A new mainline Street Fighter game being released is a reason for celebration among the fighting game community and fans because of the rich history of the series. Each new mainline Street Fighter game not only complements the previous games but has significant new changes along with introduction of exciting new characters.
Capcom has revealed that Street Fighter V will be supported for many years and will have extensive DLC support. Released on the PS4 and PC, the new installment brings forth a bunch of changes and is more accessible to newcomers to the fighting game genre.
Now this may be seen as a negative thing since you will mostly find hardcore gamers who play these games, which is fair because of the reaction time required to perfectly pull off combos. Button mashing works against the CPU opponents but in the online modes which is what makes these games have great replay value, you need to master each character and their move list to succeed.
Street Fighter V looks absolutely incredible. The visual effects have been cranked up to eleven and it makes much more impact because the colors pop out a lot. The game features beautiful cell-shaded graphics that looks very crisp due to the high resolution that the PS4 can output. If you’ve been a long time player of Ultra Street Fighter 4, visual changes here will be immediately noticeable.
The character models stand out as they should because they are main selling point of the game. The facial expressions when taking damage and attacking display a sense of realism. It feels really visceral to fight an equally matched opponent and you’ll be in awe because it will look absolutely amazing on a good TV.
There’s a story mode this time which is, frankly, pointless. It allows you to earn fight money which in turns allows you to buy new characters and costumes. You have to be connected to Capcom’s servers to earn fight money as I found out that when I was disconnected the counter showed that I didn’t earn any. It was back once I logged into their servers.
Even for the story mode you have to be connected to the servers to earn fight money which shouldn’t be an issue but trying to connect to the Capcom servers mostly gives an error. I’m sure it will be fixed at some point but it’s incredibly annoying because playing in the offline mode is worthless. I did manage to connect a few times and finished the story mode which took me around 3 hours.
The story mode is laughable. Each character, and there are 16 in total, has a story arc which can be finished in three or four matches. The randomness of the dialogue and enemy selection feels like Capcom put no effort behind this. However, it’s a fighting game so I guess story doesn’t really matter.
Once connected, you can earn fight money and XP for each character by doing their story. It also unlocks a default costume so you really should do it. The story mode is very easy to finish and any newcomer to the series can complete it by just button mashing. There’s a tutorial mode as well that teaches you the basic controls, including the newest mechanic called V-Trigger which can be performed when your V-Meter is full. There are also V-Skills which are unique to each character and they can be performed anytime and they provide a boost to your V-Meter.
What Street Fighter V excels in is the core gameplay. There’s simply nothing like it in the market out there. Once you master a character, winning matches can be incredibly satisfying. There’s no OP character that has been found by the community yet but rest assured someone will figure out something but for now everything seems to be balanced very well.
Apart from the story mode, there’s a Versus mode which allows you to couch play with a friend. There’s also a survival mode that throws tons of enemies at you. You will get a costume colour, along with XP and fight money by completing the course for the first time so it’s worth doing. Health gauge and critical gauge will carry over to the next stage so you have to be very good with your selected character. There are different difficulty modes to choose from as well.
There’s also a training mode which is self-explanatory. Challenges and the Shop menus are locked and will be available as a free update in March. The online play is comprehensive with Capcom Fighters Network, Battle Lounge, Ranked Match and Casual match options.
The netcode is fantastic and the there’s hardly any lag that I’ve encountered so far but the downside is that it takes forever to find a match. This can be considered as launch pangs as previous Street Fighter games also took a while to get going. The actual online play is glorious and is a massive improvement. You can even matchmake based on connection which will reduce instances of fighting someone with a poor connection.
It’s clear that there’s a lot more to come in the future via updates but the default game is low on content. Fighting game fans won’t care too much as they are in for the long haul but if you are expecting a meaty game with tons of content, you will be disappointed. However, the core gameplay is fantastic and the online options greatly increases the replayability of the game and is worth buying for that reason itself.