Skisonic and I are back in our hotel after an exciting day 1 at E3. The main course today was definitely Street Fighter X Tekken. We explored the entire West Hall, but didn’t manage to make it to the South Hall today. A good three of our six hours were spent with SFxT, including some private hands on time with the game.
The Day 1 Summary –
SFxT looks really nice. The facial models and animations have all been redone from SF4, and the Tekken characters look really great so far. They have a lot of character and personality in their moves. The backgrounds are pretty busy, and between rounds, characters have transition animations in which they move to another part of the stage.
When getting your hands on the game, the first thing you’d probably say is that it feels somewhere between Marvel and Street Fighter. Chain combos are super easy, and some of the moves are even more over-the-top than usual. You can cancel most chain combos into special moves as long as you do it before you reach a heavy attack. If you use a heavy attack twice at the end of a chain, it causes you to perform your tag-launcher. This puts your opponent into the air and forces you to tag.
The game ends when one character is KO’ed, but the coloring on the health bars makes it hard to notice when you are near death sometimes. Everything juggles in most cases. You can do chain combos in the air, land, and continue the combo. Throws work just like Street Fighter 4, but most of them have pitiful range by comparison.
Tagging is performed with Medium Punch + Medium Kick. While doing so, it is possible to have two of your characters get hit at the same time. You can use MP+MK like a focus cancel to cause a tag cancel. Doing so lets your new character move freely while the exiting character finishes his move.
For instance, forcing someone to block Ken’s Heavy Hurricane Kick, and then tag canceling it right away, lets you perform mix-ups behind the cover of the Hurricane Kick. This can be pretty scary. I tried the technique later with a blocked Hurricane Kick from Hwoarang. The kicker (ha ha) is that the final hit of Hwoarang’s special is an overhead. Performing a low attack while this goes off results in a Marvel-style unblockable.
The game seems to use gravity scaling to prevent super long combos. Gone are double motions for Supers. Instead, you typically do a single motion with three punches or kicks to perform one. They animate like Ultras, but can be cancelled into from normals and chain combos.
When you get knocked down, you can tag while you are on the ground. This technique, while unsafe, did seem really useful in a lot of situations in which sacrificing some health on your 2nd character could prevent the match from ending early. You can even tag cancel in the air.
The launcher attack, which forces a tag, can be used as an “Alpha Counter” from blockstun for one meter. These can be baited and punished, however, as all launcher attacks are absurd on recovery, leaving you open for days.
We are going to get more time with the game tomorrow, and we’ll talk more about character specifics then. Early on, I have to say that the Tekken characters are all extremely complex and super interesting, while the Street Fighter characters seem really straightforward and simple.
My early favorites are Nina, Julia, Ken, Bob, and Hwoarang. King seems really complicated, and though I wasn’t doing well with him, UltraDavid was starting to find ways in which Marduk might be really scary. Ski’s early favorites were Ryu and Kazuya.