Every Sunday we bring you a selection from our archive, a feature you may have originally missed or just maybe would like to read again. This week, it's Simon Parkin's profile of Capcom's Yoshi Ono, the hard-working producer behind the revival of the Street Fighter series. The piece was originally published in June 2012.
Cross Assault, Capcom's online reality show about a Street Fighter X Tekken tournament, should have been a straightforward promotional device - a dog whistle inaudible to all but fighting game fanatics.
Back when I worked in a game store selling third-party controllers to unsuspecting customers (on the basis that if I ever recommended an official pad, I'd be on permanent stockroom duty) an import-savvy shopper informed me that Famitsu had announced a crossover between Namco and Capcom. My automatic assumption was that this had to be a fighting game, and that Capcom had somehow struck a deal with Namco and was about to bring the likes of Ryu and Jin together in the ultimate 2D mash-up. Boy was I wrong.
Namco x Capcom turned out to be a tactical-RPG, and when a fan translation patch surfaced a few years later I saw for myself that this was a million miles off 'The King of Iron Fist Tournament with a Shadaloo twist' that I'd imagined. But it did get me thinking as to how a crossover between the world's most popular 2D and 3D fighting game franchises could ever work.
Street Fighter has always been about condensed command lists with special moves that rely on charge and circular motions, while Tekken is defined by its limb-based buttons that focus on juggling. And although they share the concept of one-on-one combat with health bars, multi-hit combos and a three round format, in every other respect they're the polarised bookends of a diverse genre.
When Capcom's Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono unveiled Street Fighter x Tekken's new gem feature at New York Comic-Con, the internet erupted. Gems, Ono said, would enable a weaker player to close the gap with a good player.
Last month I packed my rucksack with the usual assortment of travelling essentials and made my second pilgrimage to the Eurogamer Expo. And while travelling from the UK's most southerly county isn't exactly cheap or hassle-free, the level of gaming opulence on offer made it worth the while.
In theory, fighting games should be one of the easiest genres to define - it's pretty much all there in the title. Two people trade karate chops, dragon punches and flying kicks until one is knocked unconscious or mercilessly killed, the only real complication coming from the clicking timer (fighters tend to suffer a cardiac arrest if they break the 60 second rule, you see.)
Certain gamers understand ennui. An example would be fighting game fans, particularly those who love Capcom, in these months following Marvel Vs Capcom 3 and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition. The first was a gorgeous, sparkly nothing, and the second was the point of diminishing returns for the peerless SFIV. So when the Street Fighter X Tekken logo comes up, it almost takes a heave to put your hands on the fightstick. Come on: another one?
As Capcom's senior community manager, Seth Killian is charged with spreading the good word about all his paymaster's games. But it's Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and now Street Fighter x Tekken that are his speciality. Killian knows his fighting games.
There was a time that Comic-Con was all about the comics. No more. Capcom and Namco Bandai's Street Fighter X Tekken announcement shocked fighting game fans around the world. How? Why? 3D versus 2D? What? Since then the questions have increased in number. So it is with great excitement that Eurogamer sits down with producer Yoshinori Ono to get some answers. Oh, and have we mentioned Street Fighter on 3DS?