With Darkstalkers out of the way, Yoshinori Ono, producer, dug into the development of Street Fighter X Tekken. We talked about adapting Street Fighter characters for Tekken’s combo heavy system and Tekken wrestlers like King for Street Fighter fans.
Using the cross rush system, its easier to get in an opponents face and string together a long combo. It’s say that’s more Tekken-like. How did it feel to take the characters you know from Street Fighter IV and adjust them for this more aggressive style gameplay?
Yoshinori Ono, producer: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 gave us an example and in all of the Vs. series titles all the way back to X-Men vs. Street Fighter, the Street Fighter characters there have combos and moves that were never in Street Fighter games, but they still feel Street Fighter-like. Even in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 when you do launchers and air combos there is no doubt you’re playing Ryu or another Street Fighter character.
We have an established pattern of taking characters out of their comfort zone and having them still feel like the characters you know and love. We took some cues from those games. With Street Fighter X Tekken, we want to preserve the Street Fighter feel, but we don’t want to make the game so Street Fighter-like that we alienate the Tekken fans. Half of the characters in there are for them to enjoy, as well. We made adjustments to give them longer combos and integrate them in the cross rush system. I think we’re in a pretty good place now, they still fell as you’re accustomed to while they have new moves they can do too.
What about the wrestlers like King? How did you translate his moves into Street Fighter x Tekken?
That wasn’t necessarily as hard as you might think. Street Fighter has this reputation for being a game about projectiles, but if you really break down the roster – there are more characters without projectiles that there are with projectiles. There has always been grappling characters who get in your face with punches and throws, so I think wrestling characters fit right in.
The one thing Tekken does differently is when you knockdown a character you can pummel them on the ground. I think we’re going to replicate that feel using the more traditional Street Fighter inputs. If you get a chance to play the build at Comic-Con, I think you will find King and [Craig] Marduk feel as you would expect them to.
Have you finalized the roster?
OK. I know you can’t tell us which characters are confirmed, but can you tell us two characters that are definitely out? One from Street Fighter and one from Tekken.
On the Street Fighter side, I can tell you Dan will not be in the game. You may remember he was killed by a Tekken character at Comic-Con last year, so he won’t be in Street Fighter X Tekken. [Laughs] As much as I personally wanted to have a cool Nina and Anna tag battle, the director was against putting Anna because we already had Nina in. Sorry to all of the Anna fans out there!
When we were talking before you said Dhalsim was your favorite Street Fighter character. Who is your favorite character from the Tekken side?
I played the entire Tekken series from the very beginning and when I started it the impression I got was less about the game being cool, it was more about the wacky and unique characters. The ones that stood out to me, and are still my favorites, were Nina and Paul. Nina has a lot of cool combos you can do that are unique compared to the other characters.
Paul is more of a thinking man’s character. You have to play him almost in a Street Fighter way where you keep your distance and do your big moves when you can. I like those two. Your next question might be ‘Hey you haven’t announced Paul yet?’ You’re right I haven’t…
Speaking of unusual characters you seem to be a fan of Blanka.
I love Blanka and we sent a crew to Brazil to look for him. If we can find him he might end up in this game. If he manages to evade us he may not make it in. [Laughs]
Tekken games have robust character customization. Will we be able to customize say Ryu in the same way with similar features in Street Fighter X Tekken?
We’ll talk more about that at Tokyo Game Show, but I will give you a hint now. We’re probably not going to do that, but it might be to a different degree and a different type of customization than you might expect to fit the Street Fighter and Tekken characters.
The Tekken games tend to have wacky mini-games. Do you think we’ll have anything like Tekken Bowl or Tekken Force in this game?
We’re thinking about stuff like that. Personally, I’d like to see something that revolves around the tag mechanic for a mini-game or another mode. That said, we’re working very hard on finishing the main game. If we can get that to a good state where we have extra time to play around, we’ll definitely do that and we can talk about that then. Right now, it depends how development goes.
You brought fighting games to the PC with Street Fighter IV. Why isn’t there a PC version of Street Fighter x Tekken?
I don’t want to giveaway too much, but I can say we listened to fans with Street Fighter IV. When we didn’t put Super [Street Fighter IV] on PC we listened they were upset and put AE [Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition] on there. It was a month late, sorry about that. We are really happy with those results, it’s on the top ten on Steam downloads and we’re paying attention that. We are certainly considering doing something similar, but I don’t want to talk too much right now.
It’s possible. For the 3DS, I wanted to do an [Super Street Fighter IV:] Arcade Edition version, but I haven’t had a chance to do that because of all the other things I’m up to. At the company, we’re debating should we go for an AE port on 3DS? Should we skip that and go straight to Street Fighter x Tekken? There are a lot of things up in the air, so I can’t say for sure what our next 3DS project will be.
What will move the release AE on Nintendo 3DS forward?
This is driven by my personal policy and the team’s policy is once you put out a product you also have to follow up, take care of your audience, and make sure their needs are being met. When we talked at the panel we wanted to get feedback from users on rebalancing and tweaking they would like to see in Arcade Edition.
It would be the same for 3DS, we released Super and we want to make sure people are being taken care of. That’s basically my thought process behind how we take care of fans. We just don’t want to drop a game of them and run away. We’d like to keep the community going, communicate with them, and listen to their requests.
You’re known for creating fighting games, but let’s say one day you stopped working with Street Fighter. Which Capcom franchise would you and your team want to work on next?
A Capcom IP [intellectual property]? Capcom IP… hmm… my hands are full with Street Fighter right now and I’m so happy about that it’s hard to envision doing something else. I’m so obsessed with Street Fighter and fight games I can’t even think about what other games I’d like to do at the moment. I guess I would take a weird approach and do some kind of unrelated gesture based Kinect game. [Laughs]