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Street Fighter X Tekken Review

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Street Fighter X Tekken starts out with some amazingly fun updates to the classic Capcom style, but it's a real shame that the online mode is so awkward.

Law can really lay down the... uh...

Street Fighter X Tekken is a good example of a game with a terrific and exciting core that manages to get brought down by just about everything that happens around it. The fighting system in SFXT makes interesting updates to Capcom's 2D fighting formula that make for a wilder game without going all Versus Series along the way. The characters from Namco's Tekken franchise fit into the action surprisingly well, with some updates to make them fit into Capcom's ways of doing things sitting alongside just enough of the old stuff to evoke the essence of Tekken. But it's only at its peak when you're sitting next to another player, locally engaging in SFXT's brand of tag battles. Online, I found it to be a bit of a mess, and the game's attempts at meaningful character customization fall victim to layers and layers of slow-moving menus and a bundle of additional content that only serves to further confuse the issue.

This game takes Street Fighter IV as its base and works forward from there, removing focus attacks, allowing way more in-air juggles, and adding an arsenal of quick, easy combo chains and a handful of tag moves to help you get one character exchanged for your other. It also brings in a forward roll while getting up that mimics some of Tekken's wake-up game. But, most importantly, it brings in a ton of Tekken characters. The developers haven't turned all of those Iron Fist fighters into carbon copies of the Street Fighters, though some concessions have been made to make them fit a little tighter into the Capcom format. Some moves that would have required a lot of button tapping before have been turned into more traditional Street Fighter specials. Hwoarang's flying air kicks (the "Hunting Hawk," if you will) have been converted to work via a simple hurricane kick-style motion. But some of the quick, button tapping combos of Tekken appear, as well. Kazuya's 1, 1, 2 punch combo appears in the game pretty much intact, for example. The attempts to include just enough Tekken stuff prevents the "new" characters from just feeling like a batch of characters that, for the most part, don't toss projectiles. But it also makes them slightly trickier to pick up and use. When you're going up against a seemingly endless parade of online fighters that pick two Street Fighter characters every single time (Ken/Ryu, unsurprisingly, seems to be kind of popular), getting a feel for the Tekken guys and attempting to apply the things you've picked up offline or in the training modes can be something of a chore.

Dan will take you through the training mode.

In addition to picking a team of characters, you can further customize things by equipping your fighters with gems. These gems come in the form of if-then statements, sort of like "if you land 5 normal attacks, then your damage output is increased by 10 percent for 20 seconds." Some of the more substantial bonuses come with a penalty, like a lowered movement speed or decreased defense. There are also gems in place for lesser players, essentially turning on an Easy Operation style mode that makes it easier to do some moves, but these gems typically come with a substantial penalty. The gems themselves are an interesting idea, but the way they're implemented makes them more annoying than anything else.

For starters, you won't have every single gem at your disposal. Even if you pay extra for the game's special edition, which comes with 45 additional gems, there are still plenty of additional slots for post-release gems, presumably as part of a paid download. On top of that, some of the gems that come with the more expensive version of the game are arguably better than the standard gems, which is sort of gross. It's not quite a full on "pay to win" problem, but it sure feels close. The gems themselves are also difficult to implement as they must be assigned on a per-character basis, and the default gem loadouts given by the game are bad, utilizing only two of the three potential slots. This means that, unless you're the sort of person that's only going to ever select one or two teams of characters, you sort of need to drag your way through the gem menus for every single character to build even a standard set of gems. You can create two sets for each character and choose between them when selecting your team, but the ability to create a few universal sets that can be applied to any character would have provided a good option for people who don't feel like tweaking every single fighter.

If I could embed a sound file right here of the Tekken 2 announcer saying "PAUL PHOENIX," I would.

