3. Pick the right team
Naturally, it'll take dedication and hard work to master everything the game has to offer. But before you begin to train, first you've got to settle on the right pairing. If you're stuck for inspiration, here are a few suggestions:
"For Street Fighter characters, we recommend the traditional Ryu/Ken team, or Chun-li/Cammy. For the Tekken side, it's a bit more subjective, as the Tekken characters have never been in this kind of 2D setting before, but King/Marduk is a really interesting team. Asuka/Lili is also a very speedy team, which makes them easy to play in this game engine.
The other thing to bear in mind is that this isn't like Marvel vs Capcom 3: if either of your fighters get knocked out, you lose the round. In MVC3, players often favour one character as their lead, but here it may be better to treat both scrappers as equals.
"This game engine was more inspired by the Tekken Tag Tournament series, so it is more similar to that than the MvC series," says Ono. "The tag aspect of the game works in a different way, so it's hard to say which strategy is better, because the games are very different. We hope players will find out what works best for them when playing the game."
4. Be patient with the Gems system
Each character in your team has three slots to be kitted out with Gems that will help you to gain an edge in battle. Assist Gems are passive, while Boost Gems only confer their boons after you fulfil certain conditions – like connecting with a set number of normal moves. So, what's the key to getting the most out of this system?
"Trial and error, for the most part!" laughs Ono. "Each Gem has different activation conditions, as well as merits and demerits, so it's up to the players to find out what works best for themselves. The player's style, personality, strengths, and weaknesses all play a part, so it will take a lot of experimentation. Different Gems work well in different situations, so players will also have to use different combinations to react. There are a lot of possibilities within the game system.
5. Watch how the experts play
Ono's final tip is a classic piece of advice, one that's applicable to pretty much every serious fighter: once you've learned the basics, the best way to improve your game is to watch how the experts do it:
"We live in an age now where match videos are available through the internet on video sharing sites, replay channels, and live streaming sites," he says. "My advice to new players is to watch match videos of more experienced players, and try to analyse their gameplay. If it's a player you really like, try to copy their style and see if it works for you. By having players whose game you follow and respect in the community, it provides a lot of motivation and guidance for you to get better, and is definitely a short cut to levelling up your game.
"Finally, we have implemented a very robust Tutorial mode, and Trial mode into SFxTK, which we hope new players will take advantage of as well."