Street Fighter X Tekken Review
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On 11/09/2012 at 12:00 PM by Nick DiMola
Fighting on the go is fun… as long as you don’t plan on taking it online.
For all casual fans of the fighting game genre, who don’t care much for online play.
As usual, resident PixlBit fighting game expert, Jon “JD” Lewis, has done an excellent job reviewing Street Fighter X Tekken when it released some months ago on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. After a short delay, the game has finally made its way to the PlayStation Vita, where I finally had an opportunity to check it out. Sadly, much of what JD complained about back then still persists today, especially the oft-laggy online mode and the slightly misguided gem system.
Unlike JD, I’m no expert on the intricacies of fighting games, but the core construction of Street Fighter X Tekken is solid. As a matter of fact, I’ve found it particularly impressive how they’ve managed to not only simplify some of the move sets from Street Fighter IV and speed up the gameplay, but also incorporate entirely new ones into the same engine for the Tekken characters.
While Street Fighter characters are a much more comfortable fit for me due to my past experiences with the series, venturing into the Tekken roster proved redeeming and enjoyable. Though these characters have existed in another series for years, they feel like completely fresh and new fighters in the Street Fighter universe. As such, getting access to an entirely new roster of “Street Fighter” characters made me fairly giddy.
Despite Tekken being mostly foreign to me, some characters like Yoshimitsu and Heihachi have sprung up elsewhere in the past (SoulCalibur), so I was delighted to see that their unique moves were lovingly carried over to Street Fighter X Tekken. While I can’t vouch for the other characters, I must assume they too have made a faithful transition.
The Vita version in particular has benefitted from its delayed release as it has allowed Capcom to include all of the additional characters in the game, providing for a comprehensive roster. Also unique to the Vita game are the touch-based inputs that have become standard in handheld fighting games. However, their implementation isn’t quite like other games and the use of the back touch pad is slightly annoying, as you often will inadvertently bring numbers up on the screen mid-fight indicating what touch input you’re activating.
After months on the market, the tournament fighting community has largely sounded off against the game, due in large part to the gem system. JD explained these gems in complete detail, but the most egregious part of their design for me, a more casual fan, is the effort required to set them up at match start. I’m fairly indifferent to the potentially large edge they can provide amateur players, but it’s rather annoying to have to set up your gems before hopping into every fight.
Though frustrating, this pales in comparison to the game’s biggest problem: the online mode. After a number of matches, I’ve still yet to find one that isn’t horribly laggy. I can’t say if this is due to both Vita players connecting via wireless, or if it’s a poor implementation of the networking code behind the mode, but it has made it easy for me to avoid going online all together.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not a particularly competitive fighter and I’m rarely good enough to compete with the wide variety of hardcore fighters on the internet, but sometimes it’s fun to hop online and try and compete despite my lack true skill at the game. Given its current state, I doubt Street Fighter X Tekken will be getting much, if any, online play time from me ever again.
Outside of the online issue, I’ve found Street Fighter X Tekken to be a very enjoyable game. The fast-paced fights, the improved roster, and the very helpful and informative training mode helped quickly get me up to speed on the specifics of the engine. If you don’t care much for online play and want a solid fighter with a dream roster, Street Fighter X Tekken is a great choice.