DISCLAIMER: Yes, we all know by now that each of the characters included in this DLC pack were included in the file content on the retail disc. The purchase of this pack simply gives you access to them. I am not here to debate the merits of Capcom charging for content already on the disc. This review will be based on the content and quality of the pack in question, not the business practices associated with its distribution.
Five months after the launch of Street Fighter X Tekken (which I loved
), Capcom is ready to take the game to the next level. We aren’t talking about a “Super-ultra-turbo” edition of the game (which isn’t off the table at this point) but a massive DLC update that takes the total playable roster up to 50 characters (55 on PlayStation 3). The character DLC adds 6 characters to each side of the roster; 5 of them we have seen and played as recently as the last edition of Street Fighter 4 but the rest are completely new experiences.
For starters, let’s look at what exactly is included in the price of admission for this bundle. The pack adds the following characters to the existing roster: Blanka, Cody, Dudley, Elena, Guy, and Sakura on the Street Fighter side as well as Alisa, Bryan, Christie, Jack X, Lars, and Lei on the Tekken side. All 12 of them are completely unique creations and unlike anyone else in the game; you won’t find any palette swaps or carbon copies here. They each have their own set of 20 character trials, endings, team combinations and interactions, swap costumes, and the ability to customize their color palette. Considering how diverse the roster was to begin with, this only serves to deepen the overall SFxT experience.
Although I consider all 12 characters to be strong additions, some are more enjoyable than others. Most of the Street Fighter additions aren’t exactly new as we have seen them as recently as Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition 2012 (Cody, Guy, Dudley, Blanka, and Sakura). They all play predominantly the same as they did previously, with slight alterations to incorporate them into the new gameplay system. Elena and all of the Tekken characters on the other hand, come across as completely new and fresh experiences since this is their first appearance in this style of game. There are a few that really stood out to me personally:
Elena: It is very refreshing to see Elena make her long awaited return to the Street Fighter series; she hasn’t been seen since SF3: Third Strike. Just as before, Elena is immaculately animated and as much of a treat to see in motion as she is to use. She is a combo crazy character, mainly because nearly all of her moves hit multiple times. Her speed and agility make her a stand out to my personal preferences and play style.
Alisa: Alisa feels and plays more like a character from the SF series rather than from Tekken. Considering that she is a robot, her abilities allow her to do things that the standard Tekken characters cannot, such as using weapons and projectile attacks. She is also extremely mobile thanks to the rockets embedded on her back. Long story-short, Alisa is a lot of fun to use.
Jack X: While Jack may look like your typical fighting game, big man, he is anything but. His movements using the control pad / stick are extremely slow, but his robotic implants help accelerate things when launching attacks or performing special maneuvers. Like Alisa, he feels more like someone from Capcom’s lineup than from Namco’s. If you can learn to use your offense to maneuver yourself around, he becomes a joy to play.
Christie: Another Tekken offering that took me by surprise; Christie has become my favorite character to use in the entire game. She uses a capoeira style, which means that like Elena, nearly all of her attacks are foot-based. Most of her attacks also land multiple hits as well, making her an easy character to craft combos on the fly with.
All in all, the pack serves as a nice influx of new life into the game. There is more than enough trials and experiences available in the 12 new characters to bring back fans who may not have touched the game in weeks (or months). In terms of the actual content, there isn’t much to complain about. My biggest, and actually only, issue with this DLC pack is honestly the manner in which it is offered: all or none. Normally, additional characters for fighting games have been offered piecemeal, but not here. Your only option is to purchase the full pack of 12 characters for $19.99. Mind you, that isn’t a bad deal considering the price Capcom has charged for individual characters in the past (Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for example). Players were asked to shell out $5 a character then; here it boils down to roughly $1.66 per character but you don’t get the luxury of picking and choosing. After trying them all out, I am not sure that I would buy all of the characters individually for $3-$5 each, but as a pack for $20, it was an easy decision.
If you are a fan of the game and still playing it this long after launch, the decision to purchase this pack is a no-brainer. For a fraction of the price that most developers would ask you to pay, you get to expand the roster of the game by nearly a fourth of the original amount and with that expansion comes quite a bit to do and experience. Fans will surely find new teams and character combinations to suit their likings, perhaps even more so than the original release. Depending on your thoughts of the original release, the decision regarding this pack is an easy one; fans of the game shouldn’t hesitate but if you didn’t like what you played before, you won’t like the new additions.