Sunday, March 11, 2012

Street Fighter X Tekken - really short review + commentary on everything going on related to this game

It's pretty easy to review SFxTK if you play fighting games already. I wouldn't call myself a competition level player; I really just play for fun, but I wouldn't say that I don't hold my own when playing online. SFxTK is really a fun game and if you already enjoy fighting games and obssess over how to play them right, you'll surely enjoy this.

If you don't enjoy fighting games, this game can try to convert you but if you don't handle losing very well, it will be the same story as other fighting games. Honestly I didn't handle losing in Marvel Vs Capcom 3 very well, which is why I didn't invest in the next game, UMvC3. Marvel can be pretty infuriating, even with all the practice you put in, it all seems to boil down to character tiers (which characters are really the 'best' in the game). Unlike with SF4 where, while tiers do matter, you'll still have a fighting chance if your opponent is not very skilled.

Early on, SFxTK does not seem infuriating at all when you win or lose. No character seems too ridiculously overpowered though again that could change in a few weeks, with people already playing it. I must say that I am enjoying this game a lot, being able to juggle with Bison is really cool, and I found a new character in Juri that actually deserves my time to learn and play.

So the short answer is, if you love fighting games and know what a 'cancel' is in fighting games and how to do it, go right ahead and buy this

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Now, in relation to everything else going on with this game in particular, there's a lot of controversy now related to Capcom putting in DLC in the game disc and not allowing people to use it. I also think it sucks but I don't think people who enjoy FGs should miss out on the game despite this. As a FG, SFxTK is really excellently made, I like the quality and production values on everything (even the music is better than SF4's). It's so unfortunate that a well designed game such as this is going through negative publicity because of what seems to be a very bad business decision on Capcom's part.

For me, I'd rather just enjoy playing the game with the characters that are there, enjoy it for what it is, and not think about what I can't get right now.

Now, with the network code of the game, they're using a new technique for online play which improves input lag but causes 'rollbacks' to happen (where the game could 'undo' an event if it gets data from both consoles involved in a match that tells the game that the wrong thing happened during the fight). As a player from the Philippines I can't really do anything about my online situation, it's going to be red bars everywhere. But what's the alternative? I could just go back to SSF4 but I've already played that game for more than a hundred hours. I'd rather take my chances with this game, warts and all. I've had a lot of good games in the past few days even with the rollback system and in some cases my experience is better than with SSF4's netcode.

And, FINALLY, flying kicks now work!

Well, in SSF4, I could never time my flying kicks right because of input lag. I have to input so early just to get it out in time, and it can be a pretty annoying experience.

With this game, I react a bit similar to how I would in an offline game.

Lets all hope that the sound bug gets fixed eventually.

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Last thing, there's a lot of stuff being said about the Xbox version missing features like characters, local pair play, etc. All I have to say about that is, in all my dealings with MS, it's pretty clear to me that fighting games are not very important to them. Shooters are their bread and butter and that's why they devote more attention to that genre than everything else. Can't blame them, honestly. I'm really not surprised that we're not seeing MS pitch the fighting genre as strongly as Sony does. Sony is in second place in the US and that's why they're getting their hands on anything that can help them to compete in the gaming market. They're gambling on the fighting scene to grow a bit more in the next few years.

I personally do hope that happens, but it really depends on the online experience improving for fighting game players, and it also depends on fighting games being more inclusive of new players and new fans. The culture of calling people 'scrubs' in the FGC has to end someday, if they want it to 'blow up' / become as important as other major competitive genres like RTS and FPS. The trick is figuring out how to lower the discouragement players get in fighting games when they lose. Maybe the rewards should be different after you enter a match? Maybe you should still get something just for playing? Capcom and Sony have to think really hard to make the genre more appealing outside of its hardcore fanbase, without destroying the elements that make fighting games an interesting sub-culture in the first place.

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