When Street Fighter X Tekken came out back in March, there was some excitement for the game as it combined two historic fighting game franchises in a battle for the ages. Then the controversy about Capcom’s DLC practices were brought to light and the game suffered fan disappointment and extreme rage, vowing to never to buy a Capcom product again. Then the Vita version of the game was announced, alongside the fact that buying the Vita version of the game will get you the 12 characters, new gems and alt outfits free for use in the PS3 version as well.
Now, regardless of what you may think of Capcom and their business practices, they should not be taken into account the quality of the game. With that said, can the game stand on its own despite the controversy that the home console version created? Or Is it indeed a shameless cash grab and Capcom is as bad as everyone is making them out to be?
BRINGING WORLDS TOGETHER
Looks Just Like Console Counterpart - When doing a port from a home console to a portable device, some things are cut back in order to make the game run as smooth as possible. One of the first things to get cut back would be graphics. In Street Fighter X Tekken’s case, it looks just as good, maybe even better than the PS3 version. From the flashy over the top supers to the lively background stages, everything graphic wise was left intact. In fact some of the stages received new versions that are different from the console version. Like the Jurassic stage for example, in the Vita version of it Alex the boxing raptor is fighting the T-rexes or in the space station stage which has Mecha Zangief and Jack are fighting outside. In addition to the graphics being similar to the PS3, the Vita version mirrors all the modes that it has. The layout of the menus is the exact same, save for some extra features that the Vita offers.
Matches the Home Version Punch for Punch - While it’s good that the Vita version looks just as good as the PS3 version, the important question is does it play like it as well. To that I say yes, it plays just like the console version. Now most of the time when playing on the home console, I use a fight stick and only play on a regular controller when needed. But as soon as I had some fights under my belt, I was able to pull off some of the basic moves and combos as if I was playing with a DualShock 3 controller. The lack of the second set of triggers did throw me off a bit, but that was made up by the touch functions.
Game is Touch Accessible - One of the newest features in this version of SFXT is the use of touch controls. Touch controls are enabled in different sections of the game’s menus, such as Trophy progress, customizing character colors, picking different gems, etc. As for gameplay, the rear touch pad serves as the L2 & R2 buttons while the touch screen adds four more functions: LP+MP+HP, LK+MK+HK, HP+LK and LP+HK. While it’s not necessary to use the touch function, I find it useful when pulling off supers. I do however have a few issues with the touch controller which I’ll get to in a bit.
New Vita Exclusive Features - While the game resembles the console version, it does have features that are exclusive to the Vita. Such as being able to track trophy progress without backing out of the game, KO monuments to show off online wins and having the game remember three quick select slots of the teams you pick the most. One of my favorite features new to this version of SFXT is the Burst Kumite mode. Here players’ endurance and wits are tested as they have to try to survive a 100-team kumite with no breaks, save for the screen that shows who the next opponents are. What I really like about this mode is that it draws from previous human teams that you fought before online and from those who are online and ready for a fight. The last feature that the Vita version offers is near comparability. Near is an app on the Vita that allows owners to see other Vita owners around them. SFXT lets players use Near to create customized characters and drop them in the cloud for others to discover and use. Yea, it may sound like a small thing to mention, but half the fun is seeing how other players customize their characters and discovering them.
Cross Play X Cross Controller X Cross Share - One of the big draws for the Vita version of SFXT is the interaction between the Vita version and the PS3 version. For the most part, it really works and really well I might add. This interaction comes in three parts: cross play, cross controller and cross share.
Cross play lets Vita owners play against those on the PS3 and on the Vita. The connection for online play against a PS3 player can slow down depending on the connection that the Vita owner is on. But under normal, good conditions gameplay is nice and smooth with no slow down.
With cross controller, this allows Vita owners to play the PS3 version of SFXT using the Vita as a controller. As I mentioned before, using the Vita while playing feels just like using a regular DS3, only with the L2&R2 buttons on the touch screen. Response time between inputs is one to one and doesn’t suffer from much lag.
As for cross share, this allows for content to be shared between the Vita and PS3 versions of SFXT. For example, if I buy any DLC on the Vita, I am able to access that same content on the PS3. This will save players money so that they won’t have to buy the content twice. Also it allows players to carry over their gem loadouts between each version.
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
Butter Fingers - I mentioned that although that I do like how touch controls can be useful, I do have a problem with them as well. Simply put they are a bit on the sensitive side, mostly the rear touch pad. This has happened to me a couple of times during matches, as I try to pull off my super, my fingers slip on the back and I end up with a throw motion. To my knowledge, there is no way to turn down the sensitivity of the rear touch pad, save from remapping the buttons.
Despite the controversy and what other may say about Capcom and Street Fighter X Tekken, I really enjoyed the Vita version. It’s plays just like the PS3 version, but with more features and is on the go. The game looks really amazing on the 5-inch OLED screen and plays just as well. New touch features offer players a different way to play, but most will just stick to using the buttons. The extra features give the Vita version an added edge against the PS3 version and may be the better version in my opinion. But the real stars are the cross features that let Vita players connect with PS3 players for fights and allow them to connect to their personal PS3s to share data between the two.
The only down side I feel was that the touch controls are a bit too sensitive and there’s no way to adjust that. If you can put any beef that you have with Capcom aside and see the game for what its worth: a strong fighter with a lot to offer. Fighting game fans that wander around more than Ryu does, pick this version up.
*This review was based on the PS Vita version of the game with a review copy provided by the devloper.*