Fictional crossovers are nothing new for the fighting genre, but it seems like companies are kind of perfecting the art of combining characters of two dissimilar franchises. Street Fighter X Tekken is the latest title in this peculiar genre and as its name indicates it features characters from Capcom’s Street Fighter and Namco’s Tekken. This 2D fighting game has been developed by Capcom and Namco will get their chance of doing a title with their own style of gameplay with Tekken X Street Fighter which will start being the developed by them soon. For now, let’s focus on the former which follows the core gameplay of Street Fighter games and mixes that type of gameplay with characters from another franchise. The result? Well maybe it’s too early to tell as the game will be released March 6, 2012, but so far, it has received positive reviews from critics.
From a gameplay perspective these titles seem quite complex. The control scheme for Street Fighter characters follows the regular Street Fighter 6-button-system in which 3 buttons are used for punches and 3 buttons are used for kicks. On the other hand, the Tekken characters have a control scheme more similar to Tekken 4 in which the primary buttons are used for combos. Regular Super Combos and EX Attacks are present. Cancels, Super Arts and Cross Techniques are also possible but they depend on the Cross Gauge, which fills according to how effectively the tag team is used. There are various tag team elements to take into account and some of them include Switch Cancel, Cross Rush, Cross Arts and Cross Assault. Finally, it’s worth pointing out that two new mechanics have been featured: the Gem System and Pandora Mode.
As you can see, this game seems overly convoluted particularly for those people who haven’t played fighting games in the past few years as those games have introduced some really complex mechanics which take some time to master. Thankfully, some other elements have been adapted to modern times and in this game it’s quite easy to play online against other players or learn moves through tutorials.
Now let’s remember some of Capcom’s best fighting crossover games ever created as arguably, this was one of the first companies to start this trend. First and foremost we have the Marvel vs. Capcom series (which includes X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of the Two Worlds/Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.) Personally, my favorite has always been the PlayStation version of Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes as I played it extensively and I absolutely love it. Still, most people probably prefer the second iteration as controls were simplified for casual players, 3 on 3 tags were added, many effects and animations were in 3D and it had more characters than the first game in the series. Finally, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came out in 2011 and it quickly became a massive success, this game was exclusive to consoles and revitalized the series by incorporating gorgeous 3D environments and character models, a simpler control scheme, a new technique (called X Factor) and more characters.
Then we have the SNK vs. Capcom (developed by SNK) and Capcom vs. SNK (developed by Capcom) series. Although most of these games were quite popular at the time of their release, particularly on the tournament scene, most of them aren’t as beloved as other crossover series. Another title that was also extremely popular in Japanese tournaments was Capcom Fighting Jam. The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of this game were heavily criticized for the copy-and-paste animations, poor controls and lack of characteristic moves. Unfortunately for fans, a while after its introduction this title was removed from all major competitions.
Then there is Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, one of the weirdest releases when it comes to crossovers and I mean that in the best way possible. Developed by Eighting and published by Capcom for the Wii, this fighting game was one of the first to be released after the decline of the genre (the original was released on December 2008 in Japan.) When a revised American release started being considered a smooth localization didn’t seem likely at the time, especially taking into account that about half of the characters were from Tatsunoko Production. Licensing issues aside, the game eventually came out and it received really good reviews, it was praised by veterans of the genre and it quickly became an important part of some tournaments.
Of course these aren’t the only fighting game crossovers. Marvel Nemesis: The Rise of the Imperfects, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the Super Smash Bros. series, Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix and the King of Fighter are some other popular games to feature characters of two or more franchises, showing that this genre not only is extremely popular, but also that we can expect many other titles to receive the crossover treatment.