The offline portion of Street Fighter X Tekken has the modes you'd expect to see from a modern Capcom fighting game, including a story mode that includes FMV endings for the "official" teams, training and trial modes, and a collection of local multiplayer modes that allow up to four players to play at the same time. Online is the part that's potentially more interesting, but it's pretty broken in its current implementation. The game seems to be attempting to implement a GGPO-like system where the action can roll back to the last synched position really quickly whenever latency gets in the way, ideally resulting in smooth-feeling gameplay that's better than the average net code. But SFXT has always felt a little off to me over the Internet, specifically when it comes to blocking. I feel like I'm constantly saying "I totally blocked that" as I eat up combo after combo.

But the real problem is that the audio is completely broken during online matches. Sound effects stutter and get cut-off as the game rolls back and synchs up again, so voices don't play properly, hits don't have any sound associated with them, and the whole thing generally sounds like crap. Between these two probably-related things, the online feels pretty much unplayable whether you're going one-on-one in a ranked game or putting six players together in an endless lobby. The four-player scramble mode, which puts all four fighters on-screen at once, is just fine, but that mode is so insanely chaotic anyway that it sort of masks the other issues.

It's a shame that the online is so off, because like I said before, the core of Street Fighter X Tekken is really cool. Even if you decide to ignore the Tekken characters, the fighters you know well from previous Capcom fighting games feel different because of the game's juggle system. And the Tekken fighters bring the whole thing up to a rather large roster of playable characters, giving you plenty--almost too much, actually--to learn. With cleaner online play it'd be easier to recommend, but if you don't mind an extra helping of Internet weirdness or have enough locals nearby to let you compete offline, it can be a hell of a good time.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
98 Comments
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Edited by Legendary

Bought on launch, was so hype and played a shit ton, stopped playing completely because of the janky shit. Will play more when it's patched and such. Real bummer about the gems and DLC characters on the disk though. Also, I don't really play with the sound on, I usually have my iPod on with music when I play fighting games. Kinda sucks they can't fix the online though.

Edited by Fobwashed

No more fighting games for me -_-;; I was super pumped for SFIV to the point I bought two sticks, one being a tournament edition. Really enjoyed the hell out of it, but then they started down the same path of iterate, re-release, iterate and I just dropped it. Mortal Kombat was amazing though. Not the game, just the story mode. I will play any fighting game that they release with a similar story mode but up until then, I'm not a fan. Recently played this game and Skull Girls and just realized, I've had enough of all fighting games. They're right up there with sports and driving simulation games for me at this point =P

Posted by dudewhat

6.0

Edited by Cyrisaurus

K.O.

Posted by LiquidPrince

Can't say I'm surprised. Jeff really hate them gem menus.

Posted by Bestostero

i wouldn't call it a story mode...its the typical arcade mode with a short cutscene at the end... and then a bunch of text... dlc on disc is a major turnoff, but i'll live with it...

i pretty much give it the same...maybe 3.5

Posted by bretthancock

Really enjoying this game and agree with this review entirely. It will feel like an entirely different game if they can fix the online portion. That aside, I love the systems and gameplay.

Posted by Ursus_Veritas

Totally agree with this. Even as an absolute novice who regularly gets pasted online, SFxT is an absolute blast to play and can be really fun, but its bogged down by some terrible interface stuff, like the Gem Menu - god knows why they couldn't include an option for you to make a Gem Loadout that you could apply to all characters or something like that - and the utterly bizarre Online issues with the sound, which made me ask  'how on earth did this game ship like this?' on more than one occasion.

Posted by bonbolapti

It's a work around, but thankfully it hasn't ruined the game for me.

Online is a shame though.

Posted by TinoXtreme

I'm just going to wait 6 months until they release Super Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade Simulation Edition.

Posted by csl316

Similar tone to the Tekken 6 review, which I could agree with. Good fighting, dumb crap around it.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Ouch. Admittedly, I haven't been playing online as my Xbox live gold has expired, but everything I've heard about it suggests that there is some pretty janky shit going on.

