Game Review: Street Fighter X Tekken – Pandora’s Box is opened and the dark secrets are revealed, is hope all that remains?

 

TrueBackLash back again people and two weeks after its release, it’s time to review Street Fighter X Tekken (X is pronounced cross). Now I wanted to do this with voiceover and video, the works. Unfortunately Bronze blew our entire budget on his review of Mass Effect 3. So now I’m stuck doing a text review, oh well no use complaining, I guess.

 

(Hey! That was suppose to be a secret! – BB)

 

Also, if you want to know what I thought about all this “DLC on Disc” business, just click here.

So enough with the banter, let’s get to it.

 

 

Game Info

 

In an alternate universe where all the Street Fighter characters exist on the same Earth as all the Tekken characters, a strange metallic cube from space crash lands on Earth. Being dubbed Pandora, after the Greek myth about Pandora’s Box, the cube draws power from conflict, during which it releases a powerful energy. Fighter’s around the world are either want to find the box for their own plans (use it for evil, learn it’s secrets, destroy it etc.) or get dragged into the conflict because of the box. For some reason, this puts all the characters (notable exceptions notwithstanding) in teams of two, all with the goal to head to Antarctica, where the box crashed.

Similar to the Street Fighter IV series there are several modes of play. Arcade, where you run though the stories of the characters. If you pick a canon team, you’ll see them banter back and forth after wins, fight their own rival battle and have a shared ending at the end. Oh, there’s a multiplayer function her so you can also play with a buddy on the same team.

Versus are standalone matches where you can play with or against live opponents or the computer. There’s also training, where you sharpen your skills with the characters and Challenge which you can test your skill in Trial or Mission modes or lean how the game works in Tutorial mode. There is also Online Battle where you could battle real opponents over X-Box Live or PlayStation Network.

The fighting system plays similar to a mix of Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Tekken Tag Tournament. You have to select two characters, each has a one Super Arts or super moves and can perform Cross Arts, two supers at once with the other character. Cross Assault or fighting with both characters at once before the super bar is exhausted, can also be done. Characters can tag out to their partner off-screen as they please. The catch is if one character is defeated, the whole team loses.

There’s also the addition of Scramble Mode, which can be played in Versus or Online Battle. Two teams (four characters if you’re counting) are fighting at once. There is a catch however, each team shares a life bar and super bar, making it easier for a team to lose.

To bring some zip to the gameplay, there is the addition of the gems system and the Pandora mode. The gems give you power ups that boost speed strength, defense etc, of certain conditions are met. Each character has two separate sets of default gems, but the gems can be customized and used in sets of three.

Pandora mode sacrifices a team member who has a limited amount of health. The remaining character will have a slight power boost and an infinite super bar. Catch here is that if the Pandora powered character doesn’t win the battle in a (very short) span of time, they lose anyway.

 

 

 The Goods

 

Fluid Gameplay: The core mechanics of this game is perfect. Both the wily fighting game veteran and the wide-eyed rookie will be able to learn the controls with a low amount of difficulty. For the Tekken fans, Capcom has went out of their way to give them many, many Tekken-like combos, moves and mechanics so they can deliver the hurt with their favorite Tekken characters.

Presentation: The actual game graphics are nothing new to those who’ve played the Street Fighter IV series. Like SFIV, the level of detail put the background is insane, sometimes I’m half tempted to see what’s going on back there then concentrating on the fight. The artwork and end cutscenes for the team storylines go way beyond beautiful. There were also some very funny moments in the various Arcade Mode stories.

Tons of New Characters: For Tekken purists, all/just about all the Street Fighters are new to them; Street Fighter buff may be trying Tekken characters for the first time. This goes double for the Tekken characters in a 2D-fighter environment. This is not counting the four new-to-the SFIV-engine Street Fighter characters, Rolento, Ibuki, Hugo and Poison (and for the PS3 Cole, Mega Man, Pac-Man Toro and Kuro).

Scramble Mode: Hardcore fun, nuff said.

 

 

The Bad

 

Glitches, Glitches, Glitches: The only real thing stopping me from giving this game the score it really deserved. Problems like the sound cutting out in online mode, Mega Man floating off-screen and characters having infinite combos have become a real issue. Capcom is probably going fix these issues, but most of these should have been caught, before the game’s release.

