Street Fighter X Tekken review

Street Fighter X Tekken gets another batch of Comic-Con screens today, mostly of Ryu getting beaten to a pulp by Kazuya and Nina.Meanwhile Namco is working on Tekken X Street Fighter, where all characters will fight in the style of Tekken which also means we’ll be seeing them in a 3D arena……

As I approach the 10 year mark as a competitive fighting game player, I can honestly say during my time, I never expected to see a crossover game between Street Fighter and Tekken. Even when rumors of the game’s development began to spread across the Internet, I still couldn’t believe it. The general tone of the rumors from players was, “how would this even work?” — and for good reason. The two games play so radically different from each other, that it’s hard to fathom how characters from each universe could even engage in battle. There are no projectiles in Tekken and, for the most part, Street Fighter characters have always fought on a 2D plane.

After watching Street Fighter X Tekken’s gameplay trailer multiple times, I am convinced that this is a collaboration that will make both Street Fighter and Tekken players happy, but with any trailer of this caliber, the first thing that comes to mind is: What can we expect to see next?

Before we get into what we hope to see in this game, let’s first go over what we already know. Outside of the characters, the trailer showcased a number of different gameplay mechanics, giving players an idea where the game is heading.

Street Fighter: Ryu & Chun-Li: Ryu and Chun-Li appear mostly the same as they do in the Street Fighter 4 series, though with the new combo system in place, we can expect them to play differently. For instance, you can clearly see Ryu perform his Joudan Kick — or Donkey Kick — which was one of his staple attacks that appeared in Street Fighter III and other games as well. The Donkey Kick, like in previous games, results in a wall bounce and will most likely be key in many of Ryu’s high damage combos. Unfortunately, Chun-Li only joins the brawl for a short moment to assist Ryu, so who knows what new moves she might obtain in the game.

Tekken: Kazuya & Nina: Kazuya fires off some of his classic combos from the Tekken series, even nailing Ryu with an Electric Wing God Fist. You can clearly see him ducking under fireballs as well, which is a strong indicator of how the Tekken characters will end up avoiding projectiles. Nina, much like Chun-Li, only makes a quick appearance to lay the smack down on Ryu, but it’s safe to assume she will retain many of her combos from Tekken.

Chain Combos: The first major gameplay element I notice is that the characters appear to be performing chain combos instead of link combos. If you’re unclear what the difference is between the two, it’s pretty simple: chain combos connect in rapid succession, much like the Marvel vs Capcom series, while link combos — which make up the majority of the combos in games like Super Street Fighter 4 and Capcom vs SNK 2 — require more precise timing. Tekken, of course utilizes chain combos in all their games, but anyone who has played Tekken knows that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to maximize damage. This appears to be the best way for characters from either franchise to happily coexist: by allowing Tekken characters to have a sense of familiarity by easily performing their signature combos, while giving Street Fighter characters an entirely new set of tools on a 2D plane.

Tag Ultras & 2v2 Fighting: The most unexpected element outside of the announcement itself, is the inclusion of a tag feature in the game. Both Chun-Li and Nina tag in to assist their respective allies, dishing out multi-hit attacks on the opponent before their partner returns to finish them off. What inputs are required to pull off a Tag Ultra, how much meter it will consume, and other details are yet to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: this will be a hit on the live streams.

This is also a very strong indicator that we are looking at a 2v2 tag fighter. While both Chun-Li and Nina didn’t stick around to show off their move set, it’s safe to assume that players will be strategically forming teams in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Subtle Details: If you look a little closer, you’ll find other subtle details about the gameplay such as mid attacks that knockdown. In the video, Kazuya performs a blockstring that ends with an attack that hits Ryu while he is crouch blocking — sending him flying. Backdash Invincibility also appears to be in the game, allowing Kazuya to backdash away from Ryu’s Fierce Punch.

I also noticed there is a good bit of recovery on ducking movement, namely when Ryu Donkey Kicks Kazuya in the face as he tries to duck under a hadouken. Lastly, you’ll see that there is a bit of push back when a character is hit with an attack that puts them into a spinning state, in this case preventing Kazuya from ducking in to dish out more damage.

Between the two franchises, we’re looking at close to over 100 different characters; the amount of dream matches is virtually endless. The reality is that the final roster probably won’t end up being even half of that, but here are a few of my top picks of those characters that would be a good fit for Street Fighter X Tekken.

Steve Fox: With Steve Fox being my main in Tekken 6, I’m slightly biased here listing him as my number one pick. As many of you know, in Tekken 6, Steve Fox is a counter-hit monster, and I’d like to see more of that in Street Fighter X Tekken. Adapt his Quick Hook and Crescent Hook attacks he has in Tekken 6 to either Quarter Circle Back, or Forward + Punch inputs to give him high damage combos anytime he lands a counter-hit.

In Tekken 6, his Sonic Fang attack is great for punishing whiffed moves and doubles as a mid attack. I see this attack working in the same fashion in Street Fighter X Tekken as a mid-range punisher that doubles as an overhead attack. For opponents blocking high, give him his Foot Stomp to Right Hook to mix it up.Of course, ducking is a key element in Steve’s mix-up and combo game in Tekken 6, and would fit perfectly into Street Fighter X Tekken as long as it avoided projectiles and the follow ups are potential combo starters

Yang: Yang is long overdue to show up in a new Capcom fighting game, and Street Fighter X Tekken is the perfect opportunity for his return. I miss the days of burning his EX meter like it was going out of style. Or using Mantis Slashes and teleporting back and forth over a downed opponent to make his head spin. His target combos would be a perfect fit, and I can certainly see his custom combo super Seiei-Enbu being viable in the game as well.

Paul: Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono mentioned many of the franchises’ original characters will make an appearance, so I think it’s safe to say Paul will make the cut. I envision him as a fairly straight forward character with solid combos that may not be flashy, but do a ton of damage.

Dudley: With Street Fighter X Tekken’s combo system seemingly centered on chain combos, Dudley would be a perfect. I assume he wouldn’t need much modification from his current iteration in Super Street Fighter 4, though his short Swing Blow could be modified to act as an overhead or mid attack and knockdown the opponent on hit. His rose taunt should also inflict a pixel or two of damage just as it did in Street Fighter III to finish off opponents who are near death.

Marshall Law: If I had to choose a Bruce Lee clone to appear in the game, I would definitely want to see Law make the cut. All of us have already seen how Fei Long fights on a 2D plane, so it’s time for Law players to demonstrate how to deal with projectiles and other Street Fighter-centric gameplay.

Juri Juri is arguably one of Capcom’s best fighting games character designs to date and I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to see her in more games. Capcom should expand on her EX Shikusen — which currently has somewhat limited use in Super Street Fighter 4 — allowing for more combo possibilities after a wall bounce. Currently, she has numerous chain combos through her Feng Shui Engine, a perfect fit into Street Fighter X Tekken without the need of any Super or Ultra meter.

Lei Wulong: It’s hard to say how well a character like Lei would work in Street Fighter X Tekken, but I certainly would like to see Capcom try to fit him in. If they are going to include a character who can switch between stances, I’d pick Lei over Gen any day of the week. I see him as an execution heavy character meant for high level players.

Urien: If there is one thing I love in fighting games, it would be cheap characters with goofy combos, and Urien is the king at both. I can’t imagine unblockable set ups from an Agies Reflector ever making a return in any Street Fighter game, but it could still prove to be a useful tool to corner opponent and start insane juggle combos.

Mokujin: Who needs random select when you’ve got Mokujin? Just like in Tekken, this wooden fighter would change into a different character after every round, providing a challenge to expert players who want to prove they’ve mastered everyone in the game.

Akuma: If I had to choose one more shoto outside of Ryu, I’d say Akuma would be my top pick, although I would want him to receive some of his attacks from other games outside of Super Street Fighter 4. Throw away his ridiculous Ultra 2 and give him back his fireball super from Third Strike and his shockwave super.

King: There are a ton of grappler characters to choose from both series, but I give the nod to King this time around. The Figure 4 Leg Lock, Giant Swing, and the classic Rolling Death Cradle? Count me in.

M. Bison: If one of the “Four Kings” had to make an appearance, then my vote would go to M. Bison over Balrog, Vega, and Sagat. He is a much more offense-oriented character than the other three and, in turn, would end up being a much better fit for a game like Street Fighter X Tekken.

Ling Xiaoyu: Sakura has had it rough lately in recent games, ending up at the bottom of Street Fighter 4 series tier lists around the world, so why not give another schoolgirl a chance to prove herself against the Street Fighter cast? She would be able to use her Art of Phoenix to avoid projectiles and, just like in Tekken, have numerous attack follow ups from the stance.

E. Honda: If a sumo wrestler is going to be in the game, I would like to see E. Honda over Ganryu make the cut. That said, with his gameplay centered around charging and single hits, he may end up being too much of a turtle character for the likes of Street Fighter X Tekken.

Kuma: Lastly, you can’t have Tekken in the title without some sort of animal that is ready for a throwdown. Kuma could be interesting with similarities to the giants in Tatsunoko vs Capcom, where he would be larger than the other characters and have more life, but from a balance perspective, fight solo to balance things out.

Gameplay System:

Grooves: Street Fighter X Tekken is the perfect opportunity for Capcom to bring back the groove system they set in place for the Capcom vs SNK series. Each groove could give both Capcom and Namco characters different abilities and possibly change the properties of certain attacks.

Capcom Groove

Focus-Parry System: A hybrid between the Focus and Parry system could allow players who choose the Capcom groove to deal with incoming attacks by absorbing multiple hits at the expense of their EX meter or simply grey out a portion of their life bar like in Street Fighter 4.

Focus Attack Dash Cancel: FADCing would work much like it does in Super Street Fighter 4, allowing players to cancel out of moves to extend combos or make certain attacks safe on block. Perhaps making the cost of FADCing attacks one EX bar instead of the current two would allow for more complex block-strings and combos to compete with the Bound system of the Namco groove.

Namco Groove

Side Step: Players who choose the Namco groove would have the ability to side step attacks with no meter or life penalty, though they wouldn’t be able to avoid multiple attacks like the Focus-Parry system. This could be useful for counter-hit set ups which would benefit characters like Steve Fox.

Bound: In Tekken 6, Bound is a gameplay system that allows players to extend their combos by slamming their opponent to the ground to put them into a juggle state. This could work similarly to Focus Attack Dash Canceling, in that it would cost meter to use but would give access to a different set of combos for each character. Possibly better suited for players who would rather go for long combos, rather than the ability to Focus Attack Dash Cancel uppercuts and other moves.

Other Gameplay Elements:

Tech Rolling: The wake up game — otherwise known as okizeme — is a huge part of the Tekken series; only a few 2D games have anything that comes close to it. Having an in-depth wake up game where players can choose to tech roll in multiple directions would create many high level mind games as well as the ability to punish players that end up rolling in the wrong direction.

Rage: With Ultras in the game, dropping characters who are low on health into Rage status to increase damage output may be going a little over the top — but what happens when your partner is dead and you are forced to fight a team of two? This could be a great way for players to turn the tide when they are outnumbered.

Walls: A key gameplay element within the Tekken series is the ability to carry an opponent to a wall with a juggle and finish the combo for extra damage. Walls could be stage specific and even be broken down by certain moves, revealing other areas of the stage.

Guard Crush: With Street Fighter X Tekken appearing to be a much more offensive game, I can certainly see a Guard Crush mechanic being implemented to punish opponents who are excessively blocking.

It will be quite a while before see any more of Street Fighter X Tekken, and some of these systems/characters could be saved for Tekken X Street Fighter instead. While we’re waiting, comment with your preferences and guesses!


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