Scheduled for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next week, Street Fighter X Tekken is the latest title in Capcom’s rapidly growing line-up of 2D beat-‘em-ups for current generation systems. With the genre still riding on that high created by the release of Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken is looking set to become the leading light for fans of either franchise, and potentially introduce the audience of one to the other.
Despite being based upon the same template as Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken uses a two-versus-two battle structure to differentiate itself. Much like another of Capcom’s current-generation beat-‘em-ups, players can switch between their two characters at will in addition to executing Cross Assault attacks. However, unlike Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, players do not lose their characters one-by-one; if a single character’s energy is depleted it’s game over. It’s a variation on the ruleset that differentiates Street Fighter X Tekken from that which has already been, and players will undoubtedly develop a favourite very quickly.
Street Fighter X Tekken features an extensive roster, with more than thirty five characters available from the very start. Players can combine their characters from both franchises or stick to those which they know best. There’s a pleasing balancing act that goes on, allowing players to find combinations that work best for them: is an all-out assault team better than a combination of styles? Consolidation or patching up holes? That’s up to the player to discover for themselves.
Further pushing the uniqueness of Street Fighter X Tekken is the Gem System. Working hand-in-hand with that ability to mix fighting styles, the Gems infer bonuses to certain aspects of a fighter’s condition. And once again, players can opt to further strengthen core statuses or reinforce lacking areas. In the run up to releases there’s been much talk of the Gem system undermining the skill involved in beat-‘em-up play, even going as far as to suggest an unbalancing of the videogame. In that which Electronic Theatre has experienced however, it effectively acts as another ability meter with the core difference being its customisability.
On the surface Street Fighter X Tekken may seem like just another excuse to push that same engine, same design and effectively that same videogame experience on players yet again, but once experienced first hand it’s obvious that this is a very cynical view. Street Fighter X Tekken is certain to be a welcome addition to that catalogue when it launches next week, so the question is not so much whether it will find a comfortable place in your home console, but whether it will be able to outdo those which are already entertained regularly. Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on Street Fighter X Tekken, including an in-depth review coming very soon.