Street Fighter x Tekken Review

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Title: Street Fighter x Tekken
Developer: Capcom, Namco Bandai Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 2.1 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail
PSTV Support: No

If there is one genre of games that the PlayStation Vita has plenty of, it is the genre of fighting games.  This thought isn’t even counting the many games of many genres in its backwards-compatibility list.  If you look at native PS Vita games, you will find a lot of fighters.  Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.  BlazBlue: Continuum Shift EXTEND and Chrono Phantasma.  PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.  Mortal Kombat.  Injustice.  For fighting fans, the PS Vita is a great system to have.

Fighting games have also presented a way to bring visually beautiful games to the PS Vita.  While some fighting games on the Vita, like Injustice and Mortal Kombat, didn’t look that great, visually, presenting a visual presentation that even the PSP might have been able to handle, some of them really raised the bar.  When Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 launched on the Vita, for example, it almost looked exactly like the PS3 version.  It was a visual masterpiece.

There are other games that were like that as well, which is what we’re going to get into today.  Back in 2012, Capcom got together and wanted to mash together two of the most popular fighting franchises on the market into its own game.  The result was a game that not only released on both the PS3 and the PS Vita, but also had exclusive features.  Here is our official review of the cross-over fighter, Street Fighter x Tekken.

Story

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The story of Street Fighter x Tekken revolves around a meteorite that falls towards the earth in Antarctica.  Upon crash-landing, it leaves behind a small, mechanical box that glows and emits energy fields, affecting anything and anyone in the surrounding area.  After some observation, the object is called Pandora.

The excess energy that Pandora is emitting has not only caught the eye of scientists from around the world, but the world’s greatest fighters, whom react to Pandora’s appearance with a race against time, and each other, to get to Pandora and claim it for themselves.

The story of this game is very light.  If you’re expecting lengthy stories and scenes, you’ve come to the wrong place.  While some characters will have special rival battles, there will mostly only have a scene at the end about the story of “What If” scenarios about if that character had gotten to the box first.  It’s not a bad story, but it’s also not a great one, either.  It also doesn’t do a very good job at giving backgrounds for the characters, assuming you already know them.

Gameplay

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Much like both franchises whom it has characters for, Street Fighter x Tekken is a fighting game where you fight on a 2D plane as you progress your way towards Pandora.  Since 2D fighting games can be much more technical than 3D fighting games, the game invites you to Tutorial Mode from the very beginning, introducing to you all of the mechanics of the game.

Once you get the basics down, there are several game modes for you to try.  There are five main categories of game modes for the game: Arcade Mode, Versus Mode, Network Mode, Training Mode, and Challenge Mode.  Training Mode is the most basic mode, as it allows you to pick whatever characters you want to play as and play against in a stage of your own choosing for a Dummy Fight to practice.  Versus Mode is also like this, but the AI fights you instead of being a Dummy Opponent.  These are also the only categories that only have one game mode in it.

Arcade Mode allows you to play through the story with the character team of your choosing, whether you want to pair Chun-Li and Nina together or Ryu and Jin.  Also in the Arcade Section is Burst Kumite Mode, which allows you to fight against an endless series of CPU opponents.  This is unique as it will combine normal CPU fights as well as learned fights from your Multiplayer Matches.  There is also Challenge Mode that allows you to play the Tutorials as well as Trials and Missions for each character.

The biggest deal here is Network Mode.  This allows you to fight other players, be it on a local Ad Hoc Connection or over the PlayStation Network on Wi-Fi.  While there are various ways of fighting in these
modes, like 2 player vs 2 player or 1 on 1, the largest deal here is that it supports Cross-Play.  This means that when you go into a Wi-Fi battle, you will be fighting against both other PS Vita users, but also PS3 users.

There are other options as well that don’t involve fighting, allowing you to customize your Gem Sets, Battle Profile, project characters into your own home with Augmented Reality Technology, and going onto the PlayStation Network to buy and download Downloadable Content, from Combo sets to costumes.

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Things get interesting once you get into fights and start to fight opponents.  Every battle, other than Final Boss fights in Arcade Mode, will consist of Team Battles, pitting a 2-character team against another 2-character team.  You can switch between each character as you fight, much like you can in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.  Unlike that game, though, when a character’s HP drops to 0, the match is over, regardless of how much their partner has.

Actually fighting will depend on which of the 55 characters (including the PlayStation-exclusive characters like Cole, Toro, and Mega Man) you are playing as.  If you’re using a Street Fighter character, you can perform combos with the six-button system that Street Fighter is known for, and if you’re using a Tekken character, you can utilize a four-button combo system like that series is known for, allowing both Tekken and Street Fighter fans to have a friendly combat system.

The goal is to be able to build up energy by attacking and by being attacked, so you can unleash powerful, special attacks, as well as Pandora Mode, a heightened state where your abilities are increased.  Other things that are unique to this game are features that utilize the team element, like pulling your team-mate to the fight as an AI to help you fight a weakened enemy.

Gems are another thing to consider.  Your characters can be equipped with Gems to help the battle out.  Gems are activated in battle when certain conditions are met, and can offer you boosted stats and simplifying controls, among other bonuses.  It’s important to watch your setup before going into various battles.

While the game doesn’t have an extensive story mode, it’s still got a lot of content in it.  Each character’s Arcade Mode will likely take you at least 30-40 minutes to complete, allowing a lot of time, if you wish to see every character’s ending and Rival Battles.  Tie this with the Cross-Play Multiplayer, and any fighting game fan will be kept very busy with this game.

Controls

The controls for the game can get pretty extensive, as could the controls for any 2D fighter.  First of all, the touch screen is used for the game.  However, outside of specific menus, these controls are not required.  Saying that, you don’t need to worry about forced touch controls in battle, though there are sections of the screen you can set certain commands to.

You will be moving your character with either the D-Pad or the Left Analog Stick.  This is for walking, dashing, and jumping.  Fighting will be done with various kicks and punches, each set to the X, Square, Triangle, Circle, L, and R buttons.  These can also be combined, allowing for X and Square to be pressed together to grab your opponent, and Circle and Triangle being pressed together to switch out between you and your opponent.

With all of the combos and button mixes that you have to do for each character, the controls can seem pretty intimidating at first.  But, given a proper difficulty is set, it can be adjusted to and learned, though learning combos for more than a single character can be equally intimidating.

Presentation

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The presentation is one part of the review I am pretty excited about getting to.  This is because of the visual presentation of the game.  While some recent fighting games, like Injustice don’t look as visually impressive as other PS Vita games, Street Fighter x Tekken does.  If you take a look at the in-game visuals, it would be pretty hard to find jagged edges anywhere.  The character models look near-perfect and the environments look flawless.  This is a case where Capcom really came through and made a game that looks visually impressive on the PS Vita.

Aside from this, the game also plays decently well.  While there are some lengthy 8-10-second load times between each fight, and the fact that some Menus are touch-screen-only can get very annoying at times, the gameplay is smooth and doesn’t lag at all.  I have never experienced slowdown, even when playing against other players online.

Overall

Street Fighter x Tekken has everything a Street Fighter or Tekken fan needs in a fighting game.  While the story is nothing special, the fact that the game is packed with content, can play online with PS3 and PS Vita players, and is a visual spectacle makes it a must-own for any fighting fan.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Street Fighter x Tekken an 8.5/10

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