Back at E3, we had our first look at the mobile version of Capcom’s upcoming crossover fighter, Street Fighter x Tekken. However, the demo build that was on display only had four characters for us to try out. Now that the game is closer to release, we’ve taken another hands-on look at the full roster, gameplay mechanics, and online features.
When we saw that these two worlds would clash, the first thing we wanted to know was who would be in the fight. In addition to the characters from E3 (Ryu, Kazuya, Chun-Li, and Nina), we can now confirm that King, Dhalsim, Guile, Hwoarang, Paul, and Hugo have all made the cut. If there are any unlockable bonus characters, we haven’t come across them yet in our preview build.
Street Fighter x Tekken Mobile uses simplified fighting controls that you can position anywhere you like on the screen. There’s one button for punches, one for kicks, a special button that serves as a shortcut for your character’s special moves, and an X button for reversals and switching out characters.
While you’ll mostly fight with just one character, you can call in backup from another character for a few moments. This lets your main character recharge a bit of health, but your backup character has a time limit that keeps them from dominating the fight. When your opponent tags out, the secondary fighter is more of an annoying obstacle to smash through than a truly equal match-up.
The characters are modeled in 3D, and while some of the textures look sharp on our Retina iPad, the character models are also a bit blocky. For example, Ryu’s muscles look squared at the edges. The advantage to having slightly scaled-down models is that the game runs quickly, and you can throw a flurry of punches and kicks in quick succession. Visually, it’s a departure from the last Street Fighter games on iOS.
Fast, responsive fighting will be especially important online. The game features Game Center online play, and while we weren’t able to try it out in our preview build, we’re pretty sure that opponents online will be merciless. The game keeps track of your stats in a card view, and it seems that you’ll be able to purchase power-ups called Pandora’s Boxes to temporarily increase your speed, strength, or defense.
After two successful Street Fighter games on iOS (SFIV and SFIV Volt), we’re looking forward to taking the battles online with a few Tekken fighters in tow. While we’re a bit disappointed by the lack of a story mode, for a series of quick match-ups, Street Fighter x Tekken seems to serve its purpose. The real test will be to take it online and see how the competition fares in the wider world. Look for Street Fighter x Tekken Mobile to hit the App Store later this month.