Monday, July 26, 2010

Billionaire Fighting

Street Fighter X Tekken?  It's a bit like pitting the Yankees against the Lakers.  What form would the contest even take?  What could the rules possibly be to keep it from becoming a complete farce?  Ed Boon has had to explain many times that, however cool fans might think the idea sounds, a Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat crossover game wouldn't make any sense from a design standpoint.  The games play by different rules, and any compromise would end up satisfying no one.  And that's coming from Ed Boon, mastermind of a series that has been historically much more open to mechanical overhauls than either Street Fighter or Tekken.

Capcom vs. SNK worked well enough because SNK's fighting games were mostly all Street Fighter derivatives to begin with.  And still some hardcore SNK fans were not satisfied with the results.  Meanwhile, Tekken is a game without special moves, super meters, any real air game, or even much of a range game.  Does that sound like something that would match up very well against Street Fighter?

Capcom will do its best, of course, to adapt the Tekken characters into a Street Fighter-style engine (compromise, in other words), essentially creating a set of new characters that will only look like Tekken characters, while playing more like Street Fighter characters.  The early footage suggests that the Tekken characters' bigger signature attacks will become their special moves, they'll have super combos, and all characters will have rudimentary chain combo abilities as maybe the one nod to Tekken's style of combat.

This will not be the game to unite the Street Fighter and Tekken communities, bringing together the top Street Fighter players to battle it out against the top Tekken players for the title of "undisputed grand master."  At most, those Tekken players who happen also to play Street Fighter will just play this as they would any other Street Fighter title.  But mostly I think it will just be Street Fighter players playing this.

That's still reason enough for me to get excited.  At the very least, this should be another solid 2-D fighting game from Capcom--one where half the cast will effectively play as brand new characters.  And while I may not know how to play Tekken, I do think the series has some pretty cool character designs.  Super Street Fighter IV may have, in my opinion, the best roster ever in a Capcom fighting game, but I would still gladly trade some of those characters (mostly the SFIV new bloods) for Tekken's best.  And it will have tag team gameplay!

And then there's also Tekken X Street Fighter coming from Namco.  Instead of the two series coming together for one title, we're still getting two distinct games from two different developers, just as we always have.  By far the shakier concept, this is even less likely to achieve crossover appeal.  I suspect the Street Fighter characters would stand to lose a lot more from the transition to the Tekken engine than the Tekken characters would the other way around.  Will Ryu be allowed to keep his fireball?  Projectiles are not exactly common in Tekken.  But what is Ryu without his Hadouken?


Czardoz said...

Maybe they won't have Ryu. They can just pick the most Tekken-ready Street Fighters. Like Zangief, Balrog, you know, guys without projectiles.

Henry said...

But that would be totally lame!

Czardoz said...

All right, all right, they can have Adon, too! Satisfied?