- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: Fighting
- Pros: Deep, fun, completely fresh fighting gameplay; nice presentation; nice roster; co-op is awesome
- Cons: No local co-op vs. online; online sound glitch; gems
Features and Modes
Street Fighter X Tekken offers up a nice selection of modes. Arcade mode tells a story of an asteroid containing Pandora's Box hitting Earth and all of the Tekken and Street Fighter characters fighting each other to be the first to open it and be granted a wish. Challenge mode contains a robust training mode along with 20 unique trials for each character as well as a mission mode where you fight the CPU with different conditions and requirements. There is also a customization mode where you can change the colors of the characters - hair, skin, clothing, etc. - any way you want.
Multiplayer is also included, of course, and is where most of your time with SFxT will likely be spent. Local play allows up to 4 players to play - the matches are 2v2 tag as well as a "Scramble" mode where everyone fights at the same time - and is an absolute blast. Scramble mode gives each team one health bar, and then it is sort of a crazy frantic sea of flying fists and combo counts in the 30's+ (since both you and your partner can hit either opponent and your combo count combines) and it is just neat as heck.
Online multiplayer, unfortunately, is a bit of a misstep in SFxT. We found online play to be fairly smooth even with four people (though online performance is purely subjective), but because of quirks in the netcode only about half of the sound effects actually play during online matches. The sound cutting in and out is very distracting and can actually affect your play style if you focus on the audio cues of the hits to perform your combos (not the best way to play, but some people do it).
Another major problem is that you can't play with a team of two people on one Xbox 360 online. The 2v2 team play is one of the absolute coolest parts of SFxT (working with your partner to time your combos and tags and special moves is seriously awesome), and not being able to do it online with a local partner is very disappointing. Especially so when the PS3 version does allow this. Capcom's didn't include it in the 360 version because it claims (via statement to Eurogamer) that it isn't possible to play online with guest accounts, or something, yet Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat, and a bunch of others let you do exactly that. With that said, you CAN play the 2v2 tag match online if all of the players are on separate Xbox 360 (basically normal online play, then) so the feature isn't missing entirely, but not being able to play local co-op against online opponents is a pretty big oversight.
While SFxT is definitely deep and complex, it also has quite a few options to make it easier for novice players to have a good time. All of the characters have identical simple combo strings that make it easy to jump in and do some damage, though more advanced moves will be unique. You can also use options to make the move inputs much simpler, so you can string long combos and moves together with just a few button presses rather than long input strings. These shortcuts aren't really necessary if you have much fighting game experience, but are definitely nice for newcomers to the genre or players that just want to do the flashy stuff without spending weeks learning it all.
Another innovative aspect of SFxT is in the customizable gems that you can assign to characters. On one hand, the gems are sort of like the grooves in Capcom vs. SNK 2, but on the other hand they are more customizable and unique. The gems give you different bonuses like the ability to do more damage, move faster, or take less damage. You have to perform certain actions to earn these gems, though, like getting counter attacks or hitting a certain number of hits, and some also have downsides like making you slower while increasing your attack power, so they aren't just free to use whenever you want. Each character can have three gems, and finding the gems that fit your play style and what you want to accomplish in a match is kind of fun and interesting. What we aren't fans of, however, is that preorder exclusive gems or the possibility of premium DLC gems can give players a big advantage over players online that only have the standard gems that come with the game. The extra gems that come with the Special Edition of SFxT are already proof of this imbalance. As interesting as the concept is as far as customization goes, we'd rather there weren't any gems at all if the balance between the haves and have-nots isn't ironed out.
Graphics & Sound
The sound is also very solid with good voice work in both English and Japanese, nice sound effects, and catchy music. Of course, all of this praise of the sound is only for offline play. As we mentioned above, the sound is glitchy online.