Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken has received some scathing criticism since its console debut. There’s no denying that it fails to meet the standard Capcom set for themselves with each subsequent iteration of Street Fighter IV, but to suggest that Street Fighter X Tekken is anything less than enjoyable is a whimsical fallacy. And while we’re yet to see if the same quality can be delivered on a handheld system with the forthcoming PlayStation Vita version, here on PC we see that a similar quality of beat-‘em-up has been delivered, though with a few additional backend problems.
The fighting system in Street Fighter X Tekken is, as you might expect, consistent with the typical Street Fighter arrangement. Players land clunky blows in succession to build short string combos which can be rounded-off with a special move or those same special moves can be used as openers. It’s the same cross-up impact system that was present in the Street Fighter II releases and revamped with the Street Fighter IV contingent. Players have six points of impact and landing a blow on any of these points will inflict the exact same amount of damage, but the opponent’s reactionary animation will vary depending on which attack is executed and which point is hit. It’s a simple but incredibly effective system that makes a welcome return in the modern era.
Sadly, it’s not all coming-up roses however, as there does seem to be a vital ingredient missing in Street Fighter X Tekken. It’s hard to put your finger on, but after three iterations of Street Fighter IV, another copy-paste of the formula with a freshly converted roster of Tekken characters – which, it must be said, have been adapted to fit the template better than you might expect – and some of the original Street Fighter faces removed does seem a little stale. Street Fighter X Tekken is a videogame that has been built for fans of the two beat-‘em-up behemoths, and sadly that’s the only demographic Electronic Theatre would be comfortable recommending it to above any of the other current-generation Street Fighter outings.
Street Fighter X Tekken provides a significant variety of gameplay modes for the single-player, which if fortunate for although the multiplayer aspect of the videogame is phenomenally well presented, the online community for is practically non-existent. Electronic Theatre managed to complete several playthroughs of the core Arcade Mode before encountering a human challenger, a situation that might seem implausible to anyone who’s played the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 version of the videogame.
As stated above, Street Fighter X Tekken does suffer with some significant technical problems which bear the hallmark of a rushed conversion. The videogame is playable without the disc in the drive, with the install process seemingly a dump a downloadable version of the videogame on the HDD and install from there. Street Fighter X Tekken is also victim to some ridiculous loading times, even when setting the videogame to its lowest settings on a machine perfectly capable of running it maxed out, and thanks to the installation process abandoning the disc altogether even replacing it in the DVD drive won’t aid the loading times.
Capcom and the Games for Windows – LIVE format have a pretty chequered reputation amongst PC gamers, and while Electronic Theatre would suggest that many of the issues presented are significantly overblown, Street Fighter X Tekken is not the videogame to convince anyone to change their opinion. Whether it’s a case of sloppy conversion or incompatibility with the Games for Windows – LIVE infrastructure is impossible to tell, but given the similarity of the PC network to Xbox LIVE, Electronic Theatre is happy to suggest it’s more likely to be the former. Street Fighter X Tekken remains an enjoyable beat-‘em-up, and were it not for the variety of Street Fighter IV titles already available via Games for Windows – LIVE it’d be an easy recommendation, but as it stands Capcom’s latest takes fourth place in a four-horse race.