Street Fighter X Tekken review



Street Fighter X Tekken sees the Tekken cast cross onto the 2D plain to do battle with Street Fighter’s world warriors. There were initially worries about how well the Tekken characters would cope on a 2D battlefield considering their origins, but Capcom have done a brilliant job with the transition.

Anyone with any experience with the Tekken characters will instantly see familiar combo strings and attacks from the original 3D Tekken games, and this means that whether you’re a Street Fighter veteran or a Tekken player you will find SFxT easy to settle in to. That isn’t to say that completely new players will struggle though; on the contrary, easy combo strings available for every character mean that anyone can fight with a new character and perform damaging combos with no trouble.

Visually the game looks a lot like Capcom’s previous fighter, Super Street Fighter IV, however the comparison ends there as several new mechanics have been put in place to make sure that Street Fighter X Tekken isn’t simply Street Fighter IV with Tekken characters too.

Pandora mode is one such mechanic which has been created for the new fighter. In this mode you will sacrifice one of your fighters in order to gain a purple flashy looking boost that can be game changing in the right hands. Similar to X-Factor in Capcom’s Marvel vs Capcom 3, the difference is that Pandora mode only lasts a few seconds, and if you don’t finish off your opponent in that time, you lose the fight yourself. Therefore, activating Pandora becomes a huge gamble and in my experience it is rarely seen at all in fights.

The main mechanic which has been implemented into the game is the tag team feature. All fights are 2 vs 2 and there are several ways to switch between your fighters to create devastating and flashy combos. Mastering this system is the key to victory because if just one of your characters is knocked out you lose the round.

There is no 1 vs 1 mode in Street Fighter X Tekken, however the game’s Scramble mode offers a change from the standard gameplay by putting all four characters on the screen at once which leads to much crazier battles. Different tactics are required because of the two extra characters on-screen, and special attacks become a lot more useful whilst combos can take more of a backseat. A problem with Scramble mode however is that when playing, you’ll often end up not facing the direction that you want to due to being in close proximity to two enemies at once. This means that inputs for special attacks are affected and you could find yourself on the receiving end of a combo because you accidentally used the wrong attack. Besides this little annoyance though, Scramble mode is easily an extremely fun addition to the game and I’ve played it just as much as the standard battles – I’d even go as far to say that it’s a mode I’d expect to see in all games featuring tag team gameplay.

Besides the tag team system, the other main feature implemented into the game is the gem system. Gems give your fighters boosts in specific areas when certain conditions are met, for example an attack gem may activate in battle giving you a 10% attack power boost when you land five super attacks on your opponent. Other gem categories include defence, speed and meter building. By combining and equipping different gems you can customise your fighters to cater to your play style even more and produce devastating effects. Despite my initial concerns about the gem system I haven’t found it to be overpowering at all, but I do still feel that it is an unnecessary addition to the game.

Customising characters stretches beyond simply equipping gems. It is possible to edit every colour on your fighter from the hair on their head to the shoes on their feet – if present of course. It’s a great feature and I absolutely love giving my fighters team colours for when I go into battle, but at the moment each character only has four colours to choose from. Several different colour packs are due to be released by Capcom in the future and it won’t be long before neon yellow fighters are doing battle with metallic green bears and the like, but it’s annoying to have to wait without even being given the most basic colour wheel to choose from.

The story in the game is the weakest part of the package and feels like it was simply tacked on as a way to bring the fighters together. I can understand the reasoning behind this, and the main focus was always going to be on the multiplayer side of the game, but I feel that with two brilliant series’ and storylines, it was possible to create something much better than essentially, “A box fell from space and then disappeared again later.” Despite this, the cinematic endings for official teams are enjoyable to watch – even if a bit short.

The online modes in Street Fighter X Tekken are brilliant, but some issues present at the moment mean that it isn’t perfect. The sound in battles often cuts out leaving you with the occasional grunt and “pow” noise when a hit connects, and this is not only very annoying but can even prove to be off-putting and affect how well you do in a fight. Another problem with the online gameplay at the moment is that sometimes occasional frame skips take place in the middle of fights  – this is as bad as you’d imagine it to be. Whilst these problems are quite severe, they aren’t frequent and the game is by no means unplayable online because of them. Most of the time the game handles perfectly and even manages to seamlessly put up with four people simultaneously mashing buttons in Scramble mode.

Endless battle and ranked battle modes from SSFIV are both present and work in the same way, with endless battles featuring a “winner-stays-on” system and ranked battle earning you Battle Points (BP) to show your fighting dominance to the world. The replay channel is also back and will save your last 50 battles in your battle log so that you can analyse them to your heart’s content or watch professionals duke it out and learn some tips from the masters.

A brilliant thing about Street Fighter X Tekken’s online modes is that it’s possible to team up with other people online before going into battle. This means that you will control one character whilst a friend can control another in your tag team, truly bringing the tag team style of the game to life. It’s possible to enter every mode whilst teamed with another player, and there are no restrictions on fighting in a 2 vs 1 battle – even in ranked matches.

To sum up, it’s great to finally see the characters from two of the biggest fighting series’ come together to battle each other, and Street Fighter X Tekken is without a doubt a brilliant fighting game. The story isn’t amazing, but the attention to detail put into the gameplay itself more than makes up for this, and anyone can feel at home with the new mechanics and characters, whether they’re familiar or not. Capcom have done a great job with Street Fighter X Tekken so far, and with upcoming DLC in the form of new characters, costumes and colour packs promised, there’s a lot more to look forward to in the future.


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