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Game Info:

Street Fighter X Tekken
Developed by: Capcom U.S.A., Inc.
Published by: Capcom U.S.A., Inc.
Released: May 11, 2012
Available on: Windows
Genre: 2D fighter
ESRB rating: T for Teen (alcohol references, crude humor, language and suggestive themes)
Number of players: 1-4
Price: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

I remember playing Street Fighter II in the arcades. My first encounter with the game was in a bowling alley, where I put in my two quarters and gave Dhalsim a try. With his stretchy limbs and bizarre appearance, I quickly fell in love with the game. I spent countless hours playing different variations of Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha 2 on the Super Nintendo. I even shelled out money for the tabletop game published by White Wolf, but I seldom could find many people willing to play it.

Years went by, and as it happened, I didn't have the machinery to continue with the franchise. Although I did play one of the Street Fighter III games at the local arcade a few times, they never ported the game to the Mac computers or the Nintendo platforms. Recent events have led me to use a Windows computer, so when the game Street Fighter X Tekken came up as part of a Humble Bundle, I leaped at the opportunity to get the game.

Unfortunately, my efforts were initially thwarted. Trying to launch the game led to an error that caused the game to crash immediately. The game relies on Windows Live for the online portion, and with that service effectively defunct at the time of this writing, the game hangs up before it can even launch. From what I've read, this problem persists no matter which version of Windows you use, and Capcom has expressed no interest in trying to correct the error. After trying several solutions to no effect, I eventually found a patch made by a Steam user that removes the Windows Live components from the game. Street Fighter X Tekken could now launch, but I could not engage in any on-line multiplayer. Just as well – I had no interest in playing online anyway, so I viewed this as an acceptable loss.

Playing the game felt like reuniting with old friends. All of my favorites are there – Ken, Dhalsim, Blanka, Elena – and there were so many other characters to try and learn about as well. I had never played Tekken, so half of the characters were brand new to me. But most of the moves were familiar, as they were identical from their earlier iterations. Ryu's fireball is performed the same way it was in the original Street Fighter II. Blanka can still electrocute those close to him simply by tapping rapidly on a punch button. All of the Street Fighter characters are nearly identical to their original playstyles, and this familiarity allows fans of the franchise to jump right in. I can presume that this is similar to the Tekken characters, but I admit that I don't have the frame of reference to confirm this.

Street Fighter X Tekken
Highlights:

Strong Points: Lots and LOTS of characters to choose from; great music; sharp controls
Weak Points: Completely unplayable “out-of-the-box,” requiring fan-made patches to even run; graphic glitches; limited arenas; several bugs, including ones that caused the game to lock up my computer
Moral Warnings: Characters pummel each other into unconsciousness; some characters (male and female) wear skimpy outfits; some language; one character is transgendered

For those that are unfamiliar with the Street Fighter games, players choose two of several fighters to form a team, and then fight with a variety of punches, kicks and special maneuvers to defeat the opponent in a best of two out of three matchup. Movement is done with the control stick, and can punch or kick with three different levels of strength. The configuration can be a bit overwhelming with new players – especially with the huge array of special moves – but a bit of practice goes a long way.

There are several choices in how to play. Tutorials are available, both for learning general moves and tactics, and for each specific character. There is the usual arcade mode, which includes a story. There is a “quick play” against a computer-controlled opponent. And, of course, there are several multiplayer options as well. The rounds can further be customized for the time of the match, the number of matches, and the difficulty of the A.I. Speaking of customization, you also can customize the various outfits of the characters with a huge array of colors and effects.

The game has a tremendous selection when it comes to characters. If fully unlocked, there are more than 50 characters to choose from – the most of any fighting game I've encountered so far! In contrast, there are only 11 fighting stages to choose from, counting the training stage that doesn't come up in the story mode. Although the background animations of these stages are neat to see, the lack of variety becomes dull before too long. Of course, that's not the main attraction to the game, but it would have been nicer to see a wider selection of fighting arenas.

The animation of the characters is smooth, but there is some noticeable clipping at times, especially with some of the costume selections. And while you can hear the characters voiced in English or Japanese, it is obvious that the characters' mouths were modeled speaking Japanese, leading to the game looking like a dubbed movie. I wish that it would have been possible to hear each of the characters speak in their native languages, but that might be asking too much. The music is great, which is pretty much the standard with most Capcom games.

Street Fighter X Tekken
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 1/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 79%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

The patch that I used disabled the ability to play online, but local multiplayer is still an option, and quite fun. However, my daughter and I ran into another problem. After a few rounds, the ability to choose costumes broke, so we couldn't see what costumes or colors our characters were actually wearing until the match began. Eventually, the game froze during the character selection process, and I actually had to restart my computer. The game also showed occasional slowdowns to gameplay, both in multiplayer and single player, but these occurrences were rare.

There is an issue with downloadable content, too. Some of the characters have to be purchased separately, as well as costumes and items called “gems,” which can be used to help characters execute combos with a simple command, rather than a timed series of moves (which actually sounds almost like “pay to win” to me, but maybe I'm old school in that regard).

There are some moral issues to consider. First of all, since this is a fighting game, there is plenty of violence, generally in the form of people beating each other up. Some of the fighters wear very revealing clothing, and with the ability to do custom colors, it is possible to make some of the characters appear completely nude, albeit with “Barbie doll” anatomy. There are language issues, with h*ll and d**n used repeatedly throughout, and I have read that the s- word appears in a few character's storylines, but I haven't run into these occurrences yet. Some of Vega's attacks look like they could spray blood from his opponents, but since he also uses roses in quite a few of his poses, they could be flower petals, too – it is hard to tell. There also is the presence of Poison, who not only dresses like a cross between a dominatrix and one of the Village People, but has the dubious distinction of being one of the first transgender characters in video game history. This doesn't get addressed in the course of the game, but extensive details can be found online. Finally, it is possible for players to play evil characters.

Street Fighter X Tekken is a great game, but with some significant problems. The clipping issues and limited selection of arenas is disappointing. The necessity of using fan-made patches just to get the game to work is inexcusable; even if it is an older game, Capcom should either update it so it will work out of the box on current systems, or remove it from sale. In its day, the game was likely fantastic. But as technology has evolved, this game has not evolved with it. Street Fighter X Tekken is a fun chapter in the Street Fighter franchise, but it's better to move on to more modern entries at this point.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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