Posted by MikeFightNight

I was also real bummed over the online jank. I liked Capcom's old online frame work just fine. It wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better then this. Will wait for a patch, if I still have interest by then.

Edited by Sooty

@MikeFightNight said:

I was also real bummed over the online jank. I liked Capcom's old online frame work just fine. It wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better then this. Will wait for a patch, if I still have interest by then.

The online plays better in SF x Tekken than say, SFIV. I've had very little frame skipping, the lack of input delay is great.

Shame about the sound. That bug is so bad I actually got rid of the game. I literally cannot play the game with sound cutting in and out like that, it's incredibly confusing.

Edit: I don't understand why the online menus reset when you load the game back up, you always have to change your endless battle search/lobby preferences, that didn't happen in SFIV.

Posted by Marz

shame that the online is borked, seemed like something that would get me back into fighting games.

Posted by AlKusanagi

I'm glad my love of Street Fighter didn't override my hatred of Tekken in this case.

Posted by Lone_f

They just announced a patch for gem customization within the character select screen.

Posted by Milkman

Will fighting games ever get online right?

Edited by NeoUltima

The online ain't that bad imo. Just fight people with good connections and the audio is mostly present.

This is coming from someone who was absolutely pissed about the online at first (no audio, frame skipping/teleporting)...but it turned out my initial play session was an anomaly. It has been [mostly] smooth since.

Posted by Landon

That first pictures caption makes no sense. That's Ryu and Jin, Law isn't even on any of their teams.

Posted by Lashe

Just from an editing point of view, there ain't no Law in the Law-captioned screen. Great review otherwise. Totally conflicted on this one, the fighting looks really cool. I'd like to think Capcom would patch it into a better game but they haven't had the best track record when it comes to sorting granular stuff like menu navigation, etc.

Posted by Phatmac

CALLED IT!

Posted by MysteriousBob

Sorry, but I can't take a single fighting game review from Jeff seriously ever since he gave MKvsDC a five.

That game had shallow gameplay and unplayable online, so how is that the best of its genre?

Edited by Dan_CiTi

Yeah, as a fighting game, SFxT is definitely a good game for a fan of the genre, it is very fun. Feature-wise, it is pretty solid too. Though the online troubles and all the other garbage surrounding the game like gems keeps from being a stellar game overall. Luckily, they just announced a bunch of free patches & DLC for the game that seem to fix a lot of issues.

I am looking forward to Skullgirls though, that game seems to get soooo much right. The only thing to be uncertain about at this point is the DLC characters they're working on. Hopefully all the delicate time and care took for everything else on the project is put into the DLC characters, without compromises.

Posted by MrMazz

There is a damn good game underneath it but the UI is frustrating. Why do I have to go to a different menu to set gems why not just do it at character select?!? Online I think is getting to much hate if your connection is good and your opponents good stuff works pretty well. If your playing someone with a shit connection of course it sucks.

hopefully they can fix some of the problems with a patch I WANT to love this game.

Posted by ESREVER

@Milkman said:

Will fighting games ever get online right?

BlazBlue's online is just peachy, and imo, the best netcode out there.

Posted by NekuCTR

Binary Domain Quick Look, and a full review within a week of transferring offices.

Lesson learned: Jeff always delivers.

Ladies ;)

Posted by PixelPrinny

Great write-up and I feel much the same way about the game -- a great game at its heart, but brought down by everything surrounding it. I really hope all of the online issues are addressed sooner rather than later so that I can, yknow, actually play all of the people I was excited to play the game with in the first place.

For those who feel the online is an improvement, I have to wonder -- have they tried playing any friends who live a good distance from them or are they simply playing ranked matches with people that have strong connections? To give an example, a friend of mine who lives in Puerto Rico can play with me (I live in western Canada) in any other fighting game just fine, no lag, but when it comes to SFxTekken, it rolls back constantly and lags significantly. He can't even connect to most of our other friends when we try to get a 2v2 game or larger lobby going. It lets us choose characters and then simply crashes, even though he can play them in other fighters perfectly fine.

