Street Fighter V: A Video Game Review

Hector Ramirez II

Street Fighter V is newest iteration of the Street Fighter video game series that feels refreshing, yet familiar. With so many stand out titles in the series, how can Street Fighter V match up or excel to the standard? Due to the creative talent at Capcom, it blends old-school fighting game mechanics and new inventive elements that bring on depth and a fun factor like never before. While the base game is embarrassingly lacking content (for now), the gameplay is solid.

Here are the basics: Street Fighter V is your 6-button fighting game with three punches and three kicks to utilize. Each character has special moves unique to them, the player fills up a bar to execute stronger special attacks and, most importantly, the player’s objective is to defeat their opponent. With me so far? Okay, good. Now let’s get into what sets Street Fighter V so different from its predecessors: V-Skills and V-Triggers.

V-Skills and V-Triggers are the new mechanics that add an extra layer of depth to the game. V-Skills are an extra move different to each character, similar to special attacks. For the series mascot, Ryu, his V-Skill is parrying attacks. V-Trigger is a meter-based tool that enhances the damage, duration and properties of a character’s special moves.

Beyond their strategic use, V-Skills and V-Triggers add to the flashy art style that fits Street Fighter V. It’s a huge step up considering the word “bland” would be an understatement to describe the art style of Street Fighter IV. Colors are bright and beautiful on stages and characters, and the character animations are smooth and very well done. Overall, Street Fighter V is a gorgeous looking game with tight gameplay and catchy tunes to compliment it.

Out of the box, Street Fighter V comes with 16 varied characters. As of now, I have a hard time choosing which character to main since all of them are extremely fun to play as. However, Necalli’s beast-like fight style and Karin’s intricate combos pull me towards them the most.

As mentioned before in the review, Street Fighter V is barebones. On the single player side, players can ONLY access Story Mode and Survival Mode. Story Mode is experienced through two to four fights for each character, and disappointingly only lasts a little over two hours overall. Survival Mode is surviving through an amount of rounds on various difficulties to unlock costume colors, experience points and Fight Money, the in-game currency. And… that’s it. No Arcade Mode. No Trials Mode. No Player vs CPU option. None of the standard modes for a fighting game is present in Street Fighter V, and it sucks.

For multiplayer, the online is better than it has ever been in the Street Fighter series. The experience is so smooth and responsive, that I often forget I am playing online with someone from across the country or in Japan. It’s another huge strive made since Street Fighter IV’s online was famously laggy and off-putting. Capcom has really outdone themselves with the online mode of Street Fighter V.

Now, let me clarify who Street Fighter V is for as this point in time. This edition of the game is lacking core content that makes fighting games approachable and for everyone. For pro and veteran fighting game players, and even hardcore fans of the franchise, Street Fighter V is your cup of tea. Find your character, take them into the extensive and useful training mode, then immediately go online and play others. For the casual player, Capcom released this game without thinking about you. It’s as simple and plain as that. To price it at $60 is daunting, but purchasing the game is an investment. Capcom plans to release free downloadable content (dlc) in March that will add trials mode, an in-game shop, the first dlc character that can be purchased with Fight Money, and more. Capcom also scheduled 2016 with a dlc character per month and a cinematic story mode coming in June. So, the content is coming. Also, recent articles have reported that Capcom plans to add arcade mode and difficulty settings for story mode in the near future.

Nonetheless, day one version of Street Fighter is in need of more singe player modes. It’s quite annoying that the only options to face my chosen character against computer opponents is through the excruciatingly boring Survival Mode and incredibly easy Story mode. Even if the game itself is hollow in content, its gameplay is not. Seamlessly blending acumen and skill after lengthy practice sessions is immensely satisfying and insanely fun. Street Fighter V is definitely worth your time, even if it’s not right now.