Game: Street Fighter V
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), PC
Developer: Capcom, Dimps
There’s Mortal Kombat. There’s Tekken. There’s “MAHVEL!” There’s Guilty Gear. But then there’s the fighter that broke the mold and revolutionized an entire genre – Street Fighter. Capcom has taken great care in fine tuning the 5th main entry in the series for its dedicated fanbase. Several new mechanics have been thrown into the game to freshen up the formula, brand new combatants have joined the street fighting party and the visual art design looks far better than past entries. While the gameplay is much stronger than ever, the content suite is severely lacking in its current state.
First off, let’s talk about the good aspects of SFV. Yoshinori Ono and his development team have fixed what didn’t work before and balanced it’s characters to the best of their ability. While the Focus Attack mechanic is no longer a factor, the V-Skill system does a great job of replacing it. Each fighter can pull off a myriad of strategic maneuvers due to the use of V-Triggers and V-Reversals. Not only do you have to pay attention to your EX-meter, you now have to keep an eye on your V-Gauge. Micro managing both meters and combining all your learned skills into sweet combos always looks and feels gratifying every time. For example, Ryu can add more of an electric spark to his Hadouken projectiles and break an opponent’s guard. Or Rashid can spawn a quick twister and create all types of cool setup’s while it’s still in effect. The V-Skill mechanic makes SFV stand apart from every entry that came before it.
While there’s a great amount of returning characters and surprise appearances (KARIN AND R.MIKA ARE BACK!), SFV also introduces four new faces. These welcome additions are some of the best new challengers ever thrown into the Street Fighter fray. Their likeness offers a great representation of the regions they’re tied to – Laura’s Brazilian jui-jitsu and country pride colors on her outfit showcase her place of origin perfectly. The other three newcomers (Rashid, Necalli and F.A.N.G.) arrive with fresh playstyles that longtime Street Fighter fans will be eager to master. Rashid’s wind mastery, Necalli’s savage rushdown style and F.A.N.G’S poisonous touch easily accentuates their most positive traits.
For players who usually stay offline, SFV’s single-player offerings are disappointingly slim. The Story Mode structure can be completed in just an hour or two. Each character has their backstory told with beautiful cutscenes that have awesome character cameos. But when it comes time to hop into battle, the much too easy to beat A.I. provides no challenge whatsoever. What makes Story Mode even more problematic is the fact that there’s only 3-4 fights to comb through for each character playthrough. The overly simple Story Mode we have now makes the wait for the true cinematic version all the more painful. Survival Mode will net you Fight Money and new outfits, but that mode also gets old quickly due to the repetitive structure around it. SFV’s current single-player offerings are quite simply a letdown. There’s still hope that this portion of the game will get better once the March update arrives, though.
Multiplayer minded players probably experienced the headache this reviewer was caused due to the game’s online issues. Server stability problems have been run rampant during launch week, which hurts the main purpose of playing this fighter in the 1st place. Plus, it’s entirely frustrating when you’re playing through single-player modes and lose all your progress when you’re kicked offline. Over time, it should come as no surprise that these problems will become a thing of the past. But right now, SFV’s online modes are not as great as they should be. You’d think that all those past betas would have gotten this game prepared for the onslaught of connecting players during its launch period.
Street Fighter V fulfills its goal of truly bringing Ryu and company into the next generation of fighting games. The latest roster additions make a great case for themselves and continued longevity in the series. The V-Skill system is simple to understand and provides the deeper mechanics fighting game fans have been looking forward to mastering. This fighter’s visuals and rocking soundtrack are entirely endearing as well. But it’s pretty evident that this game has been launched in an unfinished state. The current Story Mode structure is entirely too easy to complete and much too short to really mean anything, plus there’s a severe lack of modes available for solo players. Online champions will be disappointed with the games online server issues as well. SFV excels as a great fighting game, but still falls short due to a lack of meaningful content.
- The new V-Skill system implements some great new gameplay elements
- Each of the four newest fighters are great additions to Street Fighter’s legacy
- Everything from the visuals right on down to the soundtrack makes this entry truly feel fresh
- The current Story Mode structure is super disappointing
- There’s a severe lack of features that’s being held off for future DLC
- At the moment, getting online is a practice in frustration