Coming over half a year on from its console release, Capcom’s newly pocket-sized mash-up brawler – pitting its own cast against Namco Bandai’s Tekken crew – aims to declare itself the definitive version of the game.
For completionists, the wait will have been worth it, as this boasts all 55 characters appearing in the home versions, with DLC and unlockable fighters available from the off. The roster alone almost makes the game worth purchasing, with oddball highlights including Mega Man decked out in his ‘80s American togs and Pac-Man piloting a wooden robot into battle. Combatants enjoy their own personal intro movie for the story mode, for extra attention to detail.
Controls remain much the same as on home versions, sadly meaning they retain many of the same problems. The traditional six-button Street Fighter layout, encompassing high, medium and low kicks and punches, remains awkwardly spread across four face buttons and two shoulder triggers. As a result, pulling off speedy combos becomes as much a test of physical dexterity as it is of actual skill. However, tweaks to better utilise the Vita’s functions, including assigning set combos to the touchscreen and rear pad, help mitigate this somewhat.
A few added extras unique to the handheld – including dropping characters into the real world via an augmented reality photo mode, and designing and sharing custom colour schemes – help add value, though few are likely to derive any considerable entertainment from these. This mobile version does a passable job at handling multiplayer too, with a full complement of matchmaking and ranking options, though there was some noticeable lag whenever we logged on. More interesting for Sony loyalists will be the possibility to link up to the PS3 version of the game and battle across platforms, which seemed much smoother.
In terms of the sheer amount of content offered, Street Fighter X Tekken Vita is certainly the version to go for, and it looks fantastic on the OLED screen. Fiddly controls and diminished interest given the lengthy gap between home and portable releases will tarnish the package for some though.