With little experience in the genre, I somehow survive the most hardcore fighting game of them all.When a review code of the PC version of Street Fighter X Tekken dropped into my lap, I couldn't possibly imagine I have the necessary background to give it a look with any degree of expertise. Let me put it this way. Hello Kitty frightens me.
Hello Kitty scares me more than spiders, clowns, and Tea Party members do. In fact, if you took a tarantula, put clown makeup on it, and attached a sign to it that reads "NOBAMA," I'd certainly be frightened of it, but far less so than I would be than if you kidnapped me and planted me on a 15 hour flight aboard a Hello Kitty airplane.
I'll be honest. I feel no animosity toward Asians, neither on an individual level or as a whole, but Japanese pop culture totally creeps me out. J-pop, JRPGs, and anime alienate me as much as actual aliens might, even if the aliens were reptilian and slimy. As far as videogames go, I start to sweat when so much as imagine Pokémon or Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy. That being said, I've always thought fighting games - even Asian made brawlers - are cool. I never really got into them, and though I've played a bit of Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive, I've never gotten past button mashing.
|I cannot deny the awesome of this.|
Getting To Know SFxTAfter spending the better part of a day updating Origin, which is like Steam only it sucks sweaty balls, and then downloading and installing SFxT, I discovered "Street Fighter X Tekken" is not pronounced, as I'd assumed, "Street Fighter ECKS Tekken" but "Street Fighter CROSS Tekken." I have no idea why. I presume it has something to do with a poor translation from its native language, which I believe, based on my experience with the rest of the game's text, is Japanese, translated to Turkish by Iranians, and then finally to English by Gyani Maiya, the last woman alive who speaks Kusunda fluently.
In firing up the game, was awestruck: Holding my Xbox 360 controller for Windows, I looked at the tutorial menu. I somehow didn't think button mashing was going to get me through this one.
|There. Are. Twenty. Tutorials.|
Having changed into dry pants, I made my way through some of the easier lessons, presented by a really annoying gentleman who cries a lot. I learned about tag team fighting, basic moves, and some other stuff, and in each case the crying instructor made me attempt the moves he taught right then and there. I'd like to say I threw my controller through my monitor, but I can't afford to replace either, so I let loose a few bad words and decided to get on with the main game.
After choosing Arcade mode and selecting the wimpiest difficulty setting, I was presented with a screen full of strange faces. These are the combatants, and I was allowed to choose two. I scanned the crowd, which is apparently made up of fighters from both Street Fighter and Tekken, and they seem to each be comprised mainly of breasts and/or muscles. I chose Bob and Rufus - the two fattest guys, and the two who clearly represent me the closest. Each went through animations tossing kicks and punches that would have put both their backs out.
|Bob and Rufus, shortly before being prescribed traction.|
I mashed buttons furiously, and somehow defeated my opponents. Bob and Rufus are badasses. The fights were amazingly two-dimensional considering most of today's computer graphics cards are capable of things like Call of Duty and Batman: Arkham City, which I don't think are two-dimensional. After each battle, the winner says some sort of victory sentence and the loser whines. The same thing happened in reverse when I ratcheted the difficulty up to mostly-wimpy and chose two boob-intensive gladiators. The poor girls and I got creamed, and they were sad.
|Breasts don't help in a fight.|
After a few dozen more fights, I couldn't take getting pounded anymore. As a total amateur, I found the lowest difficulty settings way too easy, but when I cranked it up past a certain point, the game became impossible. Is that what the marketing department meant by "Will you cross the line?"
|Pictured: Ninja Wolverine|
|This translates from the Japanese to "YOU SUCK."|
The game is certainly polished and, I guess, well-balanced. There's a fun factor, even in constant defeat, that's different from other genres - wanton pugilism is a guilty pleasure. I could see certainly see Street Fighter X Tekken being enjoyable if you're:
1) Experienced (meaning, you've been playing fighting games for 24 or more years)
2) A robot
3) A masochist.
To noobs with little patience, however, I suggest starting with something simpler.