Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Street Fighter X Tekken

Porting a console game to iPhone is hard work. You have to capture enough of the essence of the game to be able to call it a port, make it challenging enough to satisfy the fans of the original game, make it accessible enough to appeal to the casual gamers who have never played the game before, and somehow get it to run on an iPhone without insane lag and massive loading times. A fighting game makes things even harder. The fans expect great graphics and lag free multiplayer, which is borderline impossible. That being said, I think Capcom's newest port still comes up a little too short to be overlooked.

In fact, originally, I wasn't going to buy Street Fighter X Tekken for iOS. I had previously purchased both Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 4 Volt, but I didn't really play games much on my iPhone anymore. Then stuff happened, and it went on sale for 99 cents, so I went ahead and bought it.

As I said before, it's not fair to compare Street Fighter X Tekken for iOS to its console counterpart. However, you can compare the iOS game to another very similar iOS game, namely Street Fighter 4 Volt. And compared to Volt, Street Fighter X Tekken appears a bit lacking.

One of Street Fighter X Tekken's flaws becomes apparent as soon as you start the game. The character selection screen features a roster of only twelve, six from Street Fighter and six from Tekken. Out of the 50 characters in the original game, only Ryu, Chun Li, Guile, Dhalsim, Rolento, Hugo, Kazuya, Nina, Heihachi, Hwoarang, Paul, and King are available. Even compared to Volt, which has 22 characters, Street Fighter X Tekken's lineup looks sparse. However, the game released with only ten, two have been added since, so we may be able to expect more.

The mechanics of the game are completely different from the original, which I don't think is a particularly bad thing. Instead of having two characters, each with separate health bars, you have one main character, which has a health bar, and one secondary character, which doesn't. You lose when your main character runs out of health.

Because of the lack of screen space for buttons, Capcom employed the use of only four--punch, kick, special, and cross--as it did for both of its previous Street Fighter games. Although it limits the amount of attacks and combos you can use, I think it works well for iOS devices.

Similar to Volt, Street Fighter X Tekken employs the use of Special Move Assist, which eliminates the need for complicated joystick motions to execute special moves, and Auto Guard, which is pretty self explanatory. Both of these features make it easier for casual players to compete in matches without having to learn the motions, which are difficult to pull off on a touch screen anyway.

Multiplayer was not lag free for me, but was not unplayable either. However, it seems like Capcom has finally succumbed to the IAP devil. To play multiplayer matches or buy Pandora's boxes, which can boost specific stats temporarily in battle, you need credits or gold, which you can buy with in-app purchases. However, as far as I can tell, you don't need in-app purchases to advance, they just make it faster.

Graphics-wise, the game looks good for an iOS app. The game features three dimensional characters and dynamic backgrounds.

All in all, Street Fighter X Tekken for iOS is an okay game. It offers faster paced battles than its iOS predecessors, and what it lacks in characters it makes up in... fancy backgrounds I guess? It'll scratch that fighting game itch just for a little while though, and it will appeal to both fighting game experts and casual gamers.

Find it on iTunes
Aizen Gamer's blog here.

Developer: Capcom


Post a Comment