Street Fighter V Review – Street Fighter Beta
With more than 25 years and dozens of games to its name, Capcom’s Street Fighter series isn’t just a staple of the fighting game community – it’s the gold standard. You would think this high pedigree would carry over to the long-awaited Street Fighter V, but this king of fighters may have lost its crown.
Street Fighter V Review
At its very core, Street Fighter V’s engine is solid. Those adept at flinging hadokens and performing charge moves will take to its gameplay like a duck to water. However, the fact that 12 of the 16 fighters are series vets makes the roster a little tired right off the bat, and inputs for fan-favorites like Nash and M. Bison have been changed for no real reason. In addition, many combos that worked in previous entries are no longer viable here – even super moves have also been restricted to one per character. It is a huge step back from Ultra Street Fighter IV, a game with more than twice as many options and characters.
However, Street Fighter V’s four newcomers are welcome additions to the roster. Dishing out electricity, wind and even poison, each of these characters stand out from each other and thankfully avoids the fireball-flinging “shoto” character archetype. Whether they will be viable for high-level play is still yet to be determined, but they certainly have the personality and options the series is known for.
To turn the tide of battle, Street Fighter V introduces the concept of the V-Gauge. Powered by a separate meter, players can dish out unique “V-Trigger” attacks that offer added abilities to movesets or serve as desperation attacks. These abilities do offer an edge in battle, but some characters have a distinct advantage over others. In addition, these abilities are not as ingrained into the game as Street Fighter III’s parries or Street Fighter IV’s focus attacks – this system feels more like an afterthought than a game-changer.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of places to try out your moves. Fighting game standards like an arcade mode or challenge mode are MIA as of launch. There is a shallow Story Mode, which has crudely drawn stills and anywhere between two to four fights per character. There is also a Survival Mode, which cycles characters in the same order, until somebody reaches 30-40 victories or quits. Other than barebones versus and training modes, there is not much else to do offline.
Taking the fight online isn’t much better. Server issues mean that it will take upwards of three minutes to find a ranked or player match, if at all. Once finally connected, matches are prone to lag and disconnects. This is a shame too, as there is a way to build a deep profile through your bouts online. Experience points per character are a given, but there is also the ability to see if you play offensively or defensively, or if you base your fighting style more on technique.
Street Fighter V is an unfinished game. The engine present is solid enough, but it could have used much more fleshing out. Like many Capcom releases these days, give this one a few more months (if not years) so the company can iron out the kinks.