After a bit of a sparring match with the PlayStation Helpdesk not being able to let me download my day one preorder of Street Fighter V, I could finally put my hands on one of my most anticipated games of 2016. Turns out this wasn’t the only false start … sort of …
Being a fan of fighting games from the day I was still a kid, you can imagine how I was looking forward to this game. This is the big one! Street Fighter V! I already had a bit of a preview playing the online beta test, but now was the time to really get my hands dirty. Me and my fightstick where ready, though we were in for a little surprise …
After booting up the game a small tutorial is presented featuring the iconic characters Ryu and Ken still in their teenage years. Nice touch, but since we all know how to play a game like this I was happy to press the skip button. I decided to check out the Story Mode with Ryu, but after only 4 matches I was already through his entire story arc. No worries, we still got the Arcade Mode Right? Just where did it go …
After doing some looking around it turned out the Arcade Mode isn’t available. Sure, there is a survival mode where I think the addition of being able to buy power ups after each match is quite refreshing. The lack of much single player content is a bit of a deal breaker for players who prefer to throw punches solo.
“Capcom has laid the foundation for one of the greatest fighting games for years to come, but unfortunately in its current state that’s all there is to it”
Don’t get me wrong though. Capcom has laid the foundation for one of the greatest fighting games for years to come, but unfortunately in its current state that’s all there is to it. It comes as no surprise that this game was released prematurely for the big tournaments. Patches and extra content are incoming starting next month.
So this game is a big disappointment then? Not really, cause let me get one thing straight. Street Fighter V plays absolutely fantastic! Virtually punching someone in the face has never felt so good! Combined with the addition of cool new characters, V-triggers, V-reversals and V-skills there is more than enough depth for both casual and pro players. Easy to learn, difficult to master.
In the graphics department the game scores high as well. Admitted, the backgrounds look a bit dated, but the rest of what is shown on screen is just perfect. The female characters including jiggly physics are a bit over the top, but nothing a grown up man can’t handle. Animations are fluid and this time around give a better indication of what is actually happening. Everything feels responsive and the art style looks great. What more do you want?
“being able to win online matches requires great game knowledge, trained muscle memory, a big chunck of patience and a lot of dedication”
Online plays fantastic as well, with noticeable improvements in matchmaking and a solid net code. This is where to game really excels. Only be aware of one thing. The competition is fierce and you will get steamrolled … a lot! Being able to win online matches requires great game knowledge, trained muscle memory, a big chunck of patience and a lot of dedication. Good thing you can always look up pro player replays from within the game interface and see how the real work is done.
If you’re still on the fence about buying this game you have to consider one thing. When you like fighting games and enjoy some online competition, or you like to invite some friends over to play some matches and drink some beers, this game will deliver. On the other hand if you only play against the CPU, the game in it’s current state is still lacking some key features. In the last case, wait a couple of weeks and give it a shot afterwards! In the meanwhile I’ll be playing online, watching streams and following tournaments for a very long time.