Based on their stellar track record, fighting fans have come to expect great things from Capcom, since they always seem to go the extra mile when it comes to their marquee brawler franchises. Over the last few years they have set the 2D fighting bar higher and higher, first with Street Fighter IV, and then with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, but their first joint venture with Namco Bandai, Street Fighter X Tekken, truly proves why they consistently stand above their competition, even when their competition is in their game. Gamers are just a few weeks away from finally get their hands on SF X T on March 6, and when they do, here are some of the things they are going to be talking about the most.
Normally the stages take a back seat to the fighters, sitting in the background, helping give the battle a bit of context. However, in Street Fighter X Tekken, each levels’ background is an experience unto itself. Capcom went outside the box and built a host of all new levels for this game, most of which include Easter eggs or site gags that longtime fans of both series will truly appreciate. With background appearances from the likes of Mega Man, E. Honda, most of the cast of Final Fight, and even Street Fighter Producer Yoshinori Ono, the stages are so detailed that you may find yourself having trouble focusing on your fight.
Not Your Dad’s Street Fighter:
In order to adapt to the barrage of new characters that come from a game with fundamentally different mechanics, the Street Fighter team have tweaked their tried and true gameplay so that Tekken fans don’t feel too alienated. For example, they’ve adapted their juggle system to allow for longer combos, something Tekken fans should be familiar with, but will be new for most Street Fighter players. Another new addition to the series are charge moves; super moves that can have their power increased by charging them up. There are also switch cancels and cross assaults that take advantage of the the two player system, by tagging in your teammate in the middle of an attack, or bringing them out for a simultaneous attack respectively.
Tag Team Stories:
Street Fighter X Tekken revolves around one centralized story: a mysterious box, codenamed "Pandora," has landed in Antarctica, and both the Shadowloo and the Mishima Zaibatsu are trying to take control of it for nefarious means. While that's pretty straight forward, the Street Fighter X Tekken team made an interesting choice in deciding to create individual storylines for specific teams of characters. For example, Street Fighter's resident law enforcers, Chun-Li and Cammy, team up to stop the renegade organizations before they can do any real damage. On the other side, Tekken’s Bob and Julia join forces to protect the world and have their story cooperative story told in the opening cut scene, as well as in the breaks between fights.
The reason that so many people are after Pandora is because it is said to create unstoppable combatants of whomever controls it; something players can see first hand if the situation presents itself. Extreme circumstances call for extreme action, and that’s where Pandora comes in; if one of your fighters has less than 25% of their life left, they can invoke Pandora (down, down, medium punch + medium kick) and sacrifice themselves to give their partner a temporary boost. However, that power boost only lasts for a limited time, and once it runs out, the match is over, win or lose. It's a risky move, but it could save more than a few butts in the right situation.
Since the release of Street Fighter IV, Capcom has been on a quest to make their games more accessible to the masses, and they've taken a new approach by introducing gem boosts in Street Fighter X Tekken. There are two different types of gems, Assist and Boost, that can be preset before your character goes into battle, allowing players to craft different strategies around their strengths and weaknesses. Once in battle, the gems can be activated in certain circumstances to help your character. There are tons of gems available in the game, making it easy to mix and match all different kinds of skills to truly make each battle unique.
Mixing two games with vastly different fighting styles is extremely tricky for a game company, mostly because it mixes two very different fanbases. Street Fighter X Tekken solves this problem by offering a four-player co-op mode, which allows for each charter on a team to be controlled by a different player. The down side of this is that if a Street Fighter expert teams up with a Tekken expert, they're bound to be virtually unstoppable.
These are just a few of the features that fans should be on the lookout for in a few weeks. Street Fighter X Tekken looks like it has a lot of potential to be one of the best crossover fighting games yet.