Review

Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition Review

  • First Released Feb 16, 2016
    released
  • PC
  • PS4

Down right fierce.

The first rule of fighting games is to make sure your fundamentals are rock solid. If the foundation of your play isn't on point, you'll never be considered a viable competitor. The whiffed launch of Street Fighter V showed that this mantra is as applicable to the game as it is to the people playing it. When it launched in 2016 Street Fighter V had a strong gameplay core, but the emaciated frame containing it couldn't stand up to its contemporaries.

A lack of modes that are considered staples for the series and the absence of tools to teach newcomers how to play left all but the most experienced fighting game aficionados out in the cold. This, unfortunately, came to define the discussion surrounding Street Fighter V, and although Capcom introduced offline modes and a suite of training options in the following months, that grey cloud has continued to linger over it.

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, however, represents a new beginning. Arriving two years after the game's initial launch, it is a content-rich, well-rounded experience that pays homage to the series' legacy while also revitalising its finely tuned gameplay. For newcomers or those put off by the paltry offerings of the original game, it's the ideal entry point, and for those that have stuck with it since day one, it's a free update that brings the fresh injection of ideas needed to reignite their fighting spirit.

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The most significant new addition is a single-player Arcade mode, which leverages nostalgia to great effect. It's made up of six paths, each corresponding to a different entry in the franchise: Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter IV, and Street Fighter V. While the progression through these is straightforward, with the player picking a character and battling through a series of opponents to face an end boss and receive an ending, thoughtful presentation elevates it.

The choice of characters for each path is limited to just the fighters who were available in those games when they first launched, with Street Fighter V equivalents thrown in to fill out the numbers. Costumes can be picked to reflect their classic design, so if you select Ryu in the first Street Fighter campaign you can opt for the floppy-haired version of the series' iconic mascot. A new selection of musical themes and stings also evoke sentimentality; jump into the Street Fighter III campaign, for example, and the character select theme is a saxophone-infused jazzy number that'll spark memories of playing it on a Dreamcast back in 2000. Go for Street Fighter Alpha and an energetic versus screen jingle channels the youthful motif of that spin-off series. As opponents are lined up, a little airplane moves across the screen to the location of your next bout as the announcer shouts the name of the country, harkening back to Street Fighter II. There are Bonus Stages, too, such as Street Fighter II's barrel-busting mini-game and even a special brawl with the fighter formerly known as Shen Long.

It's all really small, novel touches that land just that little bit harder in the year Street Fighter celebrates its 30th anniversary. The gameplay and character models are still the ones created for Street Fighter V, but this doesn't dilute the nostalgia and, in fact, gives everything a charming high school reunion vibe.

Each character's ending is a comic book-like page of art that summarizes their story for that incarnation, and if you meet certain conditions during a playthrough, more unique pieces of artwork can be unlocked. This might seem like an insignificant reward, but Capcom has brought in well-known artists with close relationships to the Street Fighter franchise such as Bengus, Akiman, and Ikeno to create these. Not only does this provide longevity to those that aren't up for fighting online, but it also gives fans of Street Fighter's art something to chase. These unlocks can be viewed in the new gallery, which also houses a sound-select mode that lets you listen to music from the game whenever you please. Again, another simple addition that reminds you of Street Fighters from yesteryear.

[Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition] is a content-rich, well-rounded experience that pays homage to the series' legacy while also revitalising its finely tuned gameplay

The other big addition is Team Battle mode, which can be used to set up offline skirmishes between multiple combatants, human or AI. It's very versatile, offering the options to tweak the number of participants, match format, and whether health is recovered in between battles and if Critical Gauge carries over, among other parameters. This is sure be a hit for tournament organizers, both professional and casual. It's a quick and easy way to settle rivalries or just have some fun in a party environment.

For the solitary Street Fighter V player, these marquee new features provide plenty to do. However, there are also things like the Extra Battle Mode and Special Challenges, which are time-exclusive fights that dangle the promise of in-game currency or exclusive rewards such as titles and costumes to those who best them. The first of these is a series of fights across a prolonged period that unlocks a Viewtiful Joe outfit for Rashid. This is also where Street Fighter V's ruthless Fight Money economy rears its head.

Fight Money, in addition to real money, can be used to purchase stages and costumes, but everything still feels unreasonably expensive. Although completing challenges and grinding out online battles are consistent ways of adding to your balance, you earn tiny amounts and not everyone wants to venture into the cutthroat world of online Street Fighter. As a result, the economy feels geared towards pushing players into spending real money, which is a shame. For anyone buying the game for the first time Arcade Edition is a way to get up to date on content. It is intended encapsulate everything released in Season 1 and 2 of Street Fighter V, and as far as characters go this is true. However, it would have been nice to also get the extra stages, if not the costumes. Admittedly, this is a greater concern for those that want everything; if you're just after a specific item here and there, the Fight Money mountain isn't as daunting.

Anyone who does feel inclined to purchase costumes with real money should take note of the new model viewer, which lets you preview how an outfit will look before you drop the cold hard cash on it. This is a quality-of-life improvement in Arcade Edition that at least provides the opportunity to make informed purchasing decisions from within the game, instead of being forced to resort to YouTube videos.

