Street Fighter V Review
Before we get down to the nitty gritty of the review we wanna take this opportunity to explain the N4L Gaming review system, truth is you guys can go get scores from the big name gaming sites. So we plan on delivering no BS, no paid for reviews that will be summed up with our opinion on if you should Buy it, Rent it, or Skip it. Now without further ado
Oh Street Fighter V, you have such good intentions, honestly you do. I can tell Capcom wants this game to be THE end all be all 2D fighter of this console generation. Unfortunately in its present state you are missing a few key elements in living up to that moniker.
If you fancy yourself a gamer odds are you have dabbled in this 2D fighter series at least once in your gaming life, or you have known someone who has. This latest iteration keeps up the series legacy of top of the line graphics and sound. The graphics are beautiful to look at, styled after the water color style of Street Fighter IV but a little more toned down. While the background music is no slouch either, with some tracks feeling like they belong right next to the infamous “Guile Theme” in terms of grandiose. The core gameplay remains intact and as top of the line as ever, with the main new gameplay addition being the V-Gauge. It’s a meter that offers 3 different techniques for the player to use as they see fit.
- The V – Skill: A unique attack for each fighter. Good examples include Ryu who uses his parry from SFIII. Bison can absorb projectiles and Nash can teleport behind his opponent.
- The V – Reversal: with this the user can expend their gauge to counter attack an opponent if they are caught in the middle of a combo.
- The V -Trigger: The last use. Unique to each character but typically is a powered up mode. An example would be fire damage added to all of Ken’s attacks and Chun-Li’s additional hits to attacks.
Series veterans can easily jump into this game and begin honing their craft as their favorite fighter, assuming he or she made the cut. SFV ships with 16 characters stock, 12 series veterans such as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and 4 brand new characters such as the high flying Rashid or the Aztec bruiser Necalli. The good news is all the characters feel different and offer varied playstyles. The bad news is the ugly realization that 6 more fighters are coming by the way of DLC.
Capcom has heard players cries of not wanting to buy 4 different versions of this Street Fighter like the last one, so they implemented in game currency as a way for players to pay for these DLC characters. By simply playing some of the games limited modes (more on that later) you can earn Fight Money to use as a form of payment for planned DLC, since no DLC is available yet it is hard to get a feeling of how much bang you are getting for your Fight Money buck so to speak.
Speaking of Game Modes, this is one area Street Fighter V fails to live up to the hype. Players looking for a comprehensive single player experience in their fighters will be very disappointed.
The game ships with a “Story Mode” that sounds promising, but upon playing you realize it is really 2 or 3 matches per character. A shame as the cutscene artwork is really impressive. Capcom will remedy this with a free Story update in June, so Prologue Story Mode would be a more appropriately title for the mode at this stage.
“Survival Mode” is the closest thing SFV has to an old school Arcade Mode right now. It’s pretty straight forward with 4 different levels of difficulty per character. After each match in Survival you are granted an opportunity to use some points to buff your character for the next match, or replenish some lost health. In a strange move, Capcom has locked out Challenge Mode till a free update in March. If it is anything like Street Fighter IV’s Challenge Mode it would have been a welcome addition to the slim single player pickings. That’s an unusual move, but it’s Capcom. There is, however, a very thorough Training Mode to practice your skills in with a variety of different conditions. It’s up to you to set up the scenario. Once you’re ready and confident can jump online against real life opponents.
Now Online is the bread and butter of Street Fighter V- when it is working. As usual with so many high profile games nowadays the online during launch is hit and miss. When you do manage to get in a match the game plays very smoothly, I encountered zero lag upon the several matches I got to play.
There are currently 3 Online Modes, Ranked Matches and Casual Matches are pretty self-explanatory, but Battle Lounge is another story. Battle Lounge sounds like a lobby based mode and it is in a way, however your lobby appears to only be open to 1 other person. This is a real shame because something Mortal Kombat X did very well in its release last year was have a lobby system for you and your friends. Whoever wins would stay fighting while they took on all comers, with everyone else getting to spectate the matches while waiting for their turn. It was a very cool mode that would seem ideal in this day and age of having numerous friends online, but for some reason you cannot do that in SFV. Now it is not all negative news as the Capcom Fighters Network has the potential to really set Capcom and SFV apart from other fighters, whether you’re a hardcore or casual player.
The Capcom Figthers Network provides leaderboards for regions and stats for the top players in the world. You can view replays of fighters either by Fighter IDs or Characters, a good way to see how a high ranking player uses your favorite character. Simply search for them in this menu then watch and learn how the masters play. The stat tracking in SFV is another plus, allowing you to view a plethora of different statistics on each player you fight. Examples include their hit percentage, how often they block, if they favor offense or defense, and even if they are a good sport or if they rage quit their matches. Kudos to Capcom for really going all out in that department.
Overall it seems Capcom has shot itself in its foot with Street Fighter V. As of now it’s a prime example of a game being good but unfinished when compared to the previous entries. Maybe Capcom jumped the gun with shipping the game as is and asking for patience to wait for the free updates with more game modes. This wouldn’t be as big an issue if the online worked as it should, which as of this review, doesn’t really seem to be the case.
For the above reasons it is difficult to call this title a must buy at full retail price of $59.99. We here at N4L Gaming say hold off unless you’re a fighting game aficionado and need some salty runbacks in your life.
Verdict : Rent It
Rent it, Borrow it, play it at a friends house, see if it tickles you.
Fighting Engine is top of the line
Capcom Fighters Network
Simple to learn mechanics yet deep enough for the hardcore to hone their craft
Very light on modes
Online seems to be hit and miss
Single Player content is abysmal