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...

Page Break

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

Street Fighter X Tekken — The Argument For:

by Chris Jager.

In 1996, DC and Marvel teamed up to bring us the ultimate face-off in comic book history — the imaginatively titled DC vs. Marvel Comics. This limited-edition series took the heavy-hitters from each universe and pitted them against each other in a series of one-on-one brawls. The results were positively nerdgasmic.

DC vs. Marvel Comics remains a defining moment in the illustrated medium — to this day it hasn’t been topped. It also settled a brace of schoolyard debates that had been simmering for up to half a century (e.g. who would win in a fight between Captain America and Batman?*)

Well, guess what boys 'n' girls? Next year, gamers are going to get a taste of the same magic.

Street Fighter X Tekken is the crossover event that fans have been waiting for. After years of wistful “what ifs?”, we are finally going to see our favourite titans clash in the ring. Cammy vs. Nina! Ryu vs. Jin! Blanka vs. Kuma! King vs. Zangief! Come 2011, gamers will be treated to some of the greatest dustups the fighting genre has ever known.

This is pure fanboy nirvana, plain and simple. Just listen to the wails of euphoric ecstasy that greeted the game’s announcement at Comic-Con 2010 — you’d think the world’s biggest rock star had just walked into the room. If Ali and Foreman’s historic Rumble in the Jungle could be distilled into a video game, it would look a lot like Street Fighter X Tekken.

Streetfighter X Tekken

To the cynics, naysayers and killjoys, I have only this to say — shut up and embrace your inner geek! For once in your life, try not to rag on a project before it's even been released. It just makes you look like a parody of the Comic Book Guy (and he was a parody to begin with).

If you agree with my black-hearted colleague Spandas, you are hateful scum; plain and simple. I will now address each of your mealy-mouthed objections in turn.

1. The control schemes are too different! They’re going to clash!

Capcom and Namco are no strangers to the fighting genre — with the possible exception of SNK, they are the best in the business. To put it bluntly, they know how to make a fighting game better than you do. Is it really unconceivable that they can strike a successful balance between both playing styles? Besides, both companies are developing separate games that will pander to their core audience — so nobody is getting left out of the loop.

Sure, the Tekken characters might control differently in Capcom’s game, but all of their signature moves will remain intact — from Kuma’s spine-crunching bear-hug to Kazuya’s devastating double-face kick. They might not control exactly the same, but they should feel right, which is all that matters.

Likewise, the Namco version will probably include new and unfamiliar moves for each Street Fighter character — but surely this is a good thing? Personally, I'm excited to see what fresh attacks and combos they come up with. Put it this way: no matter which series you're a fan of, you'll soon have a whole new roster of characters to try out, and every one of them will be iconic.

Namco and Capcom have hardly ever put a foot wrong when it comes to fighters, so have a little faith, eh?

Streetfighter X Tekken

2. The storyline won’t make sense! It’s going to ruin continuity!

Okay, so the plot will probably be a convoluted mess — but who the hell plays fighting games for the story? Unless you’re an avid consumer of fan-fiction, does it really matter if the game flies in the face of established canon? (Incidentally, DC vs. Marvel Comics didn’t make a lick of sense either, but that didn’t stop the series from being awesome.)

3. I’m a cynic at heart — I refuse to buy into the hype!

I refer you again to the Street Fighter X Tekken announcement at Comic-Con 2010. Y’see, sometimes, hype is a good thing. The feeling of excitement and anticipation, the shared joy and optimism amongst fans, the frenzied devouring of fresh news and announcements — it’s like being a kid on Christmas morning all over again. If you want to deny yourself those feelings and prefer grumpy, world-weary cynicism, then I kind of feel sorry for you. Do yourself a favour and geek out for a change.

Streetfighter X Tekken

4. It’s a cynical cash-in designed to take our money!

Well, duh. Every commercially produced video game exists for one purpose — to make large sums of cash for greedy corporations. Of course Street Fighter X Tekken is a cynical cash-in — but that doesn’t mean it won’t be brilliant. Capcom and Namco both have a reputation for treating their fans with respect. Do you really think they’d take a huge, steaming dump on their cash cow just to make a quick buck? The long-term damage simply wouldn’t be worth it. Mark our words — Street Fighter X Tekken will be just as polished and meticulously balanced as its award-winning stable mates.

5. Street Fighter > Tekken

Oh shut up and die, you pathetic fan boy loser.

In conclusion, there’s no reason to doubt that Street Fighter X Tekken will enjoy every kind of success. It is being developed by first-party experts who respect and understand their fans. Frankly, if you’re not excited by the prospect of these two incredible franchises teaming up, you have no soul. Repent and join the party, before it's too late.

* It was Batman, natch.

Streetfighter X Tekken

Well, there you have it. Two very different viewpoints from a pair of die-hard Tekken/Street Fighter fans. Let us know who you agree with most below.

Related articles: In Pictures: Most wanted Street Fighter X Tekken matchups

Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu