Capcom Fight Club – Street Fighter X Tekken

We turned the corner and saw the crowd. The thunderous rumble of a train passing overhead somehow emphasised just how many ravenous people were in front of us. You see, just beyond the door leading into Bethnal Green’s aptly-named KO Gym was something special. Mere meters from where the queue of hundreds had formed, there was something that people really wanted to get their hands on.

No, they weren’t after the free booze and free food on offer, or the chance to meet either me or (the admittedly rather cool) Simon. Making its UK debut after triumphantly showing itself off at Gamescom just days earlier was Street Fighter X Tekken, arguably one of the most exciting gaming prospects since the resurgence of fighting games was ushered in by Street Fighter IV.

Being a Brit, boxer Steve dislikes it when someone turns up to a party dressed like him.

Other headline acts included Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition; its gorgeous 2D graphics looking in some ways quaintly dated next to its state of the art cousins, and yet timeless in the way that truly great pixel art does. Also making an appearance were games already available, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Marvel vs Capcom 3 – a fine stop-gap for anyone waiting to get their hands on Street Fighter X Tekken. Finally, and one of the highlights of the night for Street Fighter fans such as myself, was the chance to meet and greet Yoshinori Ono, producer of Street Fighter IV, as well as its Super and Arcade Edition, and, of course, the frankly stunning Street Fighter X Tekken.

Arriving before the doors opened, we nervously tiptoed past an anxious crowd slowly reaching fever pitch and headed through the door, with some of the frontmost members of the queue having been there since 11A.M. that day. To understand their own excitement at the clock turning 7P.M. – with another 30 minutes before the doors would officially open – is to understand just what makes Street Fighter x Tekken such a tantalising proposal to so many, and underlines just how important the fans of both fighting franchises truly are.

While we would normally be rooting for Ryu, I think he might be about to eat Raven's spin-a-ma-jig!

Welcomed by Capcom’s Leo Tan – today out of breath but never lacking a smile – we were casually offered to try the game out. Stunned for a second (no stars spinning around our heads, this time), we had to double check we’d heard him right before each picking up a hulking great FightStick and finding out just what happens when you pit two of the biggest fighter franchises against one another.

In short, fanboy-friendly terms, it was sheer awesomeness. But to describe the game as it currently stands in just a few words would be to do it a great disservice. So here’s a few more:

Street Fighter X Tekken (with the ‘X’ said as ‘Cross’) uses a modified version of the Street Fighter IV engine, and so plays much like you would expect if you were an avid player of that franchise. Where the game feels different, though, is in the modifications, namely in the tag mechanics, the changes to the fighting system (barely noticeable to relative newbies like Simon and me, but probably more distinct to real Street Fighter experts like Dan and Walter), and its renewed aesthetic.

The most noticeable change, from my point of view, was the increased ease in juggling; something which seemingly required the purposely fiddly Focus Cancels to pull off, but in a nod to its Tekken cast seems to work as one would intend: hit someone before they reach the ground and the strike will generally count.

Simon is bested, a sad day for Ready Up.

Gone are the Ultra and Super meters, which are replaced by the Cross Gauge (seen in the lower left and right corners in this article’s first image). This seems to fill both as you take and inflict damage – our hands-on time was a little too… enthusiastic to figure it out methodically – and is the power supply for all enhanced moves, super combos and the sublime equivalent to Ultra combos, the Cross Art. Ludicrously simple to pull off, hugely satisfying to land. On top of this the Cross Gauge is used to power the spectacular Cross Assault, which sees both your controlled character and your tag partner team up to deliver some devastating attacks. Once Simon and I got the hang of this, the matches swiftly turned into a battle of wits, as all great Street Fighter matches do, each of us trying to tease the other into using up their Cross Gauge before rushing in to punish any mistakes.

We didn’t have the opportunity to try out the Tekken characters with their four-button system as we got a bit carried away with the default Street Fighter six-button system. The Tekken characters handle in a way that was immediately satisfying to a newbie such as myself, feeling equally like an extension of the Street Fighter cast as much as respecting their Tekken roots.

In terms of the game’s liquid theme, as far as I could tell this only really manifests itself in the same manner as the inky effects accompanying certain strikes in Street Fighter IV, adding a neon fluidity that seems a little less devastating while just as spectacular. Stages, meanwhile, are tiered: complete round one and the fight moves on to a different area, each of which lovingly pays respect to Capcom’s heritage in a way that is subtle enough for fans to pick up on without alienating newcomers to the series.

Quite a queue, and this isn't even half of it!

With our hands on time drawing to a close, and the clock nearing 7.30P.M, one of the event organisers kindly asked us to leave the consoles for the guys at the front of the queue. Quite rightly, he said they’d more than earned their time with the game, and Simon and I couldn’t have agreed more.

As the crowd flooded into the venue, Simon and I took a step back and watched as the fans got their turn, each whooping and laughing as they launched their volleys of incredible attacks and sharp defences, each of them glad to have queued as long as they did.

Meanwhile, the DJ kicked off, a group of breakdancers took to the floor and the hardcore Street Fighter III players proved their worth just around the corner from the Street Fighter X Tekken consoles. Later in the evening Ono-san kindly signed just about anything Street Fighter-related, posing for photos and we sat down with him for an exclusive interview that you will be able to hear in the next episode of the Ready Up podcast.

Check out our interview with Ono-san in the next Ready Up Podcast







5 responses to “Capcom Fight Club – Street Fighter X Tekken”

  1. Darkhadou avatar

    Great write-up! Was a great day in all, looking forward to the podcast with Ono.

  2. […] Ready Up has an article covering Capcom’s Fight Club London. […]

  3. Giles avatar

    Cheers Darkhadou. ^_^

    It was the first Capcom Fight Club I’ve been to and I went away impressed. Clammy – it was dang hot in the KO Gym – but really impressed with the guys and gals from Capcom; the event and the game(s) were outstanding. Hopefully they’ll only get bigger and better from this already strong first impression it’s triggered.

    Did you get a chance to play Street Fighter X Tekken? And did you get a chance to meet Ono-san (surely one of the most energetic and genuine people in the games industry)?

  4. Morrellium avatar

    Great write up Giles! It was a great event, only downside was as you said is that the venue was a little too small. Considering it was the first of it’s kind it was a great success, Capcom offered so much for so little! Plus Ono-san was brilliant, he had so much time for all us clambering fan boys!

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