Street Fighter X Tekken Reviews

202,210 (140,066)
TA Score for this game: 1,365
Posted on 13 March 12 at 04:11
This review has 15 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Street Fighter X Tekken is a title that's garnered a great deal of controversy prior to its release due to the polarizing gem system, Pandora, and Quick Combos, and now still stirring up conflict because of on-disk DLC. Between all the conflict and questions, certainly a crucial detail has been skipped over: this is the game the fighting game community has been waiting for. Certainly Capcom hasn't yet found the crucial element that will bring in casual players and stop them from being discouraged, but SFxT is a step forward in almost every way and any attempt to appeal to casual players hasn't alienated the hardcore players for which this game is clearly intended.

It's tough, especially for me, to appear impartial when talking about this game, but rest assured I've been highly critical of the title and each feature. But the fact is they all work, and any feature that's questionable doesn't detract from the experience. We all know that the title has mediocre story offerings and could use a couple more stages, but what makes this game as close to perfection as a fighting game has come is what really counts, the gameplay.

To assuage the concerns of those who've yet to play the game, Street Fighter X Tekken is not a game for "scrubs," or fighting game beginners. Certainly it takes great strides in being more open to them but the games systems are not simple and are incredibly unique. There will be a certain degree of familiarity to both players of Street Fighter 4 (if you know combos, they'll still work... but they won't be as effective as homegrown SFxT combos) and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (A-B-C, or magic series, combos here, but there are major liabilities), but Street Fighter X Tekken is a very unique beast.

Commitment is the name of the game. Without the Focus Attack mechanic from Street Fighter 4, a lot of moves take a considerably higher degree of care when applying them to be effective. Likewise, it allows for zoning (projectile attacks) to be a little more threatening, although after only a week it appears that rushdown is a far more prevalent tactic, but that could always change.

Ground game and footsies are extremely important in SFxT, rather than going for knockdowns and 50/50 mixups which made Street Fighter 4 into more of a guessing game than many players felt comfortable with. Wakeup options are increased and 50/50 mixups are compromised by the smart forward roll mechanic that can be done as an alternative to quickrising. While I'd never assert that SF4 or MvC3 are "brainless" games, I love them both dearly, it seems that SFxT encourages players to be smarter and as a consequence of its smart systems has less opportunities for "brainless" play and more opportunities for the smartest and most creative players to find success.

There are a few critiques of the game, namely the Quick Combo system and Pandora. There's nothing inherently wrong with the Quick Combo system, it could be a very empowering mechanic to new players who are unable to execute things with any degree of reliability and could serve as "training wheels" to motivate them to improve their manual execution, but the fact that Quick Combos can't be removed make it impossible to kara throw (cancel a normal move into a throw to extend its range) with fierce (hard punch) which is a bit of a bummer. Its just simply an obnoxious mechanic for those who don't want to use it.

Pandora is more of a question mark. I criticize Pandora simply because I haven't yet seen it be applied really effectively which begs the question "why was it included?" This is, however, an admittedly early analysis of a mechanic that could prove to be extremely effective in situations, so my criticism of Pandora is subject to change, and I suspect my view on the mechanic certainly will.

The Gem System which stirred up so much controversy seems to actually be a really fun system to experiment with. Ultimately they don't really effect the game too much, but they're a fun way to customize your characters to suit your playstyle. The smartest players will find Gem loadouts that they can access in the smartest ways and that creativity is something that should be, and is, rewarded. With that said, pay-to-win Gems (DLC Gems that are far better than the default offerings) are definitely a problem, but there's obviously a solution which is disallow their use in competitive play.

In this day and age, the fantastic gameplay would be severely compromised if it wasn't paired with a strong suite of online features, and Street Fighter X Tekken does not disappoint. The number of features online are fantastic and along with standard ranked matches and endless lobbies, the two-player partner system and "Briefing Room" (online training mode) steal the show as brilliant features. Taking on brutal competition (well... not so brutal just yet) with a partner is extremely rewarding and far more digestible than getting beaten alone.

The netcode is also, frankly, spectacular. The GGPO-like "rollback" netcode allows for combos to be input reliably and consistently providing valuable practice for offline play. Some people take issue with some of the funny glitch-like things that can occur due to rollbacks, but the lack of input delay really makes it worth it. There is an annoying sound glitch which is extremely problematic but it doesn't fully sour the experience. Obviously this netcode isn't magic and if your connection with another player is bad you will have a bad experience, but the netcode at its core is a head and shoulders above all its competition.

When everything is said and done, Street Fighter X Tekken is an amazing game. Its a fighting gamer's fighting game that rewards smart and methodical play rather than rewarding the player who can most quickly get the opponent into a brainless setup. The game isn't perfect in its steps to accommodate new and casual players, but it certainly is a step in the right directly in most cases, except for those darn Quick Combos. Those who have been wary of the game should do themselves a favor and give it a chance. I don't think it will disappoint you.
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