Street Fighter V
The legendary fighting franchise returns with Street Fighter V! Powered by Unreal Engine 4 technology, stunning visuals depict the next generation of World Warriors in unprecedented detail, while exciting and accessible battle mechanics deliver endless fighting fun that both beginners and veterans can enjoy. Challenge friends online, or compete for fame and glory on the Capcom Pro Tour.
- New and Returning Characters: Birdie and Charlie Nash make their return to the Street Fighter universe, where they join classic characters like Ryu, Chun-Li, Cammy, and M. Bison. Many more new and returning characters will be added to the diverse roster, offering a wide variety of fighting styles for players to choose from.
- New Strategies and Battle Mechanics: Highly accessible new battle mechanics, which revolve around the V-Gauge and EX Gauge, provide an unprecedented layer of strategy and depth to the franchise that all players can enjoy.
- V-Trigger: Unique abilities that use the entire V-Gauge, giving players the opportunity to inflict damage when activated.
- V-Skill: Utility skills (such as evasion) for each character that can be activated at any time.
- V-Reversal: Unique counterattacks that use one stock of the V-Gauge.
- Critical Arts: Ultimate attacks that use the entire EX Gauge.
- PS4 and PC Cross-Platform Play: For the first time in franchise history, the online community will be unified into a single player pool, allowing for even more rivalries to be born.
- Next Gen Visuals: Unreal Engine 4 technology pushes the realism and next-gen visuals to new heights, making this latest entry the best looking and most immersive Street Fighter game of all time.
- Rise up: The Capcom Pro Tour, the premier league destination for competitive fighting games, features dozens of tournaments for Street Fighter players across the globe. The 2015 tour includes $500,000 in prizing, the largest in franchise history.
February 16, 2016
PlayStation 4, PC
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Though it’s been around in some iteration since 1987, the proper series had gone all but dormant after the release of Street Fighter III in 1997. Its follow-up in 2008 not only pumped fresh blood back into the Street Fighter franchise, but revived an entire genre in the process. Now, eight years after the release of Street Fighter IV, Capcom is unleashing the World Warrior once more. Is Street Fighter V everything fans have been waiting for or has the sinister Shadaloo organization finally snatched victory from the franchise?
There are clearly otherworldly forces at work with some of these fighters. Dhalsim, the yoga master, has a religious vibe to him (not unlike many devout yogi) while housing some interestingly creepy elements as well. Necalli is just straight up an Aztec fighting god who has returned to devour the souls of the world’s strongest fighters. Ryu constantly speaks of the fighting spirit and his will to constantly better himself and, to some degree, fight off some demons of his own.
While it’s true that SFV is a fighting game, this is nothing close to the likes of Mortal Kombat X. There are animated blood splats and screams, but there’s nothing grotesque like Warner Bros’s franchise.
There are a few occasional mild curse words. Expect the sort of thing you may here on a PG-13 movie (a*s, bas****).
Hands down, this is Street Fighter V‘s most egregious offense. Of the five ladies in the game, four of them are preposterously hyper-sexualized. Karin wears relatively conservative attire while Cammy, Chun-Li, R. Mika and newcomer Laura are all fighting in little to no clothing and their…assets…are flamboyantly shoved in your face with every attack. It’s a real shame, too, as the fighting styles of several of these characters make them a lot of fun to play. Some alternate costumes help alleviate this, but at the same time, others actually make things worse.
As with any Street Fighter game, many of the characters focus on hard work and diligence to better themselves and their skills. Many of hte contestants’ good-willed sportsmanship are encouraging as well. Of course, the ever-present struggle of Good versus Evil is here as too.
Let’s get to the most important aspect of any Street Fighter game first: its gameplay. The basic movement and striking in SFV is arguably the best the series has yet to see, and that’s really saying something for a franchise crowned King of the Fighters for nearly three decades. Everything is crisp and responsive and characters are well-balanced to ensure that every fighter is on equal footing despite the large variety of play styles. It truly is a triumph.
Where SFIII introduced the parry mechanic Daigo so famously executed and SFIV brought us the Focus Attack and Ultra Attack, SFV has delivered its own unique gameplay with the addition of three new techniques: V-Skills, V-Reversals, and V-Triggers. These consume a V-Gauge that builds throughout the fight, letting players unleash devastating moves to topple foes or execute crucial reversals to escape deadly situations. They also grant various boons to each character, such as a parry for Ryu. When combined with tight core gameplay, the V-moves shine to set SFV head and shoulders above any of its competitors—even its predecessors.
Despite its phenomenal gameplay, Capcom has taken some major missteps with Street Fighter V. Though they’ve rectified it with with a couple of patches, the game launched virtually featureless and remained that way for nearly six weeks. There are claims that it was rushed to make due for the Capcom Pro Tour, but as a consumer, I do not care. Asking your fans to shell out full price for the skeleton of a game that suffered from virtually crippled servers for days after launch isn’t just an oversight. It’s a malevolent money grab.
On top of a relatively featureless game at launch, Street Fighter V‘s story mode is an absolute farce, even by the franchise’s own standards. In the wake of Mortal Kombat’s robust storytelling, players have come to expect a lot out of what a fighting game’s narrative can be. If NetherRealm’s story offerings are a feast at your favorite sit-down restaurant in town, SFV’s is a soggy taco from the drive through of your least favorite fast food chain. Street Fighter V’s story is one overarching offering. You’ll get to play as each fighter, but only for 2-3 fights, and even then it’s against stone-stupid AI. When you couple those with 2-3 poorly drawn illustrations for each bout, you literally get the worst story mode I’ve ever seen in a fighting game. It’s pathetic.
While it NetherRealm several weeks, the SFV finally feels like it has a reasonable feature set. When it initially launched, players had access to the weak story mode, a survival mode, and online play with lounges of 2 players. Now, players also have access to a challenge mode (which actually includes both tutorials and combo attack training), online lounges of up to 8 players, and the in-game store. It’s honestly the bare minimum the game should’ve launched with, but it’s enough to keep fighters coming back. When you factor in buying new characters, costumes, and more for in-game currency, the outlook moving forward is far less bleak. The added ability for PC and PS4 players to befriend and play one another is also a beautiful addition and I look forward to more games employing down the line.
On a positive note, Street Fighter V both looks and sounds incredible on both platforms. The same signature art style from SFIV makes a return with fluid, responsive animation. As always, the game’s character design is top notch, bringing each larger-than-life fighter to the screen with vibrant, striking colors. The soundtrack will have you tapping your toes between rounds as well. Apart from those weak storyboard cutscenes, Capcom’s presentation is on point.
Overall, fans will be happy with what Street Fighter V has turned into. The game features some of the tightest fighting the genre has ever seen. On top of that, the presentation is a home run. While the story mode is incredibly underwhelming and the game initially stumbled coming out of the gate, there’s plenty here now to keep fans coming back for years and, with the promise of at least half a dozen extra characters, Capcom is already chambering rounds to make that happen.
I’m still incredibly bitter about that first six weeks though. Don’t ever do that again Capcom. It’s unbecoming of a developer of your pedigree.
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+ Fluid, responsive combat
+ Beautiful, vibrant visuals
+ Diverse cast with fun new characters
+ Cross play between PC and PlayStation 4
- Abysmal launch
- Hyper-sexualized female cast
- Story Mode is overwhelmingly disappointing