Slick, beautiful graphics; Inventive fighting system; Lots of fun fan service; High replay value
Online multiplayer plagued with latency ; Tekken fans could be at a disadvantage; Gem mechanic could create over-powered characters ;
Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken delivers a one-two punch of eye-catching graphics and non-stop fighting action, mashing together characters from two popular franchises.
Ever wondered what would happen if "Street Fighter's" Ryu went toe-to-toe with "Tekken's" Kuzuya Mishima? Aficionados of both series can answer the question in "Street Fighter X Tekken" ($49.99 for PC). Capcom has had enormous success with its previous mashup fighting games, but can "Street Fighter's" 2D over-the-top cartoony style coexist with a decidedly more grounded 3D fighting series?
"Street Fighter X Tekken" is a game that lends itself to most skill levels and styles of play. In addition to the usual Arcade Mode, there are modes for Tutorial, Arcade and LIVE Battle, which allows players to fight other players over Windows LIVE. Leaderboards keep track of who's dominating the completion and instant replay lets you rewatch an especially sweet move. If you're playing in Arcade mode while connected to LIVE, you can be challenged at any time by another player itching to dole out some punishment. However, you can turn this feature off in the Arcade Menu via the Battle Request option.
"Street Fighter" veterans should feel right at home with the six-button fighting system that offers kicks and punches with varying displays of power (light, medium and strong). "Tekken" fans shouldn't feel left out, as they can easily string together combos with the four primary buttons.
After players choose their pair of fighters, they must equip each of their characters with up to three stat-changing "Gems," which augment their individual fighters attacks, defense and vitality. We appreciate this addition, but are worried about the possibility of high-level players discovering an optimal gem load out for each character and decimating the competition.
Action is just as frenetic as would be expected with a "Street Fighter" title, complete with fireballs, wall jumps and flashy special moves. "Tekken" alum accustomed to stringing together long, health-draining combos on a 3D plane might find themselves at a disadvantage on the game's 2D backdrop. However, "Tekken Tag Tournament" players should have an easy time with the air juggles and switching between characters. Unlike "Tekken Tag Tournament," a match is over once a partner is knocked out.
All this beauty comes with a serious caveat in the form of online multiplayer. As we engaged in battles with other players on Games for Windows-LIVE, we saw an increasing amount of latency. There were times when gameplay slowed significantly, making it difficult to execute moves. Frustratingly, the game outright froze for a few seconds, leaving us suspended in mid-move.
PC Requirements and Performance
It's pretty much guaranteed that the game will run on a notebook as powerful as the Clevo W110ER. Fans with less impressive notebook specs needed fret as the game has a pretty low access threshold. Capcom recommends the game be played at 60 fps at 1280 x 720p on Windows Vista. As far as hardware a notebook should have at least a 2.6GHz Intel Core Intel Core2 Duo or an AMD Phenom II X2 CPU. In terms of GPU a notebook should have a DirectX 9.0c/Shader3.0 or a Nvidia GeForce 8800. There should also be 10GB of free space and 2GB of RAM.
The minimum resolution a notebook can run "Street Fighter X Tekken" is 800 x 600p on Windows XP with 10GB of free space and 1GB of RAM. As far as processors, the lowest the game can run on is either a 1.8GHz Intel Dual Core or an AMD Athlon II X2. Gamers can also squeak by with a Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT GPU or ATi Radeon X1600 with 256MB of VRAM.
We ran "Street Fighter X Tekken's" in-game benchmark on the Sony VAIO E15, one of the first mainstream notebooks with Intel Ivy Bridge CPU and the more powerful Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU. The E15 yielded some respectable scores. For instance, at 1366 x 768p with antialiasing off and the stage quality on low, we got 60 fps. We incrementally raised the antialiasing to 2X, 4X and 8X and saw scores of 29, 28.9 and 27 fps. We cranked up the power turning antialiasing off and switching the stage quality set to high, and got 75 fps. However when we increased the antialiasing to 2X, 4X and 8X we saw scores of 33, 36 and 27 fps respectively.
Street Fighter X Tekken is currently being offered for $49.99 on Steam's online gaming platform. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 fo $59.99. PlayStation Vita owners will have to wait a little longer as pricing and availability has yet to be announced.
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