Street Fighter V (PS4) Review - street fighter V

Street Fighter V (PS4) Review

Launched February 16, 2016 exclusively for Playstation and PC, Street Fighter V is the latest installment in Capcom’s historic fighting game title and with Ultra Street Fighter IV heavily revitalizing the fighting game scene exactly around the time where eSports is now at a point where it has practically overtaken any and all forms of entertainment. And with its massive following and revenue potential, Capcom wants to further expand the fighting game community and build a larger one with Street Fighter V: this game isn’t about relaxing in your couch on a Sunday afternoon, it’s about competing and every bit of the game has been focused solely on that goal. As the game’s slogan says: RISE UP.

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STREET FIGHTER V Character Select screen

Street Fighter V has been built from the ground-up to focus on building its player-base and it does this through simplicity: simple mechanics, simple character line-up and simple move sets. Note that we use the term simple here loosely and Capcom’s attention to details here is simply remarkable and I believe this serves as a hallmark at which how much work has been put into refining the core mechanics of Street Fighter V.

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Street Fighter V lavishes in its highly approachable gameplay and this serves as the first step into getting more player to eventually get into the next level of playing the game which is competitive play. To achieve this, SFV has peeled back its move mechanics and has trimmed command motions and left familiar ones such as quarter-circle forward (QCF) and dragon punch (forward, down, diagonal forward) mostly intact for the majority of the roster with only a few retaining their charge commands and only Zangief with his circular motion command.

To help in getting timing down, the pace of SFV is just a notch slower than USFIV with the game also being a bit more loose on input timings. This makes for a different experience in stringing combos and removes the need for precision timing although the game still expects you to learn HOW and WHEN to string together moves is still high-level skill one has to learn in order to master the game.

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Mastering the game though now focuses more on the fundamentals of fighting games rather than fancy combos. The ability to read your enemies moves, predict them and react to them is reinforced in this game and this part is what makes Street Fighter V a more refined version of the seasoned title. The strategy and mindset that goes into playing which character and adjusting to your opponent is what makes Street Fighter V a raw experience as it peels back the layers of Ultras and super moves in favor of V-Skills. V-Skills vary from character to character and serves as a unique layer to diversify each character’s play style and build upon your own. Think of it as an Ultra but instead of performing one killer move for instant damage, it has to be performed wisely.

A 16-character roster also makes the game lighter and the small selection allows for an easier time for anyone new to find their main and essentially learn each and every other character to find their place in one’s character preference. Familiar characters make their return such as series icon Ryu and Ken as well as Chun Li. Joining the cast are new characters Laura and Necalli amongst others as well as returning ones who were absent in USFIV like R. Mika and Karin. All of which have had deep refinements to their gameplay and while Ryu and Ken may boast a very similar move set from USFIV, their focus has clearly been tailored to match SFV’s unique attention to basics.

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On a more topical look, Street Fighter V allows single player via Story Mode with a measly 3-4 matches just to flush out some type of content for each character. And from here on end, it’s going to be pretty much a volley of SFV’s negative traits as the game is plagued with launch day woes that has garnered much disappointment from players mostly.

As mentioned, Street Fighter V wants you to play the game to compete. And this isn’t a request… its your only way of enjoying Street Fighter V as it is in its current state. Capcom ships the game with a Story Mode as mentioned, Survival Mode, Versus Mode, Training, Battle Lounge, Ranked and Casual. Only Story Mode, Training and Survival Mode are single player modes and allows you to earn in-game levels, character experience and costume colors. All of which are currently unrewarding as Story Mode is short and Survival Mode is completely tiring as it forces players to grind for color variations of in-game costumes.

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Versus is the traditional local player-vs-player mode where you can go head to head with a friend for practice or street cred. Same goes with casual and Battle Lounge where you can find someone online and play against them with nothing at stake. Its Ranked where you get all the action and this is the mode where you play for League Points and where you’re graded for your performance. Street Fighter V retains the Fight Request option allowing you to be in whichever single player mode and have someone come in and play with you online whether it be ranked or casual.

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STREET FIGHTER V Leaderboard as of 02/22/2016

As of this moment, Street Fighter V’s online experience is generally positive. While you may need to wait around to find someone to play with, the online experience is solid and smooth especially since I’m on a 2mbps wireless ISP, it holds up pretty well. Having matched against people in Canada, USA and mostly Japan, fights were smooth and most of the lags I experience shake themselves off mid-game provided you’re on a stable connection with no one hogging your bandwidth. This is further expanded by the fact that you can play against people on both PC and PS4, and SFV doesn’t treat anyone like a second-class citizen. The game is pretty uniform on both fronts.

Capcom also wants you to get good in this game and it does so with CFN: Capcom Fighters Network which allows you to follow players and watch their replays and view their leaderboard status.

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Despite all its good points, consumers have still responded negatively to how Capcom has decided to deliver the game. Many have speculated that Capcom rushed the release to allow time for players to get into shape for the lead-in to Capcom Pro Tour 2016 but that’s for another article altogether. As it is, Street Fighter V is a $60 game that has been served incomplete and I’m with every player that feels like they’re not getting their money’s worth regardless of their position in the competitive fighting scene or their opinion on Capcom’s interest in eSports.  Street Fighter V feels like a McDonald’s Happy Meal that got served with only the burger and you’d need to wait until March for the fries and toy that comes with it and hopefully pray that come June you’d have the drink that goes with it arrive also to push it all down your throat. No matter how juicy and tasty that burger is, its still not enough to satisfy as you’d have been asked to pay for the full meal. Capcom could’ve easily pulled a Kojima ala Ground Zeroes and sold SFV’s online only component for half the price, and allowed players to ultimately pay for the entire game later on or just keep the PvP part which Capcom has been banking on. That’s my opinion on it and ultimately it’s up to you how you accept the situation.

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Street Fighter V is an excellent game and Capcom’s decisions has diluted that into a sea of doubt and distrust. With many players knowingly accepting that Capcom will eventually roll-out paid content and updates to SFV, its frustrating to know that fans of the game will give in regardless but as it is right now, Sony is heavily promoting Street Fighter V as the console exclusivity between Capcom and Sony means this is one of those seasonal releases that Sony hopes to satisfy its player-base all the while helping it achieve a position in eSports as the platform of choice for Street Fighter V.

Street Fighter V, again, is an excellent game and right now the only way to best enjoy it until updates roll-out to eventually patch-in the missing single player content, is to play with friends, both locally or online. If you’re more of a casual fighting game player and don’t like being mopped around, it’s your choice to shelf the game or get better. I say RISE UP.

Lead Reviewer
Show Comments (2)
  1. I’d like agree with the review that the game demands players to “rise up” and git gud (because I play fighting games), and I really think that’s what causing the backlash. The fact SFV isn’t about “relaxing on your couch on a Sunday afternoon” is what alienates it from the newbies and casuals.

    Right now, I’d pick a Tekken 7 arcade game or maybe wacky anime games like Fighting Climax or Guilty Gear Xrd to be the filthiest casual there is — not until SFV and Capcom stops with this espawts srsbsns nonsense.

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