Street Fighter V sees Capcom breathe new life into this beloved franchise, but is lacking on the content front.
From a content standpoint, Street Fighter V is lacking in a few key areas that are considered staples of the fighting game genre. The game features a story mode where the player is treated to a mini story about each character to better understand who they are and their role in the Street Fighter universe. The fights are fairly short as each character has between three and four fights that only last one round. As a veteran of Street Fighter I like this, as it shows newcomers who the classic Street Fighter characters are and also offers a fresh take on classic stories to remind fans of why we love the characters. Learning about the new characters was also fun, as the stories proved just how diverse this cast is, due to their unique motivations for wanting to be better fighters.
There’s a Survival mode where players must face a specified number of opponents with only one bar of health. Points earned from fights can be used to regain health or purchase buffs such as a damage output increase for the next round. There are 4 difficulty levels that range from facing 10 to 100 opponents. Versus mode is present allowing for local competitive play. Training mode is also present and a nice feature here is that you are able to position yourself to try combo setups from different areas of the stage.
Oddly, the game lacks a traditional arcade mode as well as the standard vs CPU mode. The game does not have its trial mode yet either, making it tougher for casual fans to improve the way they play and understand each character’s strengths and weaknesses. Personally I feel that the game is definitely lacking in the single player department. I want to engage more with the game, but once the story for each character is complete, and Survival mode has frustrated you for the 100th time and Versus mode becomes useless once your friend goes home, there’s little else for you to pursue to try and improve your abilities.
The game features two types of currency: Zenny, which can be purchased with actual money or Fight Money, which can be earned by completing each character’s story mode, leveling up a character, completing survival mode or winning online matches.
Currency will be used to purchase DLC characters and costumes when the store goes live in March. Being able to earn currency in-game is definitely a nice touch. I would, however, like to see Capcom make an adjustment to the amount of Fight Money earned online, as I feel it’s low.
Street Fighter V is a beautiful game and it’s clear that plenty of thought went into each character’s design, as is apparent by the small details found on each character. From Ryu’s dirty, tattered gi to Nash’s Frankenstein-like appearance. The environments are also beautifully rendered with locale sporting a different aesthetic. The main menu has great layout and is easy to navigate, and The game has a superb frame rate and I rarely experienced any slow down. Ryu’s design in this game is probably one of my favorites as it conveys more than ever the fact that Ryu practically lives in his gi and gloves and truly is a tireless wanderer. From the game’s art style to its user friendly menus, the overall presentation of Street Fighter V is fantastic.
The cast of characters in Street Fighter V is diverse and each character has a personality that reflects their fighting style. Returning characters have been tweaked to make them feel familiar and new at the same time, while the new characters all make for great additions to the franchise and fit in seamlessly. This amount of variety is quite refreshing, as it allows you to experiment with everyone on the roster in order to find a character that you like. Although Ultra Street Fighter IV had a larger roster, I’m definitely a bigger fan of the one found in this game. The characters feel fresh and I want to try everyone out, unlike in Ultra Street Fighter IV where it was viable to only learn specific characters for competitive purposes. Each character feels genuinely fun to use and I can’t wait to delve deeper into each move set, to find what works best for me.
Mechanically this is easily one of the best Street Fighter games to date. Each character’s moveset is unique and this ensures that no two characters play the same. Certain characters who had charge style moves in previous games have had their moves adjusted to make them more accessible to play. The V abilities make for an interesting addition as they can help you turn the tide of battle in your favor. V abilities come in 3 forms: V-Skills can be used at any time and each character has a unique V-Skill. Examples of this are Ryu is able to perform a parry like in the Street Fighter 3 series or Rashid’s front flip which can be used as a mobility tool or launch a diving kick to go on the offensive. V-Reversals make use of the V-Gauge and consume one bar per activation. This is similar to focus attacks from Street Fighter IV and can help you go on the offensive when blocking an incoming combo. Each character’s V-Reversal functions differently and it’s up to the player to determine under which circumstances it is best to use it. Lastly we have the V-Trigger, and this V ability differs among characters and enhances the way they play. Activating this with Ryu grants him the ability charge his Hadoukens which can break your opponent’s guard opening them up to combos. It also changes his Shinku Hadouken into a Denjin Hadouken making it more powerful.
From the moment you boot up Street Fighter V and you hear the main menu music, you realize that you are in for an audio treat. The game features a stellar soundtrack, with old fan favorite themes being updated to fit the game and also introducing new and thrilling soundtracks that fit their respective characters perfectly. My personal favorite theme is Ryu’s. Each time I heard the theme start, I got goosebumps. Both the English and Japanese cast have done a great job with the characters and I found myself struggling to decide on which voices to use for which characters as they were all so good.
The game has excellent netcode and I experienced minimal lag when playing against other players, even those in other countries. My only issue with the online component is how long matchmaking takes. During one instance I waited close to 30 minutes to find a match. A patch was released to rectify this, but still at times I’d find myself waiting a few minutes to get a match, but it’s not as bad as it was initially. You are able to partake in ranked matches to earn Battle Points to move up in the three leagues (Bronze, Silver, Gold) or if you want a less serious experience, you can also play casual matches. The game also features the Capcom Fighters Network. This will be especially handy to online enthusiasts as it allows you to add fighters you face, to a list to keep track of their progress as well as challenge to fights using the game’s Battle Lounge. You can also view and save replays through the CFN.
Even though Street Fighter V has minimal content, what is there already is solid and polished. Capcom certainly has taken the right steps to make Street Fighter feel fresh again, and with all its planned future content, it’s hard not to get a little excited about this game and what it could eventually become.
+Beautiful characters and environments
+More accessible to newcomers
-Lack of content
-Few training option available for casual to improve
Street Fighter V looks to have a promising future, but in its current state it’s tough to recommend unless you are a diehard fan.
Tyla Daniels is a writer for The Game Bolt who is probably an actor in another universe, but is great at quoting movies at the most awkward of times in this one. You can follow him on Twitter.