A good game with several severe drawbacks to it
Review for the Street Fighter X Tekken: Complete Pack version 1.08
Both the Street Fighter & the Tekken franchise are video game milestones. Capcom’s Street Fighter II (1991) became famous for introducing mechanics we nowadays perceive as normal, such as combos, cancellations, or lenient controls. Bandai-Namco’s Tekken series (1994 ongoing) then built upon this & Sega’s Virtua Fighter’s legacy (1993 ongoing) to sweep the market with 3D fighting arenas, new control schemes, more realistic fighting moves, & beginner friendly controls that displayed a remarkable, never before seen depth to them. It seems like a no-brainer for these two giants to meet up in this crossover from 2012. But whether this 2.5D mashup fared well or not, is a completely different question.
About the game
The mechanics & controls of both Tekken & Street Fighter could not be any further apart with one being build around 3D arenas while the other was made with 2D environments in mind.
SFxT tries to solve this problem by greeting players with a surprisingly deep fighting mechanic that has multiple means of individualizing the characters’ movesets. Nevertheless, using Tekken characters does feel alien.Generally, the game shares several of the mechanics of the Street Fighter IV franchise (2008-2014), but adds optional, simplified special attacks (e.g. instead of ↓↘→Ⓟ just pressing ↘Ⓟ), customizable button combinations, & quick combos to make it easier for Tekken players & newcomers to find their way into the game. Simplified moves worked well in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (2008) & sure enough do their job here.
- Tag Team
The tag team system is inspired by the Tekken Tag Tournament series (2000 ongoing) with tagouts either being performed through quick combos or by pressing medium kick & medium punch at the same time. The initial problem of the game was that the amount of damage dealt was too low & because each team possesses two healthbars, fights often ended in timeouts instead of KOs. After several patches, this was remedied, but fights can still be unnecessarily drawn out. On the upside, tag teams can even be created in online ranked matches and up to four players can duke it out at once.
The scramble mode is obviously the highlight of the on-/offline multiplayer experience, four players can play simultaneously in teams of two. The rounds are quick and chaotic, which just adds more to the fun.
To further balance the game, SFxT has a gem mechanic. Each character can carry up to three gems at the same time, each having different effects & prerequisites to activate them. Although the gem system makes sense in theory, in practice it is a mess. The amount of available gems is way too large leading to a multitude of confusing combinations that discourage users from looking into this mechanic altogether. Even worse, a large amount of premium gems are only available as purchasable DLC, thus missing the point of being there to level the virtual battle field.
In theory Pandora is a great mechanic; sadly it’s not so much in practice. Players sacrifice one party member to temporarily boost the remaining protagonist’s powers for a brief amount of time. Once Pandora runs out, the player automatically loses. Therefore it is key to knock the other party out swiftly; unfortunately, because of the game’s design, Pandora rarely helps win any rounds but instead causes players to lose. So, it’s hardly ever used.
To individualize characters beyond the gems & customized button combinations, players can color their characters’ clothes. The feature even allows players to either wrap the characters in latex or neon glowing schemes. Additionally, all base game characters have DLC outfits that are inspired by characters from both franchises.
The game had several issues when it first came out. Shaking life bars irritated players & low damage dragged matches out. But it was the DLC policy that ruined the game for many.
Although the SFIV series was known for its on-disc DLC, Capcom came under scrutiny upon SFxT’s initial release when it became public that several of the announced twelve DLC characters were already included on the game’s disc – locked behind a paywall that cost as much as many video games ($19.99 USD). More than that, the Playstation 3 & Vita releases of the game had five additional DLC characters, namely Toro Inoue, Kuro, Cole Mac Grath, Pac-Man, and Bad Box Art Mega Man, while the PC & Xbox360 releases did not receive any exclusives. Further, the Xbox 360 version received even more criticism as the online tag team bouts mentioned in the game’s manual did not find their way into that version & were not patched in later on. The big disappointments over the game lead players to stay away from it altogether. After initial attempts, Capcom then decided to stop promoting the game.
- Games for Windows Live
For the longest time, Capcom refused to transfer both Street Fighter X Tekken & Resident Evil 5 over from Games for Windows Live to Steam Works. And while RE 5 received this treatment in 2015, SFxT still uses GfWL. Windows 10 users won’t have any problems logging in, but others will have to jump through hoops to get the game working in the first place. However, once that’s done, the game & other GfWL services will work just fine.
Sadly, due to its age, negative reputation, less popular design choices, & GfWL, the online population is considerably small & encountering cheaters who use lag switches or rage quit before they lose a match is not uncommon. The remaining players who don’t cheat are often times veterans who far outlevel any newcomers making it increasingly difficult for newcomers to win any matches at all.
There’s not a lot to say about the game’s graphic and control options. It’s just as marvelous as with the SFIV series with different AA features, V-Sync, & completely customizable button configurations.
Despite it all, SFxT is a good game that suffered from questionable management choices which tarnished the game’s reception & subsequently was part of what discolored the company’s reputation for years to come. The arcade stories are fun and the animations have the right level of goofiness to stay refreshing. The PC port is marvelously optimized with tons of graphics options that even allow it to run on “toasters”. It’s definitely worth picking up for a fair price & is truly something that fans would want to check out.
The game is an amazing 7 Hadōken out of 10
Where to get
Street Fighter X Tekken was originally sold for retail in stores; The base game is available as digital download on Steam for $29.99 USD and the complete pack for $59.99 USD or your regional equivalent.
Feel free to visit my Steam curator page for other reviews:
All screenshots taken by me during my playthrough and recorded using the Steam Overlay feature.