Published on February 29th, 2016 | by Peter Freeman0
Street Fighter 5 Review
Summary: Street Fighter 5 is a very fun game to play, but it's impossible to recommend with shaky online play and a lack of core genre features.
By the time you read this, I will have already returned Street Fighter V to the GameStop where I bought it. But before we get to why, let’s cover some of the basics. Street Fighter V is the latest in Capcom’s leading fighting game series, this time coming only to PS4 and PC. After many iterations of Street Fighter 4, Capcom has gone back to the basics and tried to simplify the genre a bit for newcomers.
The first thing you’ll notice is how amazing the game looks. Stylistically it looks somewhat similar to Street Fighter 4, but there’s a sharpness that just improves on the look immensely. The soundtrack is pretty eclectic as well, with some of new character’s themes standing out – such as Rashid’s.
Gameplay wise there are a few obvious changes: the first is that there is no more ultra/super meter and the focus attacks are completely gone. Instead there’s one meter for EX moves and supers. The second meter, referred to as the V-Trigger, is unique to each character and is usually a modifier to their moves. For example, Laura’s V-Trigger electrifies all her moves and gives them extra damage and hits. The full potential of these kinds of moves have yet to be shown, but there will no doubt be extensive use of them in the higher levels of play.
There are other changes to the game that newcomers will never notice. Combos are a little easier to input, due to different input frames and things like that. I won’t get too far into the nitty gritty of it all for fear of boring you all, but know that this is something of an easier game to get into than Street Fighter 4 was. Inputs don’t have to be as precise as they used to in order to get off a fun combo.
Ultimately, Street Fighter V is a really fun game to play. There’s a wonderful flow to how the matches work that is intoxicating. The matches are faster and are no longer players just throwing fireballs at each other in order to chip away at the other’s HP. And because each of the sixteen characters is unique, no match ever plays out the same way.
So why did I return it? Well, for one thing the game is missing most of the modes one would expect in a fighting game. There’s a training mode, a survival mode, a 2 player VS mode, and online mode. What’s missing is the story mode, the ability to play against a computer, a challenge mode, and a general arcade mode.
Because of this, the game lacks a significant amount of content for those who don’t want to, or don’t have a partner to play with. There are story prologues, but they’re essentially two to three fights and then you’re sent back to the main menu left wanting. The survival mode is the only mode that doesn’t lack for content. There are four difficulties and they each have an increasing number of fights you have to get through. The rewards are colors for the basic costumes and Fight Money, the game’s in game currency.
You see, this time around Capcom has decided against doing disc updates for SFV and instead will make everything available for players to earn through Fight Money. Characters, costumes, you name it. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which you can also pay for using a separate currency called Zenny. This one is only earned by paying money, free-to-play style. Confusing? Unfortunately, this is the best explanation that Capcom gives.
The kicker is that Fight Money can only be earned when connected to Capcom’s servers. This includes modes like Survival, which are single player in nature. When I got disconnected? The entire run was over. I was booted back to the main menu and was left to just wallow in despair as I realized I had wasted my time for nothing. I earned no Fight Money for the rounds completed and had no choice but to restart.
This all sucks because Street Fighter V is a really, really fun game to play. It’s super addicting but it sucks that if you aren’t online, the game isn’t as fun and even then you only have a few offline modes that are worth playing when not connected. It’s a bummer because the servers disconnect more than you’d think and that makes for an extremely frustrating experience.
I might rebuy Street Fighter V a few months from now, after the challenge mode and store are online and the cinematic story mode has been put in the game. Hopefully by then the servers will be more stable. But until that’s the case it’s impossible to recommend Street Fighter V to anyone without warning them of these issues.