Street Fighter V: The SceneGeek Review
Does the latest entry in Capcom's legendary fighter have what it takes to please old fans and newbies alike?
Street Fighter V follows the alarming modern trend in gaming that sees developers publishing bare-bone games with the promise that more content will be added at a later date. With only 16 fighters, 10 stages, and only 3 game modes, SFV leaves hardcore players with little to satiate their fervent appetites. Are the game's aesthetic upgrades and control improvements enough to keep dedicated Street Fighter fans happy and still entice new players to give it a spin? We hand the controller to our resident Street Fighter master Kareem Taher to break it down.
Street Fighter V ditches the Focus Attack System, (which allows fighters to absorb one attack as they deliver a powerful blow that stuns the enemy, leaving them open for all sorts of ass whooping) and introduces the V Skill/Trigger. Unlike the Focus Attack System, the V Skill/Trigger is personalised to each fighter, giving them distinct and unique move sets. (The focus attack was the same for every fighter in Street Fighter 4). Once the V Trigger is activated, the fighter can either gain a temporary boost in power, speed, or access to new moves. An advanced use for the V Trigger allows players to activate it mid-combo, which in turn gives them the opportunity to sneak in more hits for a devastating combo. For fighters who are on their last bit of health, the reduced threat of dying from chip damage means they actually have a chance to make a comeback.
Street Fighter V feels VERY good. Smooth animations and colourful visual cues help make this the most immersive Street Fighter to date, getting you closer to the fight! And oooh man, those unreal engine physics really enhance the vivaciousness of certain anatomical features (if you know what I mean).
Overall, difficulty has been toned down to help newcomers pick up the game. Characters like Bison, Chun Li, and Vega, who are all non-coincidentally "charging" characters (and as a result treated as harder characters to play), have been revamped, and now have "easier" inputs.
As of now, Street Fighter V plays smoothly, thanks to a solid net-code. Thanks Capcom, at least you didn't mess that up. Very unfortunate that they removed playing against a CPU in versus mode, though, as it is the closest thing you get to actual training. Speaking of training, the tutorial mode is laughable, giving you bare-bone essentials that don't really cover all the mechanics of the game. The story mode sucks; every fighter plays a maximum of four fights against different characters from the roster. Not only do you play very few fights for each story mode you pick, you only play for one round instead of the traditional best-out-of-three system that's been a staple of the series since the freakin' 80s. Also, again, AI is trash, and practically gives you the win. I understand this is done so casual players have more of a chance, but I'm playing this at "HELL" difficulty and the only torment is my waning attention span. Although the character roster is colourful, and each fighter unique, you only have 16 fighters to pick from (at least for the time being); we're used to seeing around at least double the amount of fighters in previous Street Fighter titles. Capcom promises that more characters will be downloadable soon for 'free', you just need to have enough in-game cash (earned by playing the offline modes).
Ironically, I wouldn't recommend Street Fighter V to newcomers, even though the game is pretty much catered to newer audiences. Its bare-bone approach doesn't help newcomers get better at the game because, let's face it, you're not having fun in fighting games unless you're getting better...or you're just the luckiest button-mashing scrub in the world. Ineffective training options for casual players can easily turn them off, because when they go online where the REAL action happens, they will simply get bodied by all the seasoned players out there, and, as a result, get discouraged from playing the game further. I would recommend the game to fans of the series. Although it might be lacking in some areas, the core of the game is still there, and it's better than ever, making every fight feel epic thanks to the unique roster the game has. From a technical standpoint, the game feels solid, especially with the V Skill/Trigger mechanic. With every passing second of the round, the fight becomes more and more intense, and could easily go either way (creating a lot of hype); that is, of course, if you're playing with an equal, which is the way fighting games should truly be played.
Great/smooth fighting mechanics
Best-looking Street Fighter to date
Less intimidating learning curve (for casual players)
Interesting new fighters for intermediate and veteran players alike
Survival game mode is fun
Great online netcode (runs smoothly despite slow Internet speeds)
Still delivers lots of hype
Laughable amount of modes
Only 16 fighters at launch
No CPU versus mode
Insubstantial story mode
Shitty, shitty AI that pretty much gives you the win
Hit up Egygamer.com to get your copy of Street Fighter V for the best deal in town.
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