Random Thoughts About the Relatively Early Days of Competitive Street Fighter X Tekken Play
Street Fighter X Tekken is just under two months old, which is not that old in the competitive fighting game scene. I’m still very much enjoying it. Hope you’re enjoying it too if you’ve been playing this game of late. Not really sure where I want to go with this post yet, but I just had a few thoughts about the early days of Street Fighter X Tekken that I wanted to capture somewhere. I’m just going to write off the top of my head and see where this goes.
Finding the right character(s) can take some time if you plan on playing these games seriously. It took me years before I finally settled on Rose and Cammy in the Street Fighter IV series. For Marvel vs. Capcom 3, though it didn’t take me years, it did take months before I finally formulated a team I was happy with as my go-to. So far, I run a team of Rolento and Kazuya. I fell in love with Rolento as a character from the moment I saw him in pre-release videos and I’ve been using him ever since. I really dig his solid pressure game, high mix-up potential and relatively low barrier to entry as far as execution goes. There are however, a few downsides to this. For one, his general damage output is a bit below average, which I’m fine with. My other, bigger concern, is that Rolento is a very popular character. He’s going to have some tools that will always work in his favour, but I’m concerned that just like Sentinel in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the community could figure him out very quickly. While he stands as an above average character today, let’s see where he shakes out when people have figured out all of the nuances to the game.
I set up Rolento as my point character and I keep him on screen as long as possible. I’ve even set my gem load out for Rolento in a way where all of his gem power-ups are defensive so that he either takes less damage or regains health. That way, I can keep him on screen longer. In these early days, I win most of my online fights with Rolento alone at this point, but that won’t last forever.
Though I’ve experimented with a number of other characters, I keep coming back to Kazuya as my anchor. My Kazuya isn’t anywhere near the level of my Rolento, but I love his ability to hit like a truck. For a few weeks, I only had him there as a placeholder till I could find someone I was better with, but as my Kazuya slowly got better, he just stuck. I’m still excited to learn more of the roster, so we’ll see where I ultimately net out.
I think that the inclusion of Tekken characters was a great idea. They don’t play like anything ever seen before in a 2D fighting game, which makes them really exciting. I also think because of that, Tekken characters are going to have a huge advantage in the beginning, if not for the duration of the game’s life. As someone who is solely a 2D fighting game player, I’m having a really hard time dealing with their combo strings and high/low mix-ups because I’ve never had to deal with anything like that before.
Conversely, learning how to play a Tekken character has also proven difficult. I’m used to only having to remember 2-4 special moves per character. However, the Tekken characters demand you remember a ton of different special moves and strings, which I just don’t have the mental capacity for at this time. I guess with enough practice I’ll eventually figure it out, but the initial learning curve is daunting to me.
The technical aspects of online play in Street Fighter X Tekken are hit and miss. The inclusion of four-player supported 2v2 is an amazing addition, which has become my go-to way to play. My coworker and I play as a team as often as we can, taking on anyone who dares to challenge us. Where it misses however, is in its online stability. When you’re playing with or against people with a less-than-ideal connection, the game handles it by kicking in a GGPO style roll back system. While GGPO itself works great, its inclusion here isn’t the best. One of the biggest drawbacks here is that the roll back can cause you to see one thing happen, and then the game say, “Oh wait, this happened instead”, which looks really jarring and can be super annoying when it doesn’t work out in your favour. The roll back will also skip frames of animation, which can be awful in cases when you hit a button and that press doesn’t register at all because that’s when the frames skipped. Overall, it’s still playable enough, but I really wish Capcom would have tightened this up before release.
As for the level of competition online, it’s readily apparent that this is a new game and people are still trying to come to grips with it. I think that I’m a bit ahead of the curve thanks to my overall experience as a fighting game player, which means that most of my fights involve me steamrolling a newcomers. The newness of this game also means that some of my fights involve me getting blown up by a handful of people who are insanely good and even losing to people exploiting gimmicks that I don’t have countermeasures for. At the very least, I think this game will have enough of a community behind it to make it a good online experience for months (or years) to come.
That’s it for now. What do you think about Street Fighter X Tekken so far? Would love to hear from you in the comments!