Street Fighter X Tekken / Tekken X Street Fighter
9th Sep 2010 | 10:58
The playground squabble of which franchise is true king of the fighters is set to be settled once and for all.
Capcom and Namco are colliding head-to-head - as Street Fighter tackles Tekken. And, conversely, Tekken tackles Street Fighter - in two completely new games.
We caught up with Street Fighter guru Yoshinori Ono and Tekken boss Katsuhiro Harada to get the full story...
How did the Street Fighter and Tekken crossover come about? Most people would assume Tekken would naturally crossover with Virtua Fighter and Street Fighter would continue on with SNK...
Ono-san: We get this question a lot, which probably means that everyone is surprised by this match-up. Rather than making something where people think 'oh, we knew that was coming', we wanted to make something to surprise people.
For instance, if Tekken and Virtua Fighter went along people would expect 3D, but when it is Tekken and Street Fighter everyone is just really surprised and even we don't really know how it's going to end. So as creators we really want to try something and make something new that no one's done and this is definitely the best opportunity so far.
Capcom will make Street Fighter X Tekken in to our interpretation of what Tekken is like and how Tekken would fit in the Street Fighter world, and vice versa. Tekken X Street Fighter will invite Street Fighter characters and concepts into the Tekken world and just make two games saying 'that's yours', 'this is mine', and deliver two completely new games to the fans.
You've made it clear that this is a "competition" between two beat-em-up teams. How seriously are you taking this? Are you keeping your ideas secret or sharing information with each other?
Harada-san: Well, it's not like we're trying to trip each other up in creating these games - it's nothing like that at all. There are two aspects to this face-off; the first is in-game between our characters and the Street Fighter characters.
For example, from Ryu's viewpoint looking at the Mishima Zaibatsu and the characters involved there, I'm sure he hates them and can't really go along with their principles and the things they're doing, so he'd want to crush them. On the other hand Kazuya, Heihachi and others would see the Street Fighter characters as something in that way and would do anything to eliminate them - that's their way of thinking. That's the game aspect of that facet.
On the other hand, from a development team perspective, although Ono-san's team was absent from the fighting game scene for about ten years they have over 20 years of fighting game experience with their franchise. So, of course, they have a lot of know-how and I'm sure they have a lot of pride on the line, especially since a franchise other than their own is attached with the title.
The opposite can be said of us as well, I don't think it's trying to hide something from the other side, it's more company pride to try to make the best product possible and then to be excited to see the results of how that plays out.
Ono-san, what advice would you give Harada-san in using the Street Fighter characters?
Ono-san: We have a mutual, fundamental understanding and utter trust between the two of us, so we don't intend to censor each other. I am entrusting the Street Fighter franchise to Harada and Harada is intrusting the Tekken franchise to me.
So we're just going to leave it as that, I won't say how he should deal with the Street Fighter franchise, that's up to him and likewise, it is up to me how Tekken is used in Street Fighter X Tekken. Harada believes in me and trusts me with it.
Do you think Harada-san has a bit of an advantage since his game is coming out after yours?
Ono-san: These two games are in the fighting genre, so generally speaking they're in a similar field. However, Tekken and Street Fighter are very different games, distinctively different, so because Tekken is 3D fighting and Street Fighter is 2D if Harada's Tekken X Street Fighter came out first, it isn't going to help me much to do anything because it has no relation to what I'm doing, and vice versa for Harada, my game won't help him. So in that sense there's no advantage for either of us because we're doing very different projects separately.
Harada-san: When you look at the game that Ono is working on, he's presented some of the footage at Gamescom and Comic-con before that, and I think the fans have a pretty good idea of what to expect from that. On the other hand just because of the gameplay features of Tekken and then taking the Street Fighter characters and implementing them we have the problem of fireballs, projectiles and such - how do they work in 3D?
Or the lack of moves from the Street Fighter characters when compared to each Tekken characters move list... there are a lot of obstacles we have to overcome and the fans seem to be more worried about my project than Ono's.
The Street Fighter games that have taken the step into 3D in the past aren't very fondly remembered. Harada-san what is your team doing differently? How are you going to avoid the same pitfalls?
Harada-san: Well, it's worth clarifying that although many people say that Street Fighter was in 3D and it wasn't popular, I don't think they were in 3D. The look and the technology were 3D but the gameplay mechanics were not so I don't think Street Fighter has ever been in 3D.
Even Street Fighter 4 - the look is in 3D but it is still 2D gameplay mechanics, so I don't think there's any reason to worry about something that hasn't occurred yet because there has never been a 3D Street Fighter game.
Rather than that, I hope that everyone will just look forward to the possibilities that are entailed in creating that now. You could have Street Fighter characters throwing fireballs or projectiles, and they'll be able to sidestep perhaps. Or use the typical Tekken air juggles, where you launch the opponent and do a hurricane kick and have endless possibilities for what comes after that.
I'd rather people focus on that potential fun element and on what they can expect to come.
It's no secret that Ono-san is working on a 3DS version of Street Fighter. Any plans for a Tekken to challenge that platform dominance?
Harada-san: I can't really say anything here because we haven't really announced anything like that. Even if I did tell, you would get caught for insider trading so that's off the table.
That being said, of course we've seen the trend in mobile gaming from not only the handheld platforms but the rise of cell phone gaming on the iPhone and such, so we're looking at the trends and thinking about how to proceed. That's about all we can say.
As your titles aren't out for a while, is 3D gaming something you're thinking about? Perhaps in 'Super Street Fighter X Tekken Dark Resurrection' or something like that?
Ono-san: At this point if you think about the frame-rate, with 3D games it is doubled and because both of our fighting games are of high-grade gaming it is 60 frames per second. Running a 120 fps game is pretty difficult so we're not sure about that.
Harada-san: When people think of 3D they think first-person shooters or third-person shooters, or flight games are more suited because of the aspects of the game. However, internally we've done all kinds of research, not necessarily in making a game as such, but taking various games we have and seeing what they would look like in 3D and we thought that fighting games look quite good but there is still the technological hurdle, as mentioned previously. It's kind of hard to say at this point.
The original crossover games started off as Street Fighter vs. X-Men and then branched out to encompass Marvel and Capcom. Do you think these games could branch out into Namco X Capcom?
Ono-san: It really depends on how these two projects go, really. Perhaps four years later, if we're sitting together and are still friends, then probably.
However, if four years later we're on opposing sides and not talking to each other then that probably means no.