With Street Fighter ascending head first into the next generation, Capcom has revamped their most prized video game franchise, focusing on not only the core combat but also other aspects with varied success. This doesn't mean that the game is without fault though as there's several pros and cons which are very evident.
"Capcom has revamped their most prized video game franchise"
Capcom's latest street brawler definitely has the crowd talking, with it's new "V-Trigger" mode and other welcoming changes. Among those changes include fluid gameplay, new stages that beam with life and a renewed roster that consists of classic characters, returners and exotic newcomers, but these aren't the only things on people's minds at the moment. Important features missing from the game's initial launch and server issues has gained the most momentum when discussing SFV.
After seven years of Street Fighter IV this game feels like a breath of fresh air in comparison but despite being a fun and challenging game, there's still cons and pros which shouldn't go unnoticed. After having played the game for several hours we got a taste of SFV and it hasn't disappointed despite minor server hiccups. So without being bias, here's the positives and negatives of Street Fighter V.
Street Fighter 5 wants you to jump straight in and enjoy yourself. It's fully aware of how frenzy, satisfying, smart and enriching it's gameplay truly is. It's main instinct is to serve that to you immediately as possible, no matter what level you play at. However whichever end of the fighting game skill spectrum you currently stand on, don't confuse yourself into thinking that Street Fighter 5 has been dumbed down.
Expert and high-level players will still discover a large magnitude of depth, subtlety and semipermanent malleability in its audacious, immediate systems. Meanwhile the low level players have a very long and stimulating road of growth, improvement, learning and discovery ahead of them.
+ Sleek Visuals
The graphics and overall visual presentation hasn't disappointed us and it's a beautiful sight to behold on both the PS4 and PC. Even though the game hasn't strayed far from the SFIV cartoonish art style, the character models and stages are bright, vibrant and visually stunning, only adding to the charm that makes SFV likeable and easy on the eyes.
+ Cross Platform Play
Cross Platform play is one of the best features in the game and makes the online community feel meatier. You won't have to wait long to find a match in either ranked or casual modes due to the cross play feature between the PS4 and PC platform. Had cross play being excluded then finding players to fight might have not been so quick.
+ Critical Arts
The Street Fighter series wouldn't be where it is today without the flashy and insane finishing moves that have accompanied it in each iteration, and with the addition of Critical Arts comes just that. Each character's personalized finishing move feels rewarding when used correctly against their opponent. Like Ultra Combos in Street Fighter IV these special moves can turn the tide of battle and help you win a match stacked against your favour.
+ New Characters
SFV's choice of new characters are pretty original and has given us quite some variety in terms of fresh character designs, playability and racial diversity. Which is unlike many other fighting games in this generation whose rosters haven't grown or embraced change, which in turn have made them feel stale and stagnant by sticking to the same ole tired shtick.
The four new characters really bring something new to the table and show us that when game developers actually put effort in and take time to design their characters, it can often be met with positive results.
+ Story Mode
The series has never been big on story telling despite boasting an interesting lore and timeline. This changes with Street Fighter V and the result is much better than we expected. With story mode finally being treated as a main priority, it gives us a clear insight into each character's lifestyle, personality and events during the game.
What's even cooler about the game's story is the cameo appearances of several Street Fighter characters from previous games, which could mean they will be future playable characters in the form of dlc.
The costumes in SFV ooze with charisma and Capcom really didn't hold back in getting creative this time round. Be it revealing outfits that show off the character's under boobies and abs, creepy disguises or outfits that embrace the lighter side of things with fashion culture inspired ensembles. The game's detail for default and alternate costumes only add to the overall presentation and lavish style.
+ Casual Mode
Ranked mode can feel like a very hectic experience and this isn't surprising particularly when the mode's primary goal encourages you to steal someone else's points while stacking up your own. Casual mode on the other hand has a much more relaxed feel to it and gives players a chance to face other players without the added pressure of losing anything, besides you still can earn fight money if you win.
Besides levelling up your character, earning fight money in SFV is one of the most rewarding systems that the game currently has to offer. It's similar to how fight money is earned in the real world and the game doesn't have you throwing punches for nothing. What makes this even better is that with the fight money you earn, it can be used to buy new characters and costumes from the shop.
- Survival Mode
Survival mode is just that, it's a mode where you have to defeat a certain amount of enemies without losing. Whilst it really does tests the player's wit, the problem which makes this part of the game unbearable is the lack of checkpoints and continues, which is a huge buzzkill. Reaching level 30 only to be obliterated by an unforgiving high level npc and having to start all over really sucks the fun out of everything.
- Lack of content at Launch
The game itself is an impressive feat but that doesn't excuse the fact that there's a lot of gamemodes and features missing from the initial launch. Simple modes such as arcade mode, theatre mode endless lobbies and time attack are an necessity for any serious fighting game in 2016 and shouldn't be absent from the launch.
Practice is essential because of the really simple tutorial that misses out on a lot of must know techniques. A casual player who hasn't played Street Fighter before and wants to really get stuck in and hold their own against seasoned veterans won't necessary find much use in this tutorial. While more helpful information can be found on Youtube and in game guides, that shouldn't be the case. It be available in the game's tutorial too.
- Not Enough Stages
While the stages are gorgeous and streaming with life there just aren't enough of them to choose from. This problem could have easily been solved by giving each character their own individual stages to fight on but this appeared to be a daunting task for Capcom. The issue is that after a while the stages begin to get stale.
- Mediocre Soundtrack
While the music in SFV isn't bad per say but it really could have been better, especially when you compare the current soundtrack to previous games in the series. Older instalments have timeless pieces but the music in SFV is average at best and is forgettable. This is not to say that the ost is terrible but it could have been more catchy.
Who's bright idea what it to redesign Birdie again? Birdie's look in Street Fighter V isn't pleasing on the eyes. Not only is his beer stomach distracting to look at but the character has been turned into a complete joke, especially when you compare this to his story and design in the Alpha series, a game which gave Birdie a little more justice.
An alternate skin that resembles Birdie's original look in Street Fighter Alpha and brings back his muscles should fix this mess but he shouldn't have been turned fat in the first place. If they were going to bring back Birdie they should have done so without having to make him a comical glutton.
- Ken's Face
Birdie's not the only character with a horrible redesign, to a lesser extent it's Capcom's golden boy Ken Masters, whose eyebrows literally gives us nightmares just looking at them. The problem with Ken is that he's always been thought of as a clone to Ryu but Capcom wanted to change that and this is the result. While it's possible to use better looking alternate costumes, the default look has been ruined.
So there you have it, these are some of the pros and cons of Street Fighter V so far. It's a good game but obviously not without flaws. Since Capcom confirmed that there won't be any other versions of SFV then this gives them the chance to set things right and improve on the overall game until Street Fighter VI. This list could well be updated but in the meantime, your thoughts?