Release Date: February 16th, 2016
Platforms: Playstation 4, PC
From the very beginning, I had high hopes for Street Fighter V when it was announced. I imagined this would be filled with content and features that made Ultra Street Fighter 4 the best in the series. Sadly after a week into its release, there is a barebones feeling to this game. The online was bumpy on day 1, but after a couple of maintenance sessions, the online stability and cross-play between both platforms is a breeze and is the best thing going for Street Fighter V after the very diverse amount of characters both old and new. If only this were enough to cover what’s missing.
Going back to what I meant by the barebones feeling to this game, there is no arcade mode, no computer A.I versus modes, the online lobbies only go 1v1 so you can’t all party up in a king of the hill style lobby with friends, but the most surprising of them all is no trial mode or story mode.
Now Capcom has said that a 1-2 hour story mode will be added into the game in next month’s update, but it makes me wonder why it wasn’t added to begin with. The small amount of single player mode says it is a story mode but it is typically just two fights per character to unlock colors for the characters. They provide a little bit of dialogue in the game between characters but honestly the way these play out seem like it was something added in within the last month of development and you could have all characters in about 2 hours max. Beyond a Story Mode, how can they have not included an Arcade Mode from the start? This is the most basic mode they could have included and inexplicably left it out from the release Practice mode is available as well as a new survival mode. Survival mode works like it sounds, you play different difficulties to climb the ladder and survive as long as possible or make it to the amount of rounds it is limited to.
The character roster seems small but is still a nice selection. Returning fighters like Chun-Li, Ryu, and Ken are joined with other returning characters plus four new characters. The new additions, Necalli, F.A.N.G, Laura, and Rashid, are unique in their own ways. Necalli has brute strength attacks, Laura uses Brazilian jiu jitsu and electric attacks, F.A.N.G uses poison attacks with an awkward style of attacks, and finally Rashid uses wind attacks which sets up to cause big damage. The balance between all the characters old and new provides a gameplay experience that is most important in a fighting game: balance. If you lose to someone you only have yourself to be mad at. The new V-Trigger system is definitely a big help with the balance. Instead of an ultra meter, the V-Trigger system allows you to turn the tables with either quick new combinations or big damage moves to combine with your power meter for Ex moves.
At its core, Street Fighter V has a great frame. Yet it has a long way to go to be complete before the additional modes drop. Some could argue that the modes are coming which makes everything alright, but for a game that $60 at launch, it is lacking major modes compared to most other fighters out there. For as much as we hate delays, if a game is not ready, don’t release it until it is. Period. Publishers are willing to do this much to often anymore so even though at its core Street Fighter V is fun, that doesn’t make up for a weak launch.