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Street Fighter X Tekken Preview

The Number 1 Contender for Fighting Game Champion.

This generation has been extremely kind to the fighting game enthusiast. Not only have we seen the rebirth of franchises such as Street Fighter, SoulCalibur and King of Fighters, but we have seen things happen that were previously unlikely for the genre. Nobody thought we would see Marvel vs. Capcom 3 after 10 years, yet last year we got not one, but two different versions of the long-awaited sequel. 

Because of these opportunities, we have seen even newer franchise collaborations, this time in the form of Street Fighter X Tekken. This long awaited mash-up of the Street Fighter and Tekken series is on its way to being one of the best fighters this generation. 

On the surface, Street Fighter X Tekken looks a lot like Street Fighter 4, and for good reason; SFxT is the Capcom produced version of this match up, while Namco will be producing their own version of this crossover called Tekken X Street Fighter. Capcom has developed a game that is familiar, yet fundamentally different in many ways. 

Street Fighter X Tekken is a 2v2 fighter at its core. Only one character can fight at a time during battle, but there is a tag out mechanic which allows the player to switch out if your point character is in a pinch. This tag can also be used during combos, with the new cross rush mechanic. To perform a cross rush, players initiate a simple chain combo with light, medium and heavy attack; then hit heavy again to launch the opponent. Once the opponent has been launched, your partner runs in from behind to continue the combo. 

A four player mode has also been included, with each player taking control of a single character. This can be done traditionally, where one teammate has to wait until they are called out, but the new Scramble mode allows for (up to) four players to compete at once in a hectic melee.

One of the new, and more controversial systems implemented is the Gem System. Gems are items that come attached with special power-ups. These power-ups range from power, speed or defense boosts, to those that make certain inputs easier to pull off. Each gem has a prerequisite condition that has to be performed prior to its activation. For example, a defense gem that allows a temporary ten percent defense boost activates after blocking five attacks. There are hundreds of these gems, each with different activation requirements and effects. Some gems are available as pre-order DLC incentives, which has some players concerned as far as tournament viability. Despite this, all these will eventually be made available to the public.  

The second addition is Pandora mode. Similar to the X-Factor in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, this grants a power boost and infinite super meter by sacrificing your partner. Unfortunately, this mode only lasts about 5 seconds, and at the end of the time period, the user dies automatically. This is meant to be a mechanic that is only used in desperate situations. 

The game will also contain many of the bells and whistles we’d expect in a fighting game such as a replay mode, trial mode, and various online options. The roster is pretty huge as well; containing 38 characters so far, there are reportedly still more reveals to be made. The Sony versions of the game (PS3 and PS Vita) include bonus characters, including Pac-Man, Mega Man, Turo, Kuro and Cole McGrath from Infamous.

Fighting games are all about getting hands on with the mechanics and characters. While I've had the chance to play an early demo at last year's E3 expo, the game has changed quite a bit since then. From what Capcom has been releasing lately, the game looks to be as feature packed as ever, and will likely be one of the best fighting games this year. Street Fighter X Tekken comes out on March 6 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and on May 14 for PC so mark your calendars!


 

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