Street Fighter X Tekken: The cases for and against

We debate the pros and cons of Capcom's team-up with Namco Bandai

Streetfighter X Tekken
Your fearless reporters; Spandas Lui and Chris Jager

The much-touted Tekken vs. Street Fighter crossover has divided opinion in the gaming community. Some can't wait to get their hands on the game, while others have derided it as a poorly conceived cash-in. Just take a look at any forum thread devoted to the topic and you'll find the same argument raging back and forth. It's like the Hatfield-McCoy feud all over again (just with less gunplay and more Hadoken references).

This difference of opinion has even spilled into the GamePro office. My colleague Spandas Lui despises the idea of Street Fighter X Tekken, while I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Rather than settle our differences in a steel cage match, we thought we'd present our case to you, our readers. Let us know in the comments section who you agree with.

May the best man (or woman) win. [Fight! — Ed.]

Street Fighter X Tekken — The Argument Against:

by Spandas Lui.

While half the world collectively swooned over the Tekken vs. Street Fighter crossover announcement, I felt like the biggest party pooper in the room.

Not only was I not thrilled by the prospect of a Jin and Ryu face-off, I was actually saddened by the news, as though I had just heard vanilla ice-cream was made from granulated babies.

Mind you, it could have just been a bruised ego after recently dismissing rumours of said crossover and filing it in my 'never going to happen' cabinet. But I have legitimate (well, legitimate to me) reasons for my disappointment.

I’m not going to lie here: Both Street Fighter and Tekken are awesome in their own right. So what the hell am I complaining about?

I’d like to lead in by analysing the similarities between the Street Fighter series and the Tekken series. Both have manga influences, outrageous characters and more than a splash of supernatural themes. But putting the superficial similarities aside, what we are left with are two fundamentally different games.

Streetfighter X Tekken

Cue stock fanboy response: "Shut up, you stupid moron. Why can't you just appreciate that something über awesome is happening instead of being a cynical crone? These guys are best of the best! Who are you to say they will fail? And you’re ugly."

Sit down fanboy. If I was to simply lose myself in the pandemonium surrounding the SF X TK concept and ignore the facts then I’d be a pretty lame journalist.

Fact is, Street Fighter is, by far, a much more simplistic game compared with Tekken. That doesn’t mean it is inferior to its Namco counterpart, but they certainly play very differently.

In Street Fighter, each fighter has a handful of moves that can be combined into some crazy killer combos. And, when your combo gauge is full, you can execute a super move to cripple and possibly finish off your opponent in spectacular fashion.

Cue fireworks and explosion effects.

Alternatively you can throw out repeated projectiles depending on what character you use. Haddokken spam never disappoints.

Compare that to Tekken. It has characters with command lists that read like an Ikea furniture instruction manual. Not to mention their moves are, to some extent, more believable. It favours juggling combos and techno music; the latter is not really important but widens the gulf between the two franchises.

Regardless of the faux-3D effects splashed onto Street Fighter IV, true to its lineage, it still plays like a 2D fighting game. Perspectives do not matter since you can only interact (meaning, beat the crap out of) your opponent's front or back.

With Tekken, positioning can mean everything. A lot of the Iron Fist Tournament’s competitors require them to face the side of their opponents to execute moves. Toss that out and you’d have removed half the viable attacks of Lei Wu Long.

I can’t begin to fathom what Namco’s Tekken vs. Street Fighter will play like. I think most of us can agree the last time Street Fighter went 3D, it didn’t set the world on fire. (Note: To avoid any confusion, I consider EX3 to be more Tekken-esque 3D especially based on how the characters interact with the environment.)

That and the developer’s attempt to balance out projectile-happy Street Fighter characters with Tekken’s projectile-lacking arsenal might result in the meagre Haddokken effort we saw in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Street Fighter: The Movie.

Streetfighter X Tekken

My point is, be it the Capcom version or the Namco version, a Tekken vs. Street Fighter crossover will inherently shed something endearing from one of the series. What we will get is either a watered-down version of Tekken characters, or Street Fighter characters with over-complicated and superfluous new attacks. Something’s got to give and but I don’t want to compromise the quality of either franchise — the games will be soulless.

What makes both series so fantastic are completely different. It’s like Batman and Spiderman. Both great superheros, but that’s where the similarities end.

What I’m really disappointed with is this is a blatant money grab. A Street Fighter X Tekken crossover will no doubt create more hype than a Brangelina baby, and of course when the two games come out there will be a stampede of rabid gamers rushing to stores.

Beyond trying to generate sales post-GFC, I don’t see why the two competing developers are all of a sudden arm-in-arm and doing something they have resisted for so long.

What's that I hear? I think that's the sound of Namco and Capcom laughing all the way to the bank...

Next page: the argument for...

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Spandas Lui and Chris Jager

GamePro Australia
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