Street Fighter X Tekken joins BlazBlue Continuum Shift and Mortal Kombat as the fighting games of note on the Sony PlayStation Vita . Capcom’s tag-based 2D fighter, which pits many of the company’s most popular fighting game characters in a knock-down, drag-out brawl with Namco Bandai’s Tekken pugilists, is an incredible portable fighting game package. Capcom packs in online multiplayer, cross-platform play with PS3 owners, augmented reality, extra characters not found in the console version, a controversial Gem System, and much, much more. The result is an engaging, deep fighting game that’s only hampered by a few game-design issues.
Boasting 55 playable characters, Street Fighter X Tekken sports one of the most stacked rosters in fighting game history. It features the 43 fighters found in the PS3 version plus 12 new playable characters: Blanka, Cody, Dudley, Elena, Guy, Sakura, Alisa Bosconovitch, Bryan Fury, Christie Monteiro, Jack-X, Lars Alexandersson, and Lei Wulong. There are many characters and styles to master, which gives the game longevity. If you can’t find a pair of fighters that appeal to you, you shouldn’t play fighting games.
Once you select a duo, you duke it out vs. the computer in single-player mode, or against others. Multiplayer is the path to walk if you want a true challenge, as seasoned fight fans will blow through the single-player modes with ease. Fortunately, Street Fighter X Fighter includes several multi-player modes including local ad-hoc and online cross-play brawls with both PS Vita and PS3 owners. The latter is an excellent addition as it expands the pool of potential players. Unfortunately, lag crept into the online experience on a regular basis when I tested the game using home and office connections. Ad-hoc mode was an overall far less laggy experience.
Mechanics and Bonus Features
Street Fighter X Tekken does an excellent job of pulling Namco Bandai’s characters into Capcom’s universe. Tekken characters keep many of their signature moves, so fans of the popular 3D fighting series should at feel at home after learning the Capcom timing. The combat is satisfying; blows are solid and impactful, even more so than the far more cartoony Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Hardcore fight fans will welcome the six button control scheme that gives players more attack options that MVC3′s watered down, noob-friendly four-button set up (granted, the PS Vita’s button arrangement isn’t best for six-button fighters). I loved the fact that you can charge Super Arts moves if you don’t have enough meter—shades of SNK Playmore’s Art of Fighting.
That said Street Fighter X Tekken features rather annoying that attempt to rope-in casuals. “Battle Tap,” for example, is a PS Vita-exclusive feature that lets users unleash special moves by touch a portion of the screen. It breaks the flow of the match, however, as it “Casual Style” removes a major part of the fighting game experience by not requiring players to have much input knowledge—they can, in theory, crank out impressive moves with a minimum of stick and button combinations. There’s also a Quick Combo mode that lets you perform editable combos. Pandora Mode lets you sacrifice a tag partner for an eight-second damage boost—that’s not nearly enough time to even the odds vs. a good player. The Gem System, which harkens back to the Marvel Super Heroes fighting game, adds jewels activate when specific conditions are met in order to boost offensive, defensive, and regenative abilities. The fighting game fan within me hates these additions—it’s an insult to the intricately designed fighting engine—but I can understand Capcom’s desire to expand the base.
Capcom tosses a number of sexy additions into the package such as 38 free alternate costumes, Near-compatibility, and KO Monument, which is where you view trophies of defeated foes. The game uses the PS Vita’s front- and rear-facing cameras and augmented reality tech to drop fighters into the “real world,” but it comes as a very tacked-on feature that serves no true purpose (it’s also tricky to position the character).
Not Quite Black Belt-Worthy
Street Fighter X Tekken is a very solid game that unfortunately stumbles a bit due to online issues and some gimmicky—and relatively useless—PS Vita features. Still, Capcom’s portable fighter is a fine addition to any fight fan’s PS Vita library.
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|ESRB Rating||T for Teen|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc