When it comes to fighting games, two names come to mind which stands out amongst the crowd, Street Fighter and Capcom.
Street Fighter V is a fighting video game published by Japanese video game developer and publisher, Capcom. Being the fifth iteration in the popular fighting game series, Street Fighter, Street Fighter V was released exclusively for PlayStation 4 and Windows PC in February 2016.
Much like previous games in the Street Fighter video game series, Street Fighter V consists of the side-scrolling fighting gameplay wherein two fighters battle one another, across the length of a screen, using a multitude of special abilities and attacks to knock out their opponent. With a cast of 16 playable characters, each with their own unique personalities and fighting styles, Street Fighter V offers variety and diversity, especially by substituting universal moves with more specialised skills.
It’s important to note though that upon launch, Street Fighter V was not fully complete, that is, the game that was released was not the considered to be the final product. It was announced that additional fighters and updates will be available over time via DLC (downloadable content). This gave fans of the Street Fighter series a shorter wait time for Street Fighter V and allows for a more exclusive feel to new characters being added to the game.
Street Fighter V introduces new fighting mechanics and strategies to the game including the EX gauge mechanic, which increases as attacks are made in order to power up special character moves or allow players to perform Critical Arts (a.k.a super combos). The newest feature of this game, however, is the V-Gauge, which adds three new techniques to the fighting game, V-Skills, V-Reversals and V-Triggers.
As technical as these sound, these features are what make Street Fighter V’s fighting mechanics a lot more fun and beginner friendly, in my opinion anyway. V-Skills are the special attacks which are unique and distinctive to each character, such as M. Bison’s ability to reflect projectile attacks. V-Reversals utilise a portion of the V-Gauge to perform counter attacks while being attacked by an opponent. V-Triggers employs the entire V-Gauge to allow players to carry out additional special character abilities. An example of this is the boost to Ryu’s hadouken (energy balls), allowing for more damage to be done.
I am a huge fan of fighting games. One of the earliest fighting games I ever played was Street Fighter II on the old arcade machines. I thoroughly enjoy the Arcade Modes of fighting games because it meant that I could play the game in single player mode against the CPU and not have to feel too dejected if and when I lost. It was the way in which I learnt about the game, its narrative, the characters and the moves that were available. While Street Fighter V comes packaged with a Survival Mode, which lets players battle against the CPU, it does not include any of the game’s narrative and has a completely different feel to the traditional best out of three rounds that the Arcade Mode used to provide.
Despite Street Fighter V lacking in satisfactory single-player gameplay, the game is undoubtedly fun in player vs player mode. The amount of skill required to defeat worthy opponents is no small feat. Street Fighter V is now one of the top fighting games to play in casual or professional tournaments and the additions of new character DLCs allows for much more variety.
Visually, Street Fighter V is the most stunning fighting game I’ve seen in awhile. The graphics are fantastic and modern character redesigns remain true to the iconic looks of each character. Story wise, I’m excited about the recent announcement of a five-chapter cinematic story mode coming to Street Fighter V, which will provide some narrative context to the game as a whole and will be the first time that Street Fighter fans will be able to experience this type of play through in a Street Fighter game.
Capcom has done an excellent job with the Street Fighter series for a very long time. With Street Fighter V being so smooth, easy and fun to play, especially with others, there’s no doubt that the game series will continue on. Street Fighter V may not be my favourite fighting game, but it’s certainly up there with the best of them.