GAME THEORY: Street Fighter X Tekken

Nathan Mendelowitz

The allure of “Street Fighter X Tekken” is that it pits fighters from the “Street Fighter” franchise against fighters from the “Tekken” franchise, both of which have been on opposite ends of the fighting game spectrum.

But is mixing two games with different fighting engines a great idea? Yes, for the most part.

There is no question that “Street Fighter X Tekken” is the best looking fighting game ever. Crisp visuals with vibrant colors are mesmerizing to look at and have no slow down when moving between screens.

The menu screens have plenty of color as well and are easy to navigate when going from a trial section to arcade mode or multiplayer.

Battle stages are also full of color and have plenty of fascinating things going on in the background. One stage is played in a zoo with dinosaurs running around scaring bystanders. It has nothing to do with fighting but it still adds an interesting element for spectators.

Special moves and flashy combos look great when accompanied by plenty of explosions for every move that connects and facial expressions or reactions to getting punched and kicked are entertaining to watch as well.

The story isn’t worth mentioning because there isn’t really a plot.

The “story” to connect Street Fighter and Tekken characters is that some kind of box full of evil is around and it needs to be stopped. It makes no sense but fighting games do not need a story to be cohesive. It’s really all about the fighting not the plot itself.

The gameplay is where the game truly makes a stand as best fighting game of the year.

“Street Fighter” is known for short flashy combos while “Tekken” is known for extended combos by stringing two or three combos together. This game follows a Street Fighter format but this shouldn’t discourage Tekken players.

The game mechanics follow a six button format where there is a low, medium and high punch and kick. Low being the less damaging and high being the most damaging.

“Tekken” characters usually don’t have special moves, which are moves that require certain button inputs, but for this game some moves were turned into special moves to follow the “Street Fighter” format.

There are also plenty of opportunities where players can extend combos like in “Tekken” and it seems this was added to aid “Tekken” players in the transition.

This feature is hard to get too use to since this isn’t how “Tekken” characters usually behave, but after a few practice rounds, it gets easier.

Thankfully, “Street Fighter X Tekken” has a better system for new players than earlier games.

New players can test out each character in the trials mode. It consists of 20 trials to teach players the moves and special moves for each character and easy and intermediate combos. Earlier games had a similar feature but they weren’t as intuitive and were also short lived.

Multiplayer is the big draw for this game, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Since each team has two characters, two people can play on a team. This is where the game begins to shine.

Instead of a one on one battle, it’s now two on two which adds to the difficulty. Players have to work together and strategy is important.

Fighting games have always been known for the a one on one dog fight style, so the addition of having two players now is fresh and fun.

There are two types of matches to play online: ranked matches and player matches.

“Ranked” is for players to test out their hard earned practice for highly competitive play with other great players.

Player matches are for people to make rooms for two to eight players to join in on some non-competitive fights. Player matches are more for practice or to have some fun with a bunch of friends.

There are a few problems that do diminish the fun for Xbox 360 players. Online play is full of lag and has sound issues that make it hard to have a good match. Most of this issue has been solved but it still lingers.

“Street Fighter X Tekken” definitely lives up to the billing it received during development. Fans now have a game that is not only the best fighting game, but also the best collaboration of two franchises.   

Nathan Mendelowitz can be reached at [email protected]