Thursday, 17 September 2015

X-Men vs. Street Fighter - Arcade


It's the crossover nobody asked for and yet nearly everyone welcomes with its loud, proud, almost flamboyant use of colour, speed and graphic clarity, it's X-Men Vs. Street Fighter. Taking a medley of X-men characters ranging from The Juggernaut (bitch!), Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Cyclops, Gambit, Sabertooth and more. While also throwing in various Street Fighter characters as Ryu, Ken (Seriously, what self-respecting Street Fighter doesn't have these two... oh wait... THAT one...), Chun-Li, Bison, Charlie, Akuma (secret but easy to find), Dhalsim and more, ranking up a total of 8 from each franchise and pitting 2-on-2 battles using a tag-team system.

Could be a bit of a match up here, in theory entirely unbalanced, as a game, fight time!

Taking the usual battle system found in many other Capcom titles, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter uses the 6-button layout for combat. Meaning it has a set of punches and a set of kicks ranging from weak to medium and strong/fierce giving you 6 buttons for attack. Throw in the joystick for movement and pulling off special moves and you're sitting pretty for some fairly intense action ranging from fireballs to combos, aerial attacks and launchers, high jumps and teleportation with also the option to switch out your player for the other partner by pressing both strong attacks at the same time, letting the partner that's out of the fight regain some health.

And the hits keep piling up!

What's interesting for X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, is that there's hyper moves, the energy for which builds up over time either by being struck or hitting the other player, or pulling off special moves and for each bar that's completed, gives the player the change to use a much more powerful, usually devastating, hyper move that usually involves doing a special move and hitting more than one attack button of the same type i.e. two punch buttons rather than one. Often causing a large steady, multi-hitting beam move, or an uninterruptable combo if the first strike lands. If you can mix-combo these into a standard combo, you're pretty much laughing at your opponent.

Ahhhh.... Viennaaaaa....

Battles in X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, take place along a myriad of locations, ranging from a shopping mall, the back of a blackbird (the plane, not the small creature, though that would be fascinating to see for about 2 seconds), a gas storage plant, a backstreet surrounded by police, a TV show and several others, all which have a lavish level of detail within and often have a few hidden extras in the background, like one level showing Blanka and Beast in the background, while other levels will change based upon either the time taken in the fight or depending upon which round of combat you're in. It adds to a little extra variation we're not normally used to seeing.

Flashy Special Elite Alpha Finish! (Mk 3, upper)

The music in X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, changes depending upon the players being swapped in and out. When a player is defeated, the next player to join the battle usually has their theme tune ringing out from previous games (namely Street Fighter Alphas and X-Men: Children of the Atom) adding to an odd but welcome mix of audio. Every hit, impact and strike sounds like lightning and thunder going off and power moves often sound as powerful as they are destructive to the other players health bars (and your own, often your own). While the graphics are fast, fluid, looking like comics/cartoons in appearance which can be a little jarring to some of the more realistic backgrounds but everything looks how it should and plays steadily.

As if I'd leave out a Raging Demon move...

With a final boss that is worthy of the X-Men franchise (and reused from an earlier game) taking up over a whole screen and with some incredibly cheap moves (it IS the final boss...) there's a lot in this game that will bring fans back for more. Though people that don't appreciate or like this genre of game might want to give it a few cursory goes, but would do better watching the more capable players for what the game is really able to showcase.