NEWS - Thursday, July 29, 2010

Capcom, Namco Designers Talk SF x T

For gamers, Capcom and Namco Bandai practically stole the show at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend with their sudden reveal of Street Fighter X Tekken, a fighting-game crossover that few could have imagined ever happening.
"The project began last August, I think," Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono told Famitsu magazine in an interview published this week. "SFIV and Tekken 6 had just come out and the fighting genre was starting to get some life back into it, and so we had a discussion about how to keep this excitement going. As things went forward, we figured that we should probably do something major, put on a real big fireworks show. It was then that Harada [Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada] said he was really frustrated when he saw Capcom teaming up with SNK back in the day."

"Personally speaking, I’ve been telling people that I want to do a crossover with Street Fighter for at least the past 13 years," added, "I don’t mean to flatter Mr. Ono, but I think Street Fighter is seen as the bellweather of the entire genre, the foundation for everything else. It’s a major enough title that even people who don’t play fighters know who Ryu and Ken are. So, to be honest, part of me wanted to get ourselves on the same playing field as Street Fighter."

As Ono explained at Comic-Con, Capcom and Namco Bandai will both produce their own version of SFxT. "I’d like this to be seen less as a collaboration and more of a competition," Harada told Famitsu. "I mean, there’s no way Ryu and Kazuya would ever shake hands with each other." Ono agreed: "It’s definitely not your typical collaboration. It’s like Capcom and Namco Bandai are putting all their forces together in order to wage a serious battle against each other. Harada isn’t examining our game at all, and we won’t examine theirs."

"Even if they do a strip scene with Chun-Li, I won’t complain about it," he added with a laugh. "And I told them that they could have Tekken characters firing off Hadoukens if they wanted," Harada noted.

Does either producer know what characters are going to be involved in the game yet? "That hasn’t been decided yet," Ono said. "We’re in the middle of the selection process right now, and I’ve been looking at character design sheets and so forth." Could we expect, say, 10 or so fighters from each game? "I’d like a few more than that. If we can get the time, we’ll put in as many as we can. The title we’re showing off now is the Capcom-developed version, and I think seeing characters from both titles on the same screen is a pretty exciting thing for most people in itself."

How will the gameplay work, speaking of which? SF and Tekken are pretty different games, after all. "Currently, all we have are some characters thrown into the SFIV engine," Ono explained. "We’re going with that first and making sure that it doesn’t feel at all awkward, and then we’ll naturally fix things up from there. Tekken’s gameplay is adept at making combos feel good, while I think one of the good things about SF is how you use the balance between you and your adversary. Our issue right now is figuring out how to combine that in a way that fans of both series will enjoy. Maybe it’s the job of Harada’s team to make a game that leans toward Tekken’s feel, but if we aim too much for SF-style gameplay, the results will be too hard to play and all the excitement we’ve built up will go to waste. That’s something we’ll have to be careful with."

It’s all exciting stuff, but sadly it won’t be playable by us unwashed masses anytime very soon. "No way that’s going to happen," Ono said when asked if SFxT will be out within the next year. "I think getting it out next year is going to be pretty difficult." Harada was even more pessimistic: "In our case, especially, we haven’t even started development yet, so it’s certainly not something we can put out in a year or so."




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