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Street Fighter X Tekken Review

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a time when there weren’t crossover fighting games. A time when lunch breaks were spent arguing the hypothetical scenarios like “who would win in a fight – Captain America or Guile?” With every match-up from “Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe” to “Sonic Vs Mario” covered, it’s baffling that it took this long to pit two of the Nineties’ biggest fighting franchises against each other, mano-a-mano. Now, Street Fighter X Tekken isn’t the first time that Ryu and Kazuya have thrown down, but oddly enough it is the first time they’ve done so in an actual fighting game.

Street Fighter X Tekken was developed by Capcom, which really shows through in the fight system. The controls and setup attempt to split the difference between classic Street Fighter combos and Tekken’s one-and-done Tag system. Although the nuts, bolts and move-sets should be relatively familiar to both Tekken and Street Fighter fans, the camera, style, pace and combo timing work together to make SFXT seem more like a Turbo Capcom fighter. Lucky for wayward Namco brawlers and newcomers alike, there is a fairly in-depth overall tutorial and individual tutorials for each character, so getting a strong handle of the new system is only an hour or so of extra effort.

The combat feels solid. The pace is a little faster than Street Fighter IV, but not as spastic as a Vs title. The game incorporates a juggling system similar to Tekken which may be a little tougher to execute than the heavily assisted air combos of Marvel vs Capcom 3, but when you pull off a steady aerial combo, it feels great. The Tag system allows your tag-team character to be controlled by a second player, allowing for 4 player matches and Cross Assault moves, where both players fight simultaneously for a short period of time. There is also a new “gem” system, which works as an active handicap for more strategic players. Gems can be set prior to a match, and are activated by performing certain types of combos. Once activated, the gems have effects like auto-blocking throws or increased damage from launcher attacks, but only for a brief period. It rarely steers a match into unfair territory, but if used wisely, it can turn the tides in your favor.

One of SFXT’s coolest new features can also be one of its most annoying. While playing arcade mode, online players looking for a match-up can interrupt your game and challenge you, as if you were playing in an actual arcade. This is a really great feature, and certainly beats sitting in a lobby waiting for a fight to start, but with the sheer number of players at launch, it translates to a challenge every time an offline fight begins. You choose your characters, you sit through a load screen, “HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER!” You fight that guy, you sit through the same load screen, “HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER!” Over and over, without end, amen. In order to get an offline arcade playthrough in you’ll have to turn it off. It isn’t the most compelling feature at launch, but in the future, when 90% of gamers will have shelved this game for whatever new hotness comes out next week, this will be a fantastic way for dedicated fans to interact without having to actively seek each other out.

Once an online bout has started, the fight is silky smooth. The frame rate rarely drops, and I never suffered from lag issues. The sound effects would occasionally drop out, which might effect some players’ timing, but I’d greatly prefer as split-second loss of sound to slow-down.

DLC naysayers may want to take note that Capcom has maintained their hard line on offering DLC.  Along with downloadable character color palettes and Cross Art Gems, there are 12 DLC characters that will be released on consoles to coincide with the Vita release. These characters will come already unlocked on that version, so Vita owners might want to reconsider a console purchase in favor of the heftier vita package. To further confuse purchasers, the XBOX 360 version is missing 5 fighters, exclusive to Sony systems, as well as having the 4 player online tag mode deactivated. Its a hard sell with so much missing, but if you’re planning on having your buddies over and throwing down on the couch, the system is enough fun that I can recommend it. Just, maybe not for full price.

Street Fighter X Tekken is a deep, solid brawler that I can imagine we’ll be seeing more of in the tournament circuit. In classic Capcom form, the combat is easy to pick up, but will take a lifetime to master. If you’re looking for a new system to level the field between you and your friend that keeps kicking your butt in UMvC3, this might be a good place to look. There is a lot of variety in the different fighting styles, and enough modes to keep fans occupied, at least until Tekken X Street Fighter drops sometime in the next decade.

About Sean Kirkland

A Tulane-educated Master of Architecture and Monster Hunter apologist, Sean "SeanNOLA" Kirkland might have relocated to trendy Angeleno suburbs, but his heart remains entrenched in the Crescent City.


  1. Wat wat? A Not Vita review?!?

  2. So let me guess…

    SeanNOLA is a 1Up/EGM fan, while Deagle prefers Eurogamer and Edge. Just going by the review style. Love you guys equally.

    • Wow, that’s amazingly accurate. I love me some Eurogamer! IMO their reviews make everyone else look like amateurs.

  3. Unlockables, single player modes?

    Where’s the other half of the review?

    • Thats a bit harsh, but I would like to know a few more details.



    • I try to avoid posting a feature list in place if a review. A list of modes, characters and unlockables is usually available on wikipedia weeks before a game is released.

      • So basically, “suck it, negative Nancy”.

        I’m with you, I want to know HOW it plays, not just a rehash of the instruction booklet.

        Games still come with those, right?

  4. The whole “here comes a new challenger” bit isn’t new. I’m sure Capcom did that to earlier fighters.

  5. Besides the Infamous guy, what characters are missing from the 360 version?

    1 character no big deal, but 4? That’s a huge difference.

  6. I’ll wait for the Super Edition that will have all the fighters and be $10 cheaper.

  7. Heihachi Mishima

    Can’t really wait for the Vita version. If I find this for $50 this weekend, tourney in my apartment.

  8. Golden Goldfarb

    Man, the 360 version is serious screwed. No 2 player matches on the same console, 4 fewer fighters.

    I’d advice people to go PS3 or not to play at all.

  9. How big are the online tournaments? Whats the matchmaking like?

  10. I happy that Capcom gave a tutorial for each character. I like fighting games even though I’m not that good at them.

    How’s the online community? Nice, mean, rage quitters?

    • It’s hard to gauge a community in it’s first week, but I was never rage quit on, so I guess so far so good. It also doesn’t give you time to tea bag your opponent at the end of a round like UMvC3, so there’s less opportunity to be a douche.

  11. Thanks, Sean. Good review. I’ll probably pick up the Vita one if it has x-platform play.

  12. They need to make Capcom vs. Namco vs. SNK. That shit would be epic. Imagine fights with one character from each dev.

  13. Houdini's Weenie

    Maybe it’s me, but it seems like without the projectiles, the Tekken characters are at a disadvantage in the far fights. How do they correct this?

    • Tekken characters tend to have multiple stances, which give them a pretty extensive move set. For example, Kuma can go into a hunting stance, and he gains a few punching moves, which have decent range and can be canceled into a combo. IMO, any move that can start a combo is more effective than a projectile any day of the week.

  14. Thanks SNOLA I was thinking about picking this up but with Crapcom DLC methods, I have to think twice about supporting them.

    • Publishers need to realize that DLC is supposed to expand on the final product, not break it apart or devalue it (either literally or in the eyes of the consumers), which is what “bad” DLC does. When you hear that modders are already using the Vita-exclusive characters locked away on the game disc, you can’t help but feel gypped. Game companies need to earn that $60 price tag before they dare to ask you to spend more money on said game.

      • I don’t really think there’s “good” or “bad” DLC. You buy a game at a certain price and can buy piece meal extras. If gamers are complaining there’s only 6 chicken nuggets with their combo meal, well there’s always more. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. That will send a message to the publishers.

        Blue, where did you hear about the Vita-exclusive characters that aren’t exactly Vita exclusive?

        • Here’s a food comparison that’s a little closer to the mark: You buy a dinner box at KFC, get it home and discover that there’s a container of potatoes at the bottom that wasn’t listed as being a part of the box. Because it’s sitting there in the dinner box you paid for, don’t you feel like you shouldn’t have to pay extra just to eat it? What Capcpom (spelling intentional) is doing is the equivalent of KFC wanting to charge you extra after you get home for that container of potatoes that they, themselves, put in the dinner box you paid for.

          Here’s a story Joystiq did about the Vita fighters/on-disc DLC:

          • You know I have to agree with you. Some of these DLC plans are getting increasingly out of line. I mean how many times do we get day one DLC announcements? There’s almost no incentive to back the box with extras anymore.

            Personally, I wait until the game drops enough so I can buy the game and DLC for $60. Now, with game having $100+ worth of content, that’s becoming impossible.

          • I think it’s funny how we always get the “feel sorry for the publishers. Don’t buy used” message, but we never get the feel bad for consumers who are gorged for the “buy our DLC” one.

            Instead, we get “well, pay with your pocketbook”. But with so much invested in each game (and a single underperforming game can close a studio) if we do that isn’t is just as bad as buying used?

