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Street Fighter X Tekken

Score: 85%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Fighting/ Arcade/ Classic/Retro

Graphics & Sound:

There's no other way to describe it... Street Fighter X Tekken looks absolutely beautiful. Character models have the same flair and style that you've always known and loved from the Street Fighter franchise, and the conversion from its roots in the 2D realm has been beautifully rendered in 3D. Moreover, what really gives SFXT its character are the outstanding effects that constantly blast the screen. On-screen flashes and light effects look great as you're pummeling your opponent (or being pummeled, if you're me), but even the characters look great with their own glowing colors when they enter special circumstances and activate gems.

The audio is quite well done as well. The music and sound effects lend a great hand to the fighting action, with every hit amplified. The voice acting is pretty well done too, as characters will often get vocal outside of the matches. To hold true to authenticity, many of the characters will be subtitled in English.

One thing that was a bit more disappointing was that a few of the classic characters just didn't feel quite right. Kuma (the bear) from Tekken was most noticeable, from his visuals to the animations that were way out of place. But don't let this discourage you, most of the animations are outstanding and help sell the action each and every time.


Gameplay:

The Street Fighter and Tekken franchises have been some of the best in the genre, and as such, Street Fighter X Tekken is a fighting game. Period. If you are expecting anything more, you should likely stop reading now. However, if you're reading this line, I can assume that you are a fan and want to know the low-down.

The gameplay and performance of Street Fighter X Tekken on my test machine was absolutely flawless. Fighting was as smooth as can be expected and there were no hiccups or slowdowns in the system whatsoever, once I enabled V-Sync to help with the laptop's refresh rate, that is.

While I've never been a huge fan of the stop and go style that is Street Fighter, I have to admit that it really works well in this title. For me to say this is a green light for others who prefer their fighting games to be more fluid and real-time. So while you do lose a bit of Tekken's old-school 3D flair in lieu of the pseudo-3D side-scrolling fighter that is before you, it still plays quite nicely. The game's main feature is the tag-team style of play that allows you to switch characters on the fly, essentially doubling the amount of combat styles you can choose from for each match.

There are vast numbers of characters to choose from, of course coming from both franchises, and most of them look and play great. The number of game modes is a bit lacking, but as I mentioned earlier, Street Fighter X Tekken is a fighter and it doesn't pretend to be anything else. For newcomers, there is an extensive (i.e. long) tutorial that covers everything from basic controls to mastering special moves and the use of gems that give you extra attributes as you play. [For more on the gem system, visit the Official Street Fighter Website and look under SFXT's "Features" tab.]

The game allows up to four players (due to the tag-team style), but only two fighters will ever be controllable at any given time. What this means, however, is that the game isn't limited to two players, so it can make for a pretty fun party game. Still, 2-Player Co-Op isn't ever as fun as head-to-head. The Arcade Mode offers head-to-head at its finest, and in true arcade action, you'll be challenged by online folks when you are connected to the Internet, so be prepared. I have mixed feelings about this style, but if it does one thing, it helps simulate someone putting their quarter down from the days when arcades were far more popular.


Difficulty:

Street Fighter X Tekken is relatively easy to pick up and play because it gives quick and easy access to button-mashers (you know who we... errr... you are). However, the game is not at all easy to master. Characters have a number of moves to learn, but it goes even further beyond what lies skin deep. The ability to read your opponent is the only way to truly master the game as you counter and show your skills to the world. Unfortunately for me, I'm the button-masher. I've always been a slow learner when it comes to fighting games, but fortunately the tutorial helps give a head start for rookies who are just starting to learn.

The fact that the game jumps online when playing in the Arcade also causes the difficulty to have a wide range. While the computer-controlled characters tend to start slower, playing a random human opponent can decrease newbies' chances of winning dramatically. Like anything, Street Fighter X Tekken will take a lot of practice and will require a great number of hours to master.


Game Mechanics:

First and foremost, if you are able to use the default keyboard controls, you are amazing! Why? Because playing a fighting game like Street Fighter X Tekken with a keyboard is just about the worst way imaginable. While you can customize your keyboard, I'd highly suggest other means of control. My tool of choice was the Wireless Xbox Controller (via wireless PC adapter), and it worked flawlessly. The main drawback was that of the low, medium, and high buttons for punches and kicks with the default controls. Because the controller only has four face buttons, the high version of each falls on the shoulder and trigger buttons (can be changed to four-button mode too). While it's not a problem, per se, Street Fighter X Tekken certainly would have played even better with an arcade-style joystick control.

Playing both locally and online play extremely well, smooth, and lag-free. The lack of a lot of game modes does feel a bit weak, but Street Fighter X Tekken does also offer up some challenges that will help round out a few more options to choose from.

Anyone who is a fan of the Street Fighter franchise is likely to absolutely love Street Fighter X Tekken. For those who prefer a more true 3D fighting style, this title is still an enjoyable game, but don't expect there to be a whole lot of the Tekken style present in the game, even though it shares the name. Once you get past the cross-over characters, Street Fighter X Tekken is an enhanced version of old-school Street Fighter through and through, but will still be enjoyable for fans of the fighting genre in general, or those who remember the "good ol' days" of popping quarters into the arcade machine and trying to hold it for the day.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows XP; Intel Dual Core 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon II X2 or better Processor; 10 GB Available Hard Drive Space; 1 GB Available System Memory; 256 MB DirectX 9.0c- / Shader Model 3.0-compatible Video Card (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or ATI X 1600 or higher); Internet Connection; Gamepad recommended
 

Test System:



Asus Laptop: Windows 7 Professional (64-bit); Intel Core i7-2760QM CPU @ 2.40GHz (2x); 16 GB System Memory; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M; Xbox 360 Wireless Controller via PC Adapter

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