Posted by mnzy
@MysteriousBob said:

Sorry, but I can't take a single fighting game review from Jeff seriously ever since he gave MKvsDC a five.

That game had shallow gameplay and unplayable online, so how is that the best of its genre?

MK9s online is also way worse than SFxTs and that got five stars, too. 
 
I'm really enjoying the game so far. Playing coop is especially great. 
The sound online is aweful and makes the netcode seem worse than it actually is.
Posted by McGrittles

Shame multiplayer sucks, I'll just stick to MK

Posted by msavo

I dunno Jeff this got an 8.5 from your sister site, Gamespot.

Edited by beard_of_zeus

Sounds like the core gameplay is great, but all the trappings surrounding it, from online to UI to everything else, seems totally janky. Capcom has been making fighting games for such a long time, how do they that not have all that perfected yet? The only thing I can think of is that they just don't care enough to put the effort in up-front (or at all) since people will still buy their crap regardless, and they can patch it after the fact, or ignore the problem outright.

Online
Posted by Maajin

@msavo said:

I dunno Jeff this got an 8.5 from your sister site, Gamespot.

That's good, isn't it? Proves what they've been saying, they're not bound to GS review scores and so on.

Online
Posted by atomic_dumpling

@dudewhat said:

6.0

So, one can actually put the number 0, the number 6 and a full stop together in this sequence. I did not know that. Very useful information indeed!

Posted by Pudge

To be fair, Capcom did post that all the extra Gems are gonna be in a free update later, but that's probably only because they realized no one would ever pay for them.

Good review though, I'm just waiting for Super Street Fighter X Tekken before I get it. I don't care what they say, you KNOW they're gonna do it.

Edited by BombaLuigi

@mnzy said:

@MysteriousBob said:

Sorry, but I can't take a single fighting game review from Jeff seriously ever since he gave MKvsDC a five.

That game had shallow gameplay and unplayable online, so how is that the best of its genre?

MK9s online is also way worse than SFxTs and that got five stars, too.

mk9s online was not "worse", it was broken like, broken, it wasnt working, it took up to 10minutes to find matches which had like up to 3 (and more) seconds lag, even in private matches, which by a 90% chance desynced halfway through anyway... and the later added dlc characters introduced compatiblity issues...

sfxt's online on the other hand IS working, and the netcode is damn fucking fine... yes it has sound issues, but its nowhere near as broken as mk9s online, which, again, simply didnt work at all... but whatever, hi ed, 5/5 and goty contender, grab a beer and say funny stuff into our camera please...

€: "I feel like I'm constantly saying "I totally blocked that" as I eat up combo after combo." Overheads, the tekken guys have plenty of overhead stuff which doesnt look like it would acutally hit overhead, but it totally does...

Posted by ThePhantomnaut

With how wide the US is from each other, it's understandable about the issue of online. The last sentence definitely hits the nail pretty well.
 
This game is still good to play in terms of how mechanics and general fundamentals are implemented. I recommend people to check Shoryuken for local communities if people really want to play this game seriously. SFIV has reached the point where you gotta learn fast to compete with everyone else, same for Marvel 3 to a certain degree. SFXT is sort of a new game where everyone is still learning how to make effective game plans.

Edited by mnzy
@Pudge said:

To be fair, Capcom did post that all the extra Gems are gonna be in a free update later, but that's probably only because they realized no one would ever pay for them.

That's not true. There will be free extra gems, but they didn't say there won't be some you have to pay for. Also those from the Special Edition will not be free.
Posted by MormonWarrior

@BombaLuigi said:

@mnzy said:

@MysteriousBob said:

Sorry, but I can't take a single fighting game review from Jeff seriously ever since he gave MKvsDC a five.

That game had shallow gameplay and unplayable online, so how is that the best of its genre?

