So yeah, Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken is looking good. No mere Super SFIV: Now There Are A Few Mishimas Edition, it's actually a properly reworked 2D fighter that brings both franchises together with a new set of hybrid fighting mechanics, deftly blending Street Fighter's 2D immediacy with Tekken's bounces, juggles and insane-o-length comboing. It looks like fun, and crucially, it looks like it works.
Namco-Bandai's Tekken X Street Fighter retort? Not so much at the moment. Obviously the rival 3D follow-up is launching much later and is still in early pre-production, but a few glaring questions need to be answered before things can really crack on. Chief amongst them is the one pertaining to just how the hell fireballs are going to work in a 3D environment, against characters who can just step around them. Well Tekken Producer Katsuhiro Harada has finally addressed the issue. His answer? "F*ck knows"*
Asked about the game's progress by the US PlayStation blog, and specifically about how he was going to make Street Fighter's combat mechanics work in a 3D environment, Harada-san rambled the following heap of words:
"Obviously, the Street Fighter characters will have to have their fireballs. Ryu without a fireball just wouldn’t be…right. Obviously we’ll need it. When you look at executing a fireball in a 2D setting, it works almost like a jab. It keeps your opponent where you want them. When we bring fireballs into Tekken X Street Fighter, there are two different ways we could go. It could be used as something similar to keep your opponent in the place you want, or it could be some kind of a special move or powered-up version of their techniques. We’ve not decided on what route we want to take with this yet.
"Another element to think about implementing fireballs in Tekken is, how do you avoid them? When you play a 2D game like Street Fighter, you obviously can’t go back and forth in the screen — you usually jump over it. But in three-dimensional fighting games like Tekken you can sidestep. So do we want players to jump over fireballs? Or is it okay to sidestep them? That’s something we’re not decided on, we haven’t had enough time to look into it. We have a lot of staff, myself included, who grew up liking Street Fighter. I’m really confident that we can come to a good balance between the two worlds"
Above: Still, Ono's game seems to be working, anyway
I'm glad someone is. To be fair, it was always going to be easier to translate Tekken into 2D than it was to up-dimension Capcom's franchise. And Tekken X Street Fighter may well be suffering from a case of premature exposure, in which a project not intended for release for several years has been forcibly outed long before it was ready for public scrutiny. And there's also a chance that Harada-san's seeming cluelessness could just be another element of increasingly amusing, increasingly theatrical public sparring between himself and Street Fighter x Tekken Producer Yoshinori Ono. We can but wait and see. And hope. Yeah, seriously hope for that last option.
*This may not have been his exact wording.
August 03, 2011