The Gems: To me, they are useless and they really don’t add anything new to the gameplay. I don’t even notice when they activate at times. I heard that there are more gems coming soon, but the gems I have are completely interchangeable.

Pandora Mode: This is more of a nitpick because this is an interesting concept in theory. I reality, there’s not much time to really be effective with it. Those opponents with more than 20% health or know how to evade until Pandora mode runs out will not be beaten so easily. I also don’t like that the health doesn’t get a bit of a boost.

 

 

Ranking

 

This game just edges past “IT’S OK” because of the glitches. The online play important is to a game like this and it’s suffering because of the glitchy netcode. The experience of playing 2D Tekken characters, gameplay presentation and Scramble Mode are what make this game pass. If it was just the Gems and Pandora, then Street Fighter X Tekken would have a higher score, because it’s possible to play and be successful without them. Getting hit with an infinite combo or suffering from online lag because of glitches could end up in an unfair loss. To sum it up, offline, it’s one of the best fighting game’s Capcom’s ever made and a great crossover (and I’m not a Tekken fan). Because of the glitches however, the rank literally can’t go any higher.

Capcom, Street Fighter and Additional Content (DLC, Locked ODC, updates)

 

Hey, guys TrueBackLash here, before, I get started with the article, I want to let you know that Boss Bronze is running behind, but he’ll be back with fresh reviews in a couple of days.

So all this talk about locked content for this game has got me thinking. The Street Fighter series has always been like this. Y’know adding stuff to one game and expanding it over the course of weeks/months. It annoys the hell out of people, but the Street Fighter series would be nothing without it.

If we stuck with just Street Fighter II, each non-shoto would only have two special moves, no super moves, no extra colors, no unlocked bosses, no necessary buffs and nerfs for balancing and no 5 new characters. I personally can’t think of Street Fighter now w/o Dee Jay and T. Hawk, and I know most fans wouldn’t be w/o Cammy and Akuma. The series stops there without all that content.

What about the other Street Fighter games? I found out about Sawada in the console version of Street Fighter the Movie, do you think I would have if Capcom didn’t rework the horrid arcade version? What about Alpha and SFIII, would they be the same if Capcom didn’t update them? No cult classic in SFA3 with one fighting games best rosters and features? No arguably the best 2D fighting game of its time(maybe still) in 3rd Strike? Scary thought.

Point is, additional content is not a bad thing and Capcom needs to find a way to do it without angering the fans. Honestly, I just don’t see how. When SFII was adding, y’know, all the stuff in the second paragraph, there was no DLC yet so they had to make new game to do it. Fans were angry and it became the poster child for Capcom Sequel Stagnation. What’s that? THIS http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CapcomSequelStagnation.

When Street Fighter IV came out, some fans were mad because it relied to heavily on SFII characters, Capcom made a new game with 10 characters added and some buffs and nerfs for existing ones. Fans were angry because they didn’t do it on DLC, which the original game was incapable holding so much. Then they made a small upload for said game on DLC, featuring four more characters. Fans were angry for another update they had to pay for.

 

 

What is Street Fighter X Tekken but a big, fat, nerd rage - am I right?

 

With this game, Capcom made a game that can handle the DLC, then came Locked Disc-gate. Obviously, Capcom intended to cash in on the 12 characters and other misc. locked away. The probably did it to save money on making it true DLC and (maybe as a built in excuse/afterthought/intended side effect) it saves on hard drive space on the console. Obviously fans were angry, they had a gold bar in their gym locker but it was hidden in a small locker inside that locker and they don’t have the key for it even though they paid for the gym membership.

Of course the hackers gloating about their finds on YouTube didn’t help any. What Capcom did was lazy and stupid, but I really don’t think it was shady and unethical. If you do, that’s why you have local senators and congressmen (or like government for other countries) and tell them that you feel Capcom ripped you off.

As for additional content down the road, what then? What won’t make fans angry? New games of mostly same stuff and DLC (or Locked ODC) doesn’t seem to cut it. And while free DLC and hidden (not locked) characters from Capcom would be nice once in a while, don’t fool yourself into thinking they’re not a business.

New content carrier pigeons maybe? New content telegraphing? no. Got it, new content smoke signals, genius!

Oh, if you have any thoughts leave a comment below.