The Art of Blending Tekken With Street Fighter

One is a fighting game of joystick precision, the other of rhythmic button tapping: Finding a way to meld those two styles is perhaps Capcom's greatest challenge with Street Fighter X Tekken.

"Ultimately what we are heading for is a Street Fighter game, so everyone will have Street Fighter-esque moves," said Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono. "The Tekken characters will be entering the Street Fighter world, so they will play like Street Fighter characters but their moves will be Tekken style."

But accomplishing that isn't as simple as creating a new set of moves for players controlling the Tekken characters. Like Street Fighter, the Tekken fighting franchise has a very distinct style of control.

I pointed that out to Ono. How will Capcom bring over the rhythmic button tapping moves of a character like Law, who can deliver blistering kicks by tapping through a series of buttons, without losing that sense of flow and timing, I asked?

Ono says he was worried about that too initially. He plays Nina, another character who relies on tapping a variety of buttons in rhythm to deliver a flurry of attacks.

"When I was going through all of these moves for Nina I thought 'I've seen this somewhere before," he said. "It boiled down to Darkstalkers. In Darkstalkers we have chain combos: Light, light, medium, medium, hard, hard. That is a Capcom version of that rhythmic input command."

Once Ono made that connection, he said, he saw the potential.

"We see great possibilities in these two mixing up," he said. "In that same sense, like how chain combos are used to play Tekken, we'll bring back Nina and Law's (If law is in the game) into Street Fighter X Tekken, incorporating that chain combo style."

While Ono is excited about the project, there's one other project he'd rather be working on: A revist of fighter Darkstalker.

I asked Ono why, since he's been talking about making a new Darkstalker for so long, did he decide to pitch a Street Fighter, Tekken game.

Ono said he didn't expect the higher-ups at Capcom and Namco to approve the game so quickly.

Tekken director Katsuhiro "Harada and I are good friends," he said. "We know each other fairly well, have meals together, eat yakitori, and talk about doing a game together. We used to have this conversation all of the time."

Ono said that once Street Fighter IV launched, and brought with it a resurgence of interest in the fighting genre, he and Harada started talking about making a game together again.

"We decided to bring it up to our management but we thought the discussion was going to go on forever," he said. "We were expecting them to have a long discussion over years and years, but as soon as they had a one high management meeting together, they just stood up and shook hands two seconds after the meeting. That was the moment the decision to make this game was made. I was a bit shocked."

Ono said he had very mixed emotions about how quickly the game was approved by both companies because he still hasn't gotten approval for his pet project: A Darkstalkers remake.

"We have a weekly meeting with (Capcom's Keiji) Inafune," he said. "I bring Darkstalkers up every week and Inafune has still yet to approve it... but I'm going to continue doing it.

Ono says he's so interested in making games like Street Fighter X Tekken and Darkstalkers not just because he's a fan of the games, but because he's a fan of the fighting game genre.

"Street Fighter X Tekken," he said, "is part of a grand scheme of making fighting games the biggest genre of all time."