MK9s online is also way worse than SFxTs and that got five stars, too.

mk9s online was not "worse", it was broken like, broken, it wasnt working, it took up to 10minutes to find matches which had like up to 3 (and more) seconds lag, even in private matches, which by a 90% chance desynced halfway through anyway... and the later added dlc characters introduced compatiblity issues...

sfxt's online on the other hand IS working, and the netcode is @#!*% @#!*% fine... yes it has sound issues, but its nowhere near as broken as mk9s online, which, again, simply didnt work at all... but whatever, hi ed, 5/5 and goty contender, grab a beer and say funny stuff into our camera please...

In all fairness, he did say that MK's single player was good enough to warrant five stars on its own. And the online seemed to be working mostly fine when he reviewed it, then it was totally broken later. The online issues ended up keeping it out of their GOTY top 10.

Laggy fighter gameplay online is pointless. I remember trying to play matches of Smash Bros. online a few years ago and it was so laggy that you had no time to react to anything. Kinda made me wonder why it even had an online mode in the first place.

Posted by Sir_Lizardman

Agree 100% with the review. The sad thing is if they took another 3 months to fix the online and menus it would have been really awesome. Hopefully we get a patch soon.

Posted by SpudBug

Jeff is entitled to his opinion but I feel that the online issues are not enough to bring down a basically very solid fighting game. I always consider online to be more for training and learning combos. Real competition is local play. Find a scene and really learn to play a fighter. I feel like online is always a poor, poor representation of this genre anyway so a few glitches don't really matter. The online is full of assholes spamming shoryukens as ken/Ryu/Akama teams anyway. I would have given it 4/5, but I'm also not Jeff. I wonder if his opinions would be more positive if they played more local matches more seriously among his group of friends.

Posted by derskusmacher

The online experience is certainly uneven. I've had great feeling matches, and some really janky-feeling matches. The sound bug is ever present though and does detract from the experience. The gems and stuff kind of throw me off too and I keep finding myself playing the game less and less everyday.

Posted by Microshock

@SpudBug said:

Jeff is entitled to his opinion but I feel that the online issues are not enough to bring down a basically very solid fighting game. I always consider online to be more for training and learning combos. Real competition is local play. Find a scene and really learn to play a fighter. I feel like online is always a poor, poor representation of this genre anyway so a few glitches don't really matter. The online is full of assholes spamming shoryukens as ken/Ryu/Akama teams anyway. I would have given it 4/5, but I'm also not Jeff. I wonder if his opinions would be more positive if they played more local matches more seriously among his group of friends.

This is a world where people play online most of the time, not locally. It being basically poop doesn't mean you should disregard it because you "should" play locally.

Posted by BananaHace

JEFF CONCERNING THE PROBLEMS YOU HAD WITH BLOCKING

1. Lots of characters have moves that are overheads, but it's not always explicit until you learn the characters. Lots of Kayuza's moves are overheads, even if it doesn't seem like it right away.

2. If you had your stick set to the analogue setting and not the dpad, there's a glitch that occurs and makes diagonal positions very unreliable. Maybe you ran into this problem without realizing it?

Also this is separate, but please please please don't sell the netcode too short. The audio bug is shitty, yeah, but it's still a step much further in the right direction. It just kind of sucks to see companies take heat from critics from trying to implement mechanics that are really needed within the genre.

I'm not asking your to change your review, or that your opinion is wrong or anything dumb like that, I just wanted to throw this out there on the small chance you might read this arbitrary comment!

Posted by johnbakosh

The review is finally finished!

Edited by BombaLuigi

@MormonWarrior said:

@BombaLuigi said:

@mnzy said:

@MysteriousBob said:

Sorry, but I can't take a single fighting game review from Jeff seriously ever since he gave MKvsDC a five.

That game had shallow gameplay and unplayable online, so how is that the best of its genre?

