Arcade dwellers, gamers, and martial arts enthusiasts are gearing up for one of the most anticipated video game releases of the year--"Street Fighter X Tekken." The combat-based game combines two classic kingpins of the genre into one ultra-competitive smack down.
On March 8th the game will be available for Sony PlayStation platforms and Xbox 360 gaming consoles, but there is one question for fans to consider: How will two games with such drastically different styles mesh into one cohesive playing mode?
Any gamer familiar with their way around the ring when it comes to these combatant competitions knows that each has their own unique approach.
The "Tekken" series is known for its 3-D stages and aggressive game-play style, with competitors going punch for punch right from the start. "Street Fighter," by comparison, requires more of a strategic mindset in terms of concocting combo attacks.
One of the biggest questions that may be brewing in players' minds is the 3-D versus 2-D element. How will combining a flat side-scroller format with a deeper fighting environment translate?
"What we've tried to do here is merge the two so that you retain some of the more thoughtful approach that you associate with 'Street Fighter,' while also getting a taste of that more 'in your face' 'Tekken' style," said Capcom's Yoshinori Ono according to SiliconEra.
But the companies behind the two franchises, Capcom and IGN, have already attempted to bridge the gap between "Street Fighter" fanatics and "Tekken" gurus. "Cross Assault" is the first ever reality show based on gaming.
Ten contestants, split evenly down the middle with "Street Fighter" and "Tekken" experts, competed head-to-head for a $25,000 prize. Fans were able to watch the competition, which took place from Feb. 22 to March 3, on IGN's official website.
Even though some fans have already embraced the mixed combat through "Cross Assault," there are still some speculations about how the characters are going to translate.
"One example is Marduk, who is a pretty surprising inclusion," said Ono to SiliconEra. "We have some other powerful grapplers in 'Street Fighter' but nobody that moves the way he does."
But Xbox 360 players may be in for an unpleasant surprise with the game's release. Capcom has put programming code for additional characters on the disc of the Xbox 360 version of the game, according to gaming news source Destructoid. As a result, Xbox 360 owners may be charged to unlock these features, while PS3 owners will get the unlock codes for free. This applies to specific characters such as Mega man and Pac-Man.
"You've been found out Capcom," wrote Destructoid's Jonathan Holmes. "And I don't think saying that this DLC (downloadable content) has a 'special budget' is going to help you out of this one."
Holmes pointed out that the limited content could drive Xbox players away from the new game.
Despite these conflicts, mixed fighting games have a history of thriving among the video game population. "Marvel vs. Capcom," which blends Marvel comic book heroes with classic Capcom characters, is one of the biggest titles in the gaming industry. The "Super Smash Bros." series has been around since the early 1990s, and combines iconic Nintendo characters into one eclectic bash of a fighting game.
And according to Ono, "Street Fighter vs. Tekken" will uphold the mash-up game tradition.
"We think we've found a way to get the best of both and we'll just continue fine-tuning so that the final result is a perfect marriage and a unique game in its own right."
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