Fighting Games Friday: Bandai Namco Should Go Ahead with Tekken x Street Fighter

Despite Capcom and Bandai Namco previously announcing the Street Fighter x Tekken and Tekken x Street Fighter crossovers, respectively, it was still a surprise to see Akuma make his way into Tekken 7. The big question that surrounded the on-hold TkxSF was how the development team would insert Street Fighter characters into Tekken’s gameplay style. Tekken Revolution seemed like the first attempt, but it left fighting game fans fearing what they’d do with the crossover, thanks to the super techniques and other mechanics introduced making it incredibly unbalanced. But they took the criticism from that game and applied it to Akuma’s implementation, who fit in well despite several of his techniques being unique compared to move sets from the rest of the cast.

Specifically, he came with a Super Meter, which gave him the ability to perform a Super Combo (“Messatsu Go Hadou”), Super Cancels, and EX attacks from the SF games. This was in addition to having his own “Rage Art” super technique that was given to every Tekken 7 character, with Akuma’s being the “Shun Goku Satsu” (commonly referred to as the “Raging Demon”). Though he was a little too formidable when he was first made available in the game, he was more balanced after a patch.

In fact, his implementation was well received enough that the team inserted another unique character: Eliza. She wasn’t introduced in this title, as she first appeared in Tekken Revolution, but she retains her move set. Like Akuma, she’s capable of super techniques like projectiles, and has a Super Combo, Super Cancels, and a Rage Art. Her move set is only part of the reason why she’s here, as that’s also due to her being a fanservice magnet.

But it became clear how much the team enjoyed inserting ostensibly unorthodox characters with the reveal of Geese Howard from Fatal Fury/King of Fighters at Evo 2017 last month. He keeps all his super techniques from the games he’s appeared in, and has a super meter that gives him power to use a Super Combo in addition to a Rage Art. He’s only been shown off in the trailer thus far, and he’s not due for release until early 2018, but he looks fun to play.

Since the development team likes inserting characters like this, I have an idea for their next game: Tekken x Street Fighter.

Their iteration of the crossover game went on hold for a couple of reasons. For one, the development team was constantly busy working on other titles, including Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 7, and Pokkén Tournament. Producer Katsuhiro Harada mentioned that he was working on five games simultaneously at one point. The entire development team won’t be required to work on one character, and only a small group was needed for next month’s release of Pokkén Tournament DX for Switch, so the rest of them could work on something new. Since they already have a series of base mechanics to work with, and a slew of Tekken models made in Unreal Engine 4, it would be easy for the team to jump right into the development of this crossover.

It’s also been over five years since the maligned SFxTk released, and it’s mostly vanished from everyone’s memories — despite Capcom’s low-profile update to address some issues in 2013. Tekken 7 was also more polished than Street Fighter V, so there would be more faith in this project. Unless Bandai Namco makes some exceptionally poor marketing decisions, SFxTk’s reception won’t affect TkxSF’s potential sales.

There’s a chance the team may not go through with TkxSF though, especially if Bandai Namco believes the SF brand is too weak after SFV’s subpar sales (go to #41). Making a new Tekken game that further incorporates many of the above-mentioned enhancements for multiple characters could also be on the team’s itinerary, which would essentially be a successor to Tekken Revolution. It was mentioned around the time Tekken 7 was revealed for arcades in mid-2014 that it would be the last game in the Mishima saga. In other words, this would be the perfect time for another soft reboot that not will not only shuffle up the main cast, but the main gameplay mechanics. This move could attract players who are traditionally fans of 2D games but don’t play many 3D fighters, while keeping most of the audience it already has.

At the time of its reveal, there was uncertainty about the potential success of Tekken 7 after Tekken 6 and TTT2’s home console releases were nothing special sales-wise; but with the newest installment selling well, and through money made with the arcade release in Japan and South Korea, there’s a good chance the series will continue.

It will be a while before we see the team’s next mainline fighting game project, until likely sometime after Geese releases. But in the meantime, we should see other projects this team has been working on, since they like to remain busy with multiple at a time.

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