Capcom Co.’s Street Fighter X Tekken for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 is an even bout between two franchise veterans that beats a juggling tag battle royale to a 2D plane.

Street Fighter X Tekken utilizes the Street Fighter IV engine to bring Tekken characters to 2D. The result is a seamless transition that incorporates trademark fight moves and dodge maneuvers from Tekken to battle the Street Fighter cast.

Street Fighter X Tekken

In the tag battle system, users switch fighters dynamically with Middle Punch and Middle Kick pressed simultaneously. The fight system introduces a Launcher function with Hard Punch and Hard Kick simultaneously to hit opponents into the air to initiate a multi-hit juggle. The Cross Rush initiator with Light, Medium, Hard, Hard Punch or Kick will begin a combo that ends with a launcher. When one fighter on the either team is defeated the battle ends.

The Cross Gauge is a power bar that can be filled to execute Cross Assault and Cross Arts. Cross Assault allows both characters to bout simultaneously, while Cross Arts allows the tag partner to take over and perform a Super Art.

With a launcher and Cross maneuvers, the battle system is well-defined and effective. The fight cadence is moderate to allow for more concise and shorter combinations compared to the quick and dazzling beatdowns from the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise.

Street Fighter characters have been re-balanced, like Chun Li’s Lightning Kick which requires a half-circle forward prior to repeat button presses. In addition, to compensate for lack of projectiles, characters like Kazuya and Jin have side-step maneuvers that can lead into counter moves. The fine-tuning offers a well-balanced bout between both sides of the roster.

The Gem System adds variables to each team to offer small battle aids. Assist Gems offer novices easier Super Moves or auto-escape throws, but produce less damage or use the Cross Gauge. Battle Gems, which include Attack, Defense, Speed, Vitality, and Cross Gauge, provide a 10 to 30 percent increase 10 to 30 seconds. Users can add three gems per battle, though the addition of gems may provide a undeniable edge to core users in tournaments.

The netcode provides mostly stable online tag battles. Modes like Scramble Battle allow up to four users to fight simultaneously as each user takes a fighter to tag team for the ultimate in fighting strategy. In addition, the Briefing Room allows online users to train each other by practicing combos and share strategies.

The graphics engine is great at 60 frames-per-second. All characters feature a new gloss of texture, with Tekken characters faithfully reproduced in 2D. In addition, the multi-layered backdrops are well-animated, though more stages would be welcome.

Street Fighter X Tekken is a fair fight between both franchises that provides a solid balance in new tag battles that authentically incorporate the Tekken cast into the Street Fighter world. Pick either side and you win.

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