Oh yes, it's time I spoke about the gift that keeps on giving: Street Fighter X Tekken. For those of you not following everything that's been going on, this has been one of the most successful launches, not just in fighting game history, but in the history of all video games. Let's start off with the pre-launch festivities and go on from there.
The Capcom-sponsored promotional event Cross Assault was billed as the first video game reality show, and a chance for some of the fighting game community's best talent to get their hands on the game and, in turn, show it off for viewers. It seemed to be going well enough, but one of the players on Team Tekken, Miranda "SuperYAN" Pakozdi, had been sexually harassed for the entire event by the team coach, Aris Bakthanians. Here's some prime video of the first day of the week-long event where Mr. Bakthanians is seen controlling the camera to focus on Pakozdi's body and walking up to sniff her like some subway stalker. Warning: This can be hard to stomach.
On day 5, it got even better. Twitch.tv community manager Jared Rae is talking to Aris about the sexual harassment that is endemic in the fighting game community, which is a separate issue, but we're looking at the convo itself because it's part of the Capcom PR disaster. You can skip to one hour and 45 minutes in this video, but to summarize, Aris throws the entire community under the bus and makes the case, with a straight face, that the culture would be damaged irreparably if sexual harassment were removed. Mind you, Aris is a team coach, someone in a supervisory position, presumably being paid by Capcom for this. In front of tens of thousands of people, he makes some of the most damning comments one can about his community. Of course, it blows up on Giant Bomb, Destructoid, Kotaku, all the usual suspects, and the best both Aris and Capcom can muster is a canned, non-apology apology before moving on, lending credence to the pig's viewpoint. So the game's PR is off to a running start, with any qualities of the game completely overshadowed by a damning rebuke of those who play fighting games. BTW, thanks Aris. We gamers really need to give more ammo to our hobby's critics.
Anyway, moving on, the game releases, and what DO you know? Looks like the 12 Vita exclusive characters, AND two of the PS3-exclusive characters, are on the 360 disc, with their beginning and ending movies and full movelists, the whole nine yards. It's discovered within hours of release by Xbox 360 hackers who got pre-release copies of the game, because Capcom didn't even bother trying to hide the damned things. Now personally I couldn't care less, as I've never bought DLC and never will and the game still looked pretty sweet at the time, but as you can imagine, people blew up at Capcom once more trying to leverage their fans' dedication in a cynical, exploitative way. Not only that, but the characters are going to be held back until the release of the Vita version this fall. The amazing PR circus continues.
Then the game comes out to the general public, and it gets stupid awesome. Megaman and Pac-Man aren't ready for the launch on PS3 and have to be unlocked via a patch the following week. Not only that, but both versions of the game have a bug that causes the sound effects and music to cut out at random intarvals throughout the match. Then there's couch co-op. The game was advertised as having the ability to take an offline friend online for 4-player games. However, the 360 version doesn't have this functionality. Capcom at first gave a flimsy excuse, but when the entire community pointed out that many games on 360 allow the functionality (Mortal Kombat, Call of Duty, Halo, etc), Capcom changed their tune and said that it would take too much time and resources to patch the 360 version's multiplayer to be compatible with two local players going online. In other words, they basically said they didn't care.
We're not done yet though. So Megaman and Pac-Man are patched into the PS3 version of the game. Things don't go as planned. Remember, these are characters that were supposed to be among the PS3 exclusive characters, they weren't ready at launch and had to be patched in the following week. It's absolutely inexcusable. What the hell were they doing? So now we get the image of a company that didn't view the core content as being all that important compared to the online.
That image is cemented later on, when a series of pretty damned easy-to-perform infinites are found in the game. There are at least four confirmed infinites that can be performed without gems, including one for PS3 exclusive Pac-Man, which, for those of you keeping score, was withheld for a week because he wasn't ready. The image of a game that wasn't bug-tested at all has now taken shape. By themselves, the bugs and infinites are excuseable (with the exception of Pac-Man and Megaman being glitched to crap), but collectively, it confounds the mind that users are able to find these things so quickly before the end of the first month of the game being released, yet months of play-testing didn't yield ANY of these glitches? This is a shameful showing.
And now, a final insult, unless Capcom somehow manages to fail again with the Vita version. You know those on-disc characters being withheld? Well, it seems hackers aren't content to unlock the characters for offline use. No, my friends, they're taking it online. Apparently there's no screening to make sure these characters aren't being used before release.
So there we have it, folks, both versions of the game are broken messes, meant only to serve as a vehicle for DLC. I'm not normally a big anti-Capcom person, but there is no way to defend the way they created this mess of a game. I personally will be waiting for the Vita version to pick the game up, if I even remember it by the time it hits shelves. I suggest you all do the same.