You probably already know that Capcom is working on a new crossover fighter which features the characters from the "Street Fighter" universe duking it out with characters from Namco's "Tekken" universe. "Street Fighter X Tekken" is not to be confused with "Tekken X Street Fighter," which is being worked on by Namco. While that may seem a bit redundant, Capcom's game will play more like a traditional "Street Fighter" release, while Namco's will play more like a "Tekken" game. Still with me?
While I can't speak to Namco's project, I did get the chance to play a handful of matches in "Street Fighter X Tekken," and was struck by a new feature which will surely throw a kink into the strategies of resident "SF" masters.
Ironically, despite the impact that it will have, the feature couldn't be more simple. Every character in the game has a special attack that's even more special than their other special attacks. For lack of better terminology we'll call it their signature special attack. In the case of Ryu, for example, it's his fireball. Under normal circumstances, the fireball works exactly how it always has. But should the player hold down the punch button after completing their quarter-circle, the fireball will begin to charge. A lighting bolt comes down from the sky to indicate that the player is charging, and then they'll proceed to stand there and power up the attack for as long as they wish. Letting go of the button will release the fireball at that very moment, but if you keep holding it down or like 7 or 8 seconds, it'll eventually yield a super combo which doesn't use any of your power meter.
So what does this new charge feature mean? Well, it suddenly throws all timing out the window. Players who have honed their reflexes to know just when to jump as a fireball is heading towards them suddenly need to factor in the whims of the other player, who can delay the attack.
What makes this feature so interesting is that it's not some complex series of new moves you need to learn. Nope, it's the same moves you remember, with the only difference being that you can now charge them up. It'll take some time to learn which signature special attacks are assigned to each player, but once you have that down, it's a whole new layer of strategy to consider. And you don't need a championship fight stick to pull them off.
Capcom could've very easily sold a re-skinned version of "Super Street Fighter 4" with "Tekken" characters tossed in for "Street Fighter X Tekken," but they're clearly much more willing to throw new elements at the franchise to see what sticks. I'm sure the charge attacks are just the beginning.