|System: PS3*, Xbox 360|
|Release: March 6, 2012|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence|
The trials get you used to your character's move-set and basic combos very quickly, but there is an uneven increase in difficulty at the end. Some trials even have moves and movements missing. You'll be asked to perform a certain combo, but to make the combo connect you'll have to insert dashes or other moves that you'll just have to figure out for yourself. This is incredibly frustrating for someone who isn't experienced in the game's combo system
Mission mode is actually closer to Super Smash Bros. than anything else. It has you fulfilling special tasks such as winning a match with only special moves. It's a nice diversion, but it won't help you learn the game.
Versus mode is great, but it doesn't let you quickly equip or remove gems on the character select screen. This makes it nearly impossible to play in a group of friends without going in and out of the menu over and over again.
None of this is to say that the game isn't fun. To the contrary, it's actually quite enjoyable. It plays out like a much more aggressive version of Street Fighter IV. The game is extremely combo-centric. Two or three good combos will kill a character, and constant pressure will make it hard for an opponent to tag out. A couple wrong guesses will spell your death, so you always have to be on point. The only real downside to the gameplay system is the heavy reliance on link combos with very strict timing. The timing isn't anywhere near as strict as it was in Street Fighter IV, but it's strict enough to create a huge learning gap between newbies and veterans.
What Street Fighter X Tekken really offers is variety. It has modes no other game has included before. It allows you to play cooperatively on a team or competitively. It gives you a staggering roster of 38 characters, 43 with PlayStation exclusives, and 55 when all the (unfortunately on-disc) DLC comes out. It has everything fighting game players have been asking for shy of built-in frame data. It's a game with lots of great ideas, so it's understandable that they aren't totally fleshed out yet.
Overall, Street Fighter X Tekken is a decent value. Its roster is huge, its mechanics are interesting, and it will certainly keep you playing for quite a while. Will it dethrone Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Version 2012 as the king of fighting games? I'm not entirely sure about that. There will probably be more than enough people put off by the more aggressive gameplay to split the fighting game fan base. Outside of these factors, Street Fighter X Tekken is well worth its price tag. It's a great game that could have been done better, but wasn't.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: March 6, 2012