls of Tekken characters are going to be stuck on the Street Fighter 4 engine. And it shows. Street Fighter x Tekken retains Tekken’s 4-button fighting scheme. I think Tekken characters play pretty well on Street Fighter 4’s engine. You can execute moves a little better with SF4’s control scheme. Street Fighter characters play similar to their Street Fighter 4 fighting schemes.
I played Street Fighter x Tekken on the official SF x Tekken arcade stick for Xbox 360. I think the arcade sticks are really nicely designed. But I do notice that there are a few hitches here and there. SF x Tekken isn’t as responsive on a stick than a controller. Having played the PlayStation 3 version of Street Fighter x Tekken, I strongly believe there’s a slight delay in response. I can execute moves on PS3 than I would on an arcade stick.
Street Fighter x Tekken Graphics
One of the first things I noticed right off the bat when I saw Street Fighter x Tekken in gameplay trailers, was that the graphics seem to be ugly for the most part. When I attended Capcom’s Fight Club, that first impression of SF x Tekken disappeared. The images, the gameplay videos posted on various websites do not do the game justice. The special effects has an effect of it’s own, so those ugly black effects you see in videos – those aren’t even noticeable once you play the game. Second thing I notice with graphics is that the environments seem rough. Having played the game, that impression disappeared, because the environments look really, really colorful. Capcom really captured the Street Fighter feel with the stages – especially the trailers stage. Which I assume is Balrog’s stage. With SF4, I felt like something was missing. That missing component was evident in SF x Tekken. Somehow I feel like this should have been SF4, and not SF x Tekken.
Street Fighter Fun Factor
For the most part, SF x Tekken is fun, but I really don’t like the ‘rules’ for the game because most of the 2 vs 2 games, those tag team games usually allow you to deplete both characters or beat both characters. Street Fighter x Tekken goes against the grain, between your player and the other CPU player, you have one life. That’s it. Once the person with the lowest life is dead, the match stops. This is true with your co-op player, even though that both of you can play at the same time. So, if your partner dies, you lose.
Tekken Tag Tournament fans will notice that the rules in the game is similar to what they’re used to. However, I feel that this rule of the first person that reduces their health to zero loses the match. That means if your opponent defeats one of your characters, they win, mixed with the Gem System and the Pandora mode is a bad combination. Why? Because this would mean that Street Fighter x Tekken is all about power moves. The only reason why Tekken Tag Tournament got away with this rule is because of the balancing. Some of TAG’s moves are deemed as “power moves” but only in some circumstances. Tekken Tag Tournament has always been about combos, Street Fighter x Tekken does not encourage dial-a-combo like TAG does. Then again, it feels like SF x Tekken is a marketing stunt on Capcom’s part to help push sales of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which is slated to be released quite soon for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. An arcade version of the game is already out.
Wait, there’s a co-op mode?
Yeap, go back to the video above and see for yourself. You and your co-op buddy can fight against the other side together. But as implied, there’s a risk that come with it; once one of you dies, it’s game over.
Street Fighter x Tekken sound
Since Fight Club was packed with people, you couldn’t really hear the sounds very well. From what I hear, the game is loud, full of sound effects. You can even hear some small details as you play.
Anything else worth mentioning?
I really like the attention to detail in Street Fighter x Tekken. Like Guile, his pose was so funny that I laughed out loud. In one of the stages, Zangief is seen trying to break the window. The character select screen has animated characters, and then when the game proceeds to the “Vs” screen, all of the characters are still animated.
Capcom really has gone all out with Street Fighter x Tekken. Capcom really captured the Street Fighter feel with SFxTekken. The game’s fun, but the fun can be ruined during play. The rules of the game may confuse some people, and it can infuriate some people – I have seen it first hand. Half the time, you can play the game, but on the other half you got to keep the gem system in mind while playing. In my play time with SF x Tekken, I didn’t really pay attention to the Gem System, and I got my @$$ kicked. I think that Street Fighter x Tekken is more geared towards the hardcore fighting fans. Casual fighting fans will either like it or not. I’m going with the latter. Not a lot of people will like it, it’s a little complicated for casuals.