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Outside of gameplay modes, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition's big gameplay shakeup comes in the form of a second V-Trigger for every character. For those that need a refresher, V-Trigger is a unique move that can completely change a character's capabilities. It becomes accessible when a meter is filled by taking damage, landing well-timed crush counters, or using V-Skills. Arcade Edition's selection of new V-Triggers are an antidote to stagnation felt by veteran players of Street Fighter V. Two years into the game's life, characters have largely reached the point where they're played in a specific, optimised way, and for the most part this means everyone employs the same styles, strategies, and combos. Alternative V-Triggers open up each fighter in the roster to re-examination, and also creates just enough room for creativity and expression without sacrificing what originally made them distinct.

Ken is still a quick-footed powerhouse but now has the option to use his new Shinryuken to stand his ground and up his damage output. M. Bison players can swap the extra mobility of his original V-Trigger to gain access to a command grab and a Psycho Crusher with V-Trigger II. Laura's Matsuda Sway, meanwhile, helps her get out of high-pressure situations or make reads that lead to further damage. V-Trigger II is an additional wrinkle on a fighting framework that has already proven itself to be deep and rewarding. Street Fighter V emphasized clean play, measured strategy, and consistent execution, and with these new moves, each character feels fresh and unpredictable again.

The final notable improvement in Arcade Edition is in Training mode, which now displays detailed frame data, so students of the game can be fully informed on the technicalities of moves, the knowledge of which can be employed in high-level competitive play. If that's a bit too far down the rabbit hole, there's also a toggle that will just show you when you're safe and unsafe after executing an attack, which is something that's easy to understand and factor into play.

With a slick new interface, fully featured online and offline modes, and every character released thus far--plus Sakura, the first fighter from Season 3 of its DLC--Street Fighter V feels like a complete package. It has always been a strong fighting game that continues to get better over time, but it remained a game for genre enthusiasts. Arcade Edition, however, is a game that you can confidently recommend to anyone. Two years after its launch, Street Fighter V is finally fighting fit.

Back To Top
The Good
Arcade Mode is a fun, nostalgic trip down memory lane that has plenty to keep coming back for.
Team Battle makes playing in big groups a cinch
V-Trigger II breathes new life into the roster
Street Fighter V is still a solid fighting game
The Bad
Stages aren't included for free
Fight Money economy feels like it's pushing you to pay real money
9
Superb
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Street Fighter V

About the Author

Tamoor is now having to split time between Street Fighter V and Overwatch, and it's proving to be very difficult. GameSpot was provided with a complimentary copy of the game for the purpose of this review.
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Avatar image for nknow1966
nknow1966

Waited 2 years for this.

Well to be fair... one year. Then I gave up on it. And Capcom. Game sat on my hard drive unplayed. But I guess it auto updated. I saw the update in my Steam Library and ran it up. Not one but 5 arcade mode variants and team battle mode. The game was FINALLY COMPLETE. Why they didn't do this and not that story mode in the first place is beyond me. Most of us are never going to be Daigo... but we still wanted to play the game. I'm glad they decided to recognize that. I just picked up season 3 and will be purchasing season 4.

Avatar image for aspeeedyninja
ASpeeedyNiNjA

I just bought the game because of this review... and I'm extremely disappointed.

Robust training mode is non-existent. There's zero mention of characters combos. What's the point of 'frame to frame' data with no mention of how to perform combos. [In 2018... fifth entry, and still no combo training?!] That's what I was looking forward to.

The arcade mode is underwhelming, you don't get to fight Sagat at the end of Street Fighter I in arcade... so what's the point.

Maybe I need to learn to be more critical of reviewers, because this blows in my mind. I would not recommend this game to anyone.

Avatar image for kiloman_74
kiloman_74

@aspeeedyninja: yeah. im both glad and disapointed i have to admit. and it's what you said man! where are all the correct characters? wasn't Duddly in SF1? and Adon? sagat being the last boss? where is blanka in SF2 and so on..... the bonus stage with the car? goodness! lol

Avatar image for ConanTheStoner
ConanTheStoner

@aspeeedyninja:

Main menu > Challenges > Trials.

Characters have either 1, 2, or 3 sets of combo trials, depending on how long they've been in the game.

And on that note, if you haven't been through the menu enough to even find that, then you should really dive through the menus. There are tons of awesome features and options.

Avatar image for FaeLKuN
FaeLKuN

@aspeeedyninja: You're on the wrong game mode, dood. Training Mode is meant to practice what you ALREADY know and test different scenarios against a customizable dummy. It's actually one of the most robust ever made. If you want to LEARN combos, go to Trials. You can find them under Challenges. There's even a mode called Demonstrations where you can learn the intricacies of each character.

And Sagat is not at the end of the SFI timeline because he is yet to be released. Each Arcade Mode path is gonna be upgraded as soon as the relevant characters get released, there's nothing to worry about.

Avatar image for kiloman_74
kiloman_74

@FaeLKuN: thank you Mr capcom(?) lol kidding. its good to know. but we have to pay for all this yes? with fight money of course?.......