          • I think this is why you (and to a lesser extent Sage) are my favorites on the show.

            I think Deagle and NOLA excuse the industry for some of their actions. But you give them hell about the DLC issue.

            And rightfully so. I think if we as gamers don’t speak out and are vocal they’re only going to continue to buttrape us more.

            “They” say that extra characters are optional. If that’s the case why are they on the disk. They deliberately held back on SFxT to make it a $60 game+at least $20 DLC. Sounds better than a $80, right?

          • The DLC fighters are on the disc so that you won’t have to download them every time you fight against someone online who paid for them. Can you imagine starting up a fight against someone who purchased Sakura and having to wait 15 minutes for the fight to start while you downloaded her model, skins, moveset and then patched her into the game? Can you imagine doing that 12 times when you run into the 12 different characters? Would you rather just cut your potential rival pool down to the haves and have-nots?

            I’m not defending the $60+ model – especially for fighting games. I think what I take issue with is people complaining that they are paying $60 for an “incomplete game” when the real problem is paying $60 on 50 characters of content when you might not want to experience all of it. I personally tend to fall into a small roster of characters that I enjoy using and then ignore the rest. I realize that they all have different ending cutscenes, but that’s not what I play fighting games for – I play for the combat.

            I personally would rather have a $5 fighting game with 2-6 fighters available and then have the other 50 fighters as DLC. That way, I pay for my favorites and not the other fluff that I don’t care about. Still, even with that model, I’d have to download (but not unlock) all 50 fighters in order to fight against them online. Do I ever want to play as Lars? No. Does that mean I don’t ever want to fight against a Lars fan? No. It would make sense not to have to PAY for the content I have no intent on viewing, but I’d still need to store the code locally for it to be worthwhile to anybody.

          • Sorry but 50 DLC characters sounds like the worst idea ever.

            First, fighting games are almost always unbalanced. Tell me if UMvC3 went the DLC route, if half the characters would ever be downloaded? Which brings me to a side point- why are there no demos for DLC characters?

            You know how FPS communities split when a new set of maps come out? You don’t think that would happen with 50 characters?

            Sorry, but with half of the same characters as SF4, SFxT selection of like 16 new fighters isn’t worth $60.

          • “I personally tend to fall into a small roster of characters that I enjoy using and then ignore the rest.”

            But other players, maybe ones who don’t write for a website where we get free games, have to pay $60 for a game look at it differently. When you have to pay real money you may want to learn how to play every character, not play around with 4 or 5.

          • I don’t see why a predominantly DLC-based fighter is such a difficult concept to grasp. It’s essentially a mobile game structure that’s already proven effective: You get to try the game for little or no money down, then if you want to expand your experience, you have that option. If you don’t, then you can still compete with other people who did spend the extra money – there’s no splitting the community because everyone is pooling from the same data. The only downside I could see is that people might tend to overuse the default characters, but that could be curtailed by letting players choose their initial team, kickball style, from a full roster and maybe offering weekly, random “character rentals” to let them try out new characters they don’t own.

            As for “free games” changing the way I play, that’s categorically untrue. I bought UMvC3 twice, with real Earth dollars – once for PS3 and once for Vita. I’ve played more-or-less every day since launch, and I still haven’t used over half of the roster – nor do I ever intend to. Sorry, but I have no interest in playing as Dormammu, Crimson Viper or Dante. I like playing against other people who use those characters, but if I go the rest of my life without seeing the 3 panel comic at the ending for Felicia, I can’t say I’ll have lost sleep over it. So if we truly are paying for games by content, it could be argued that I payed $40 and am only accessing $20 worth of the game. Does that upset me? Maybe a little. I would like the option to pay for the parts I actually use as opposed to paying for someone else’s affinity for She-Hulk, but in the end, I’m paying for Heroes and Heralds, a solid core system and a decent lobby system. I think that’s worth my money.

            And guess what? I play against Jill and Shuma Gorath online all the time, and I never spent a dime on them. Not one red cent.

            Since Blue likes to explain things in analogies, I’ll me make one too: Imagine if you paid $60 for Game of Thrones: Season 1 on BluRay. Imagine it came bundled with Everybody Loves Raymond: Season 2. You say “I’m not a fan of Everybody Loves Raymond. Can’t I just buy Game of Thrones for $30?” the clerk then says “No, you can’t. That’s not something we offer. Everybody Loves Raymond is already on the Game of Thrones BluRay, so you can’t sell just the part you don’t want, either.” Wouldn’t you rather just buy the show you want on iTunes?

