How Capcom Can Fix Street Fighter X Tekken
Street Fighter X Tekken is in trouble. The game has gone through PR hell over the controversial gem system and the on-disc DLC debacle. The game is off to a slow start in terms of sales. The game isn’t very popular in tournaments, as it routinely draws in less competitors and less viewers than Street Fighter IV or Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Maybe the most damning strike against it is the harsh criticism and feedback the game gets from disappointed fighting game players. Personally, I’ve had a hard time taking this game seriously since Capcom introduced the ridiculously overpowered assist gems and the game-breaking Rolento glitch.
The game is losing steam fast on all fronts. While Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 have maintained a loyal and steady player base over the last few years, Street Fighter X Tekken is in danger of falling off the map completely in a matter of months. Even though I like the core of the Street Fighter X Tekken experience, I’m on the brink of letting this game go to play other games. What can Capcom do to save this game from oblivion? Here’s a few of my suggestions.
1. Balance the gems
Capcom’s most ambitious addition to Street Fighter X Tekken is also the game’s biggest failing. Save for a handful of horribly overpowered gems, the rest of the gems are fairly inconsequential. How do you make the gem system matter without breaking the game?
If I had my way, I’d remove the gems completely and re-balance the game accordingly. However, this isn’t an option, as the level of effort required to do this is too high for a patch and people have already paid money for additional ones. Instead, the most realistic (yet still incredibly difficult) action Capcom can take is to re-balance the gems. It’s easy for anyone to say, “Buff the weak gems and nerf the strong gems,”, but I can imagine actually doing that while making gems matter being something that’s really hard to do. With that said, I don’t think Capcom has any other choice but to take another crack at balancing these gems if they want this game to live long and prosper.
2. Make all of the game’s systems matter
Street Fighter X Tekken gave players way too many mechanics to manage at once. Some of these mechanics end up getting overlooked, such as Cross Cancels. Others are just useless, such as Pandora and Cross Assault. There are a number of core mechanics in the game that probably could be tweaked to make them more fun as well. As with the gems, I wish they could just remove Pandora, Cross Assault and any other useless mechanics, but that’s probably not feasible without releasing a new disc. Instead, Capcom should really look into making all of these systems work into one cohesive game, which is easier said than done. In the meantime, we as players should continue to explore the game’s systems further, just in case we missed something that will make the game better.
3. Better gem management
One of the main reasons behind the tournament scene banning gems is because they take too long to equip. Capcom tried to address this with their tournament patch, but the system is still too slow and clunky. Equipping gems in a perfect world should be as fast as button check and anything more than that is probably a fail as far as tournaments go. At one point, Capcom did say they were working on allowing gems to be loaded into the game via USB drive, which would be a great feature to have for tournaments. However, I don’t think that ever came to fruition. Though gem adoption by the competitive community will always come down to balance first, a better management system will go a long way to making them more tournament-friendly.
4. Fix the time over issue
A Street Fighter X Tekken match can end really quickly if one player gets the jump on another. However, an alarming percentage of rounds end in a time over. Because of this, the clock becomes a factor way too early into a match, which often leads to players laming it out before any real action has occurred. Why do so many matches end in a time over? Is the clock too fast? Is it an issue of health? Damage scaling? Are we just playing the game wrong? It’s probably a combination of all the above and more. Whatever the solution is, it has to reduce the number of time over wins in order to keep the game exciting.
5. Re-balance the current roster
This one is a given. Every fighting game on the planet could always work better with more fine-tuning. Capcom has even said that they’re working on further balance changes as we speak. There are definitely some character balance issues I’d like Capcom to look into; primarily Hugo’s insane damage output.
6. Release the new characters earlier
Capcom created a ton of bad blood with gamers when they discovered all of the game’s DLC characters already on the disc. Though Capcom claims they’ve learned their lesson going forward, there’s still a community of scorned Street Fighter X Tekken owners that their disc has extra characters they can’t use because Capcom arbitrarily locked them out until they were ready to let people pay extra for them.
As a sign of of good will (and a tactic to help keep this game from completely losing steam), maybe releasing those 12 DLC characters early could be a good idea. Considering the fact that they’re not set for release until sometime in the fall, a summer release could help keep the momentum going at a time when the game really needs it.
Those are a few of my suggestions, though I’d love to see your input, too. What do you think Capcom could do to fix the current state of Street Fighter X Tekken? Let’s discuss in the comments!