When Street Fighter IV Director Yoshinoro Ono made a surprise appearance during the Tekken Finals at EVO this year, the rumor mill started churning, were Tekken and Street Fighter teaming up? At first it seemed too ridiculous, the fever dreams of over-eager fanboys reading too much into a friendly appearance. But after the shocking announcement at ComicCon that yes, Street Fighter and Tekken were going toe to toe in two separate games, the debate was on. How will Tekken characters work without fireballs? Will Street Fighter characters be able to sidestep? Can Kuma really beat Zangief?
After taking an informal poll of our readers and the office, and by that we mean, “we made all of this up”, here’s some of the more interesting matches we look forward to seeing in Street Fighter X Tekken. We ignored the Ryu vs. Kazuya and Chun-Li vs. Nina entries because technically, they've already happened.
Rufus vs. Bob
We’ll get it out of the way before you ask: Bob came first, as Tekken 6 was released in arcades months before SFIV. How two totally different companies decided they both needed speedy fat asses in their games at exactly the same time is something of a mystery, though to be fair, we feel there’s room for both of them.
Honestly, it’s about time fighting games catered to the morbidly obese fans, giving them a spark of hope with these two; just because you can't do a push-up, or run a 30 minute mile doesn't mean you can’t compete in a global fighting tournament against the world's deadliest martial artists!
Fun Fact: Bob intentionally trained to become obese as he felt his svelte frame didn’t give him enough power behind his attacks.
Zangief vs. Kuma
In what will certainly be the most anticipated and, bizarrely, logical of these match ups, The Red Cyclone will finally be able to prove himself against his eternal arch nemesis, a bear. Zangief is notorious for training in Siberia with grizzly bears, which is why he’s covered in huge scars, and he's clearly not afraid of them.
So Zangief must have the upper hand here, being accustomed to Bear Kwon Do? Not so, as Kuma has been Heihachi’s training partner since birth (much like Roger Jr., this Kuma is the son of the original), making him, if you will, more adept at martial combat than the average bear. Kuma has also beaten the self-proclaimed "toughest fighter in the universe" Paul Phoenix, so don't count Kuma out.
Fun Fact: Zangief makes a quick background appearance in an episode of the Yu Yu Hakusho Anime.
Guile vs. Paul
While Guile is the consummate American hero, Paul is a combination of Guile and Ken potentially making him even more American. But patriotism aside, these two clearly have a passion greater than their dedication to their countries: maintaining and styling their awful hair. While Guile’s iconic do’ is unique, Paul’s is a little less so, leaving him looking like the last Kid n Play fan on earth. If you got that reference, guess what, you’re old.
Paul and Guile may be little more than organic devices designed to carry around ridiculous hair, but what a gelled, feathered battle it would be.
Fun Fact: Despite his constant proclamation that he is “The Strongest Fighter in the Universe” Paul’s ongoing rival in Tekken is Kuma the bear, who defeated him in Tekken 5.
M. Bison vs. Heihachi
The nice thing about crossovers is getting to see the evil characters go at it. After 5 sequels it's boring still seeing the same good guy and the same villain duke it out yet again. But seeing the evil masterminds go toe to toe? Much more compelling. Especially in the case of these two ruthless jerks; Bison killed Chun-Li's father on a Tuesday and forgot about it, and Heihachi has unsucessfully attempted to murder his own sons countless times.
Bison and Heihachi have a lot in common actually, they both run massive, successful evil corporations bent on destruction and world domination by day, and adore cracking skulls and murdering their opposition by night. Or maybe they murder by day too, we’re sure they make their own work hours.
Fun Fact: Heihachi can be customized to resemble Akuma in Tekken 6
Sodom vs. Yoshimitsu
Two of the only jerks rude enough to bring swords to a fist fight, Sodom and Yoshimitsu do a nice job filling the mandatory “Samurai” niche. While Yoshimitsu is a legitimate ninja enhanced with cybernetics and a cursed demon blade, Sodom is a Japanophile white guy who wishes he was Asian. Both bring some pizzazz to the tired old samurai fashion scene; Yoshimitsu with his space cyborg alien freakshow, and Sodom with his “Samurai Casual” armor and blue jeans.
Fun Fact: The kanji on Sodom’s chest is supposed to be the Japanese character for death “shi”, but is not written correctly and therefore meaningless, poking fun at Sodom’s poor understanding of Japanese.