          • I think your big mistake is assuming that mobile gaming and console operate in the same way.

            Mobile games have much smaller budgets. Console games require WAY more capital up front. The “risk” of selling a $5 game with additional characters (that you’re already spent money on, paying artists, programmers, testers, etc) could only be done with DLC. Problem is that route MS or Sony get 30% off the top. Good luck finding a publisher wiling to back that. (I mean you could Kickstart it, IF you were Schafer)

            Thats the other reason why characters are on disk instead of DLC. For Capcom, they can cut a good deal on a 200k file rather than a 400MB download. We still have to pay for bandwidth size.

          • Sean’s analogy is pretty f’ing funny. I can’t imagine much of a crossover between those two audiences, though.

          • Fantastic comments and discussion, everyone (and thank you for saying I’m your fave, nicklenutz! /*^_^*\)!

            Long post ahead!

            “I think it’s funny how we always get the “feel sorry for the publishers. Don’t buy used” message, but we never get the feel bad for consumers who are gorged for the “buy our DLC” one.”

            I love that “don’t buy used” message, too. Game companies need to realize that we, as consumers, don’t have any obligation to financially support them and nor should we. Our biggest priority needs to be on doing what is best for ourselves and our wallets. If that means buying used, so be it.

            “I don’t see why a predominantly DLC-based fighter is such a difficult concept to grasp. It’s essentially a mobile game structure that’s already proven effective”

            From a technical standpoint, a DLC-based fighter could theoretically work. The problem would be making it sustainable on a console. If I bought the Street Fighter: DLC Edition base kit for $10 and had to buy my five favorite fighters at $2 a piece, Capcom would only bring in $20. If costumes/colors and stages are extra, it might make it a $30-35 game, but that’s still well below the $60 MSRP publishers love so much. A game like that would need to have the dedicated, competitive fanbase of a normal Street Fighter game along with the DLC-purchasing regularity of Rock Band loyalists. That’s a pretty tall order.

            “Can you imagine starting up a fight against someone who purchased Sakura and having to wait 15 minutes for the fight to start while you downloaded her model, skins, moveset and then patched her into the game?”

            A mandatory update containing the assets of all of the new characters is the simple solution here. If you don’t update, you can’t play online. Every game that gets patched on the 360 will sign you out of Xbox Live if you choose not to update.

            Storage capacity for said update shouldn’t be a problem for anyone now that you can use almost any $10 USB drive with the 360.

          • Isn’t there a size limit on USB drives? Are they faster than the internal HD?

          • The maximum size allowed for a USB drive is 16GBs. Only two drives can be used at the same time. Taking into account the code and other data that gets installed onto each drive during formatting, you’re looking at about 30 or 31GBs of usable USB storage.

            Transfer rates vary from drive to drive. If I recall correctly, slower drives won’t allow XBLA games to be played off of the drive, but will still allow you to store things on them.

  15. That Cammy photo at the top was just for me, wasn’t it, Sean? /*^_^*\

  16. “as well as having the 4 player online tag mode deactivated”

    When is it going to be activated? Is this all on purpose or was it accidentally gimped?

  17. There a lot of graphical stuff going on in this fights.

  18. Looking at it right now at WalMart. Trying to resist. Maybe the electronics guy will never come over and save me some money.

  19. “The DLC fighters are on the disc so that you won’t have to download them every time you fight against someone online who paid for them. Can you imagine starting up a fight against someone who purchased Sakura and having to wait 15 minutes for the fight to start while you downloaded her model, skins, moveset and then patched her into the game?”

    What are you even talking about? The way DLC works (in case you’re a total noob retard) is that you download it ONCE and then it loads off the hard drive. Why the hell would you you have it load it every time you play? Imagine playing Halo and having to reload the maps every time… DUH!

    • But you’d still have to download it the first time you faced that opponent. And it would take up hard drive space. I would rather have code on the disc that I never use than space on my HDD taken up by that same data.

      • K-K-K-Kombo Breaker!

        Unless, of course SFxT installs data on your HD anyway (I don’t know if it does). Just saying.

  20. You want $5 fighting game with 2-6 fighters available with other fighters as DLC? Play Deadliest Warrior: The Game! haha

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