Tekken 7 vs Street Fighter V
Date Published: October 12, 2016
From a PR standpoint, it’s fascinating to see how two of the biggest fighting game franchises; Tekken and Street Fighter have approached the introduction to the next console generation with their respective games.
Without downplaying the importance of other solid fighting games out there such as; The King of Fighters XIV, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator as well as the lesser known titles like Skullgirls, Melty Blood, etc., the two main games that currently headline the FGC (Fighting Game Community) are Street Fighter V and Tekken 7.
This past February, Capcom in partnership with Sony, have put out Street Fighter V in much anticipation of the FGC after almost 7 years since the launch of the Street Fighter IV. However, it’s safe to say that Street Fighter V stumbled out of the gate and didn’t have the smoothest launch. Missing features, identity crisis, both mechanically and graphically, a small sample of characters, and of course the infamous 8 frames of input lag, all contributed to the burnout of the casual scene and justified displeasure from FGC.
It took some time, but eventually the issues were looked at and improved upon with DLC (Downloadable Content) and patches. New stages, outfits, and other customization features became available. The coveted story mode was finally added as well as a few returning characters whom mostly were all a part of the Street Fighter IV cast. The frequent communication and updates with the FGC and casual gamers earned Capcom back some of the faith and trust lost after the backlash they received post launch but nevertheless, there were still lingering issues with the game.
Graphically speaking, Street Fighter V doesn’t look bad however, it certainly isn’t a visual marvel either, leaving it in the weird space of just being awkward looking. The fact that nearly half the cast has weirdly textured blonde hair is comical at best and something I’m willing to overlook, but when combined with a style that is somewhat trying to mesh 2.5D character models on a 2D environment with 3D background elements. It just doesn’t work. The other odd infusion that I’ve noticed is the blatant over-sexualization of virtually the entirety of the female fighters.
Sexiness in video games is not a bad thing if done in moderation and somewhat in class, however, seeing it in Street Fighter V repeatedly is just strange to me. Now, I’m no prude, I support customization for bringing out the wild side in characters if so chose the player, but seeing how the default costumes for the female cast have already left little to the imagination, it just comes off as tacky. The Street Fighter series for me has been more about the traditional mechanics than lewd visuals, I can get those from Dead or Alive considering it is well known that the DOA series has never really been about fighting but, more about hot under-dressed women in provocative positions.
Putting aesthetics aside, the thing that disappointed me the most with Street Fighter V was its metagame. I’ve grown so accustomed to the meta of “footsies” and spacing with regard to a Street Fighter game. However, on a personal bias, whether it’s as a player or spectator, I do not enjoy the fight progression in Street Fighter V. The new meta has become rushdown, over-reliability on jumping, crush-counter fishing or “shimmying”, anything in order to guarantee explosive damage. Yes, there are ways to get around those habits when facing less experienced players, and at higher levels, the game does tend to slow down a bit and returns to its traditional roots, but when the fast paced meta of the game is coupled with the game’s input lag, it makes matters all so much more difficult to deal with.
While Street Fighter V has been fighting to earn back their fans good faith, Tekken 7 has yet to release, but has already won the hearts of many of those who have seen it motion or have gotten hands time with it. Even be it that they are technically in the same genre, from a fighting game community standpoint, Tekken 7 is not a direct competitor to Street Fighter V, as the audiences of the two games tend to just pick one and focus on it, however, with the inclusion of Street Fighter’s Akuma in Tekken 7, that very well may change.
I’ve gone on record saying that, Tekken 7 is visually the best looking game in motion out there. Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is a worthy competitor; however, I’d still give the edge to the former. Bandai Namco has really outdone themselves with the handling of Tekken 7. The visual and mechanical upgrade that occurred with the switch from the original Tekken 7 to Tekken 7: Fated Retribution was pleasing and unexpected. The fact that this move was done pre-console launch is very telling that Bandai Namco is making sure to really elevate the game to its utmost potential when it’s finally in the hands of its passionate and dedicated fans.
Bandai Namco has showed it’s hand pretty extensively so far with regard to Tekken 7. The constant addition of new and returning characters, new responsive stages, customization options, they are showing forth their hard work, and it has not gone unappreciated with the hardcore Tekken community and other scenes in the FGC are also beginning to take notice.
As smooth as it looks visually, Tekken 7 hasn’t disappointed so far in its mechanics. The game has become more beginner friendly, the implementation of Rage Arts and Rage Drives is something that really changes the meta of how the game is to be approached now and opens the door to a variety of different options, as well as welcoming new playstyles. There are still some things that need to be addressed and resolved, such as animation bugs or hit and hurt box placements, but, considering the game hasn’t been released yet, we don’t know if there is anything severely wrong with it and so it cannot be judged critically. However, from early impressions of Tekken 7, it seems that with a little more polish, it is going to be the fighting game to beat as far as quality.
In closing, the two aforementioned fighting games are different yet similar in a sense, both are changing things up. What is interesting is that somehow Bandai Namco has managed to do something with Tekken that you’d expect Capcom to do with Street Fighter, and that is the ability to strike the balance of explosive damage as well as a spacing-based metagame. Obviously the two games are played on two different plains as one is a 3D side stepping fighting game, the other being a 2D projectile fighting game, so a direct comparison cannot be made.
The most interesting factor when it comes to Bandai Namco’s shown competency, is the test chamber that is Street Fighter’s Akuma in a Tekken universe, if they manage to get the Street Fighter feel in Tekken 7 somehow better than Capcom managed to in Street Fighter V, it won’t only be a tell on which fighting game is superior, but it also bodes extremely well for the future release of Tekken X Street Fighter.