MK9s online is also way worse than SFxTs and that got five stars, too.

mk9s online was not "worse", it was broken like, broken, it wasnt working, it took up to 10minutes to find matches which had like up to 3 (and more) seconds lag, even in private matches, which by a 90% chance desynced halfway through anyway... and the later added dlc characters introduced compatiblity issues...

sfxt's online on the other hand IS working, and the netcode is @#!*% @#!*% fine... yes it has sound issues, but its nowhere near as broken as mk9s online, which, again, simply didnt work at all... but whatever, hi ed, 5/5 and goty contender, grab a beer and say funny stuff into our camera please...

In all fairness, he did say that MK's single player was good enough to warrant five stars on its own. And the online seemed to be working mostly fine when he reviewed it, then it was totally broken later. The online issues ended up keeping it out of their GOTY top 10.

Laggy fighter gameplay online is pointless. I remember trying to play matches of Smash Bros. online a few years ago and it was so laggy that you had no time to react to anything. Kinda made me wonder why it even had an online mode in the first place.

yeah, but why even consider it then? they almost discussed like one and a half hour about mk9 making the list or not, which at that point should've been out of question right away... in that podcast he even said he wanted to play it online, but he couldnt, cause it was broken, yet they had to discuss the "goty" issue for more than one hour.... come on... good story mode or not, it was a fighting game in 2011, an online mode that broken is not excusable... its a given fact that mk is stronger with the gb crew than the sf franchise and they (jeff and brad) were pretty hyped for mk9... i can live with that, but ranting on sfxt for a non-issue, thats a real issue with mk, which gets away with an almost-goty nomination, thats a bit to obvious...

and for the record, sfxts online is not laggy, sure, you'll get your laggy connections to certain folks as with every other game, but usally i can play with us-based guys (i live in germany) perfectly fine...

fyi, im not ranting that sfxt did not get 5 stars, its not a 5 star game... but so wasnt mk9, or mkvsdc... but some of the stuff in the review feels like random rants, like "i feel like i did block this, but then i didnt"... yes, he didnt, its called overhead, there are plenty of them within the tekken side of things... and they dont look like it... also, this game is heavily about frametraps, press a button at the wrong time, you'll eat 40%, thats how the game plays...

Edited by TwistedGamer

the online has been pretty good other then the sound issue. and i cant really take jeffs fighting game reviews seriously any more...this guy gave mkvsDC a 5/5 people...

edit: the guy above me has the right idea, i dont think jeff knows what overheads are like in this game. i have yet to have a laggy fight in this game (on ps3)

and it also show how much time he played with the tekken characters, the tekken cast is probly the best part bout this game..and everyone of them has a dodge move to counter fireballs...

Posted by buzz_killington

Hey Jeff, is Capcom not buying enough ads from CBS to be displayed on Gamespot? Obviously biased review...

Posted by mabans

Fair enough... Though popular opinion is that playing and being good online is really pointless when majors happen. I'm lucky enough to have a strong enough scene in my area to get my grind on with a lot of solid players. Gems are nice but they really are almost irrelevant. In tournaments they are banned, as a matter of convince. There really isn't that much of a difference in terms of Speed, which doesn't add to being able combos not possible before, dmg is ok I guess, Meter conservation is meh. I get for the majority online is a vital and it should work accordingly but this isn't new and even at it's best, it'll never compare to training offline..

Edited by Undeadpool

@buzz_killington said:

Hey Jeff, is Capcom not buying enough ads from CBS to be displayed on Gamespot? Obviously biased review...

And so we begin. "I disagree with this review, therefore CBS BOUGHT/DIDN'T BUY IT!!!"

@Maajin said:

@msavo said:

I dunno Jeff this got an 8.5 from your sister site, Gamespot.

That's good, isn't it? Proves what they've been saying, they're not bound to GS review scores and so on.

Dingdingding, we haaaave a wiiiiiiinaaaaah!

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