'Street Fighter'/'Tekken' crossover appeals to old, new players

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Entertainment

Capcom is the king of crossover fighting games, pitting its own trademark characters against those of Marvel, Tatsunoko and even a rival in the fighting-game word, SNK. The company's latest match-up pits the signature "Street Fighter" series against Namco's fighter, "Tekken."

"Street Fighter X [that's "cross" to you] Tekken" looks and plays similarly to the excellent "Street Fighter IV." Where that game was a one-on-one fighter, "Street Fighter X Tekken" uses the two-on-two format typically found in crossovers. Tagging in secondary characters can be done either by pressing a button combination or by completing certain types of combos.

Those combos point to one of the most jarring aspects of the game for hard-core fighters: They can be engaged too easily when you mean to do something else. In fact, the game's default control includes preprogrammed combos: All you have to do is press in one of the analog sticks. I'd strongly suggest switching off the one on your left analog stick if you move your character with it.

The auto-combos are part of a renewed focus on making the game friendlier to new players (or plain old button-mashers). Another part of this is the gem system. You can select gems to help you play, such as ones that auto-block a few times per fight or make move inputs easier. If you've got the basics down, you can select gems that temporarily power up your character.

'Street Fighter X Tekken'
» System: PS3, Xbox 360
» Price: $59.99
» Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Once you get used to the kid gloves, the game controls well. The list of characters is huge (though, stunningly, there's no E. Honda), and the option to have two human players cooperate on one team is a nice touch. "Street Fighter X Tekken" is a great expansion to both universes.

mglennon@dcexaminer.com

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