Avatar image for eva02langley
eva02langley

@aspeeedyninja: I need to give to Capcom what they did right and the training mode is what they did the best. The only other game having a training mode up to this is Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. They included frame data which is a huge thing. The red blue is great also for learning what can be punished.

Avatar image for xhoang
xHoang

@aspeeedyninja: You go into SFV trials to learn the combos.

Avatar image for xhoang
xHoang

@xhoang: Like did you even explore all the options my dude

Avatar image for DuaMn
DuaMn

If only anyone in this place understood what Street Fighter is...

SF is a competitive fighting game that needs constant updates and fresh content. There won't be a "complete" version until the end of its relevance. Complete edition will be out just before SF6 comes and when that happens the competitive scene will leave it behind and only a fraction of player base will play this game online or offline. If that's what you are waiting for by all means do it, but don't act like you know what's going on with SF.

People who actually care about SF5 and put in a lot of time playing are not really opposed to what Capcom is doing right now, because it's one of the only ways to keep the scene alive.

Avatar image for eva02langley
eva02langley

@DuaMn: I am pal. The amount of wrong doesn`t come close to what they did right. It`s unfortunate because I like the lore, but season 1 and 2 were utmost retarded strategy for a fighting game. It was all offense and no defense after a knockdown.

Avatar image for jimmkd84
jimmkd84

Ok . I just want to see a complete game release with all characters on disk, no download code B's. That worked fine back in the day doesn't need to be this complicated. SF 5 is boycotted for me

Avatar image for nefphlegm
nefphlegm

Did they improve on the input lag?

Avatar image for eva02langley
eva02langley

@nefphlegm: No

Avatar image for nefphlegm
nefphlegm

@eva02langley: Thanks.

Avatar image for sonic_xa
sonic_xa

" Go for Street Fighter Alpha and an energetic versus screen jingle channels the youthful motif of that spin-off series"

@Tamz Just FYI , SF Alpha is not a spin off and is considered a mainline entry according to Capcom. They even mentioned it in their 30th anniversary events. That is why you also see SF Alpha in the 30th anniversary collection and not other games like SF EX or SF The movie. Those are actual spin-offs.

It was also called SF Zero in Japan. And like most Capcom games , 'Zero' is usually a mainline entry.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@sonic_xa: I would take Capcom's statement on matters of canonicity with a pinch of salt. They are just a bit less bewildering than Nintendo's stand on Legend of Zelda.

Avatar image for NaturallyEvil
NaturallyEvil

@Gelugon_baat: I haven't researched it much, so I might be mistaken, but it doesn't seem too complicated if I understand it correctly.

1. Same Hyrule, different time periods.

2. Zelda is immortal and exists through all of them.

3. Link and Ganondorf keep getting reincarnated. Ganondorf's soul always finds some evil way of coming back from wherever the Hyrule afterlife is, and since Link's destiny is to kick his ass, Link is born again to do so.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@NaturallyEvil: What? Zelda is immortal? In the latest entry, she has been described as being born to a king, wasn't she?

I think that they all reincarnated, including Zelda.

Avatar image for Hurvl
Hurvl

ExGonGiveItToYa, lol! Now I want to watch the Deadpool trailer where that song is featured. Luckily, the next Deadpool movie isn't that far away.

Also, interesting to see that 20 days after Spellforce 3 comes 3 new reviews which all get 9/10 (and 3 is the square root of 9).

Avatar image for rcontini
RContini

I've got to say I love this new arcade edition, fixes almost everything and this is now a top class game.

Most shockingly of all though......the new cinematic general story mode is brilliant! Capcom never do anything like this and it blew me away. it actually introduced the new characters properly so I know what they are all about now.....see it's that easy, of course it could be written better but its a massive step in the right direction.........MORE of this please!!

Avatar image for eva02langley
eva02langley

@rcontini: Throw loops are still there for some characters, many special command grab were not nerfed, shoto having an anti-grab wakeup option is totally unfair, anti-air jabs are still presents, CA whiff are safer than command grab whiff...

Many things still broken, and don`t mae me start on the FM scam...

Avatar image for genji_shimada
Genji_Shimada

Love the update mostly. My biggest complaint is that they reduced the ways to make fight money and added more ways to spend it with these new challenges.

Avatar image for J_P-
J_P-

I still have nostalgia for SF2CE, but SSF4AE was okay.

The Ultra upgrade when transferring the game to another service was actually a fake version, they still forced you to have to pay for all the extras unlike someone who buys the Ultra version straight up, the Ultra upgrade was a big middle finger.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@mundus: @superklyph: @ConanTheStoner:

After looking at this GameFAQs thread, it just struck me that the release of the Arcade Edition of this game would benefit die-hard loyalists the most. (Actually, I should have realized this when Giant Bomb made a Quick Look of this game, but I wasn't really paying attention to their video.)

If they had been playing consistently, they would have the Fight Money to just unlock all the new shit.

Then after that, I realize that the Fight Money pricing for the content might have been set with the loyalists in mind - thus giving me the impression that everyone else got the middle finger.

Avatar image for superklyph
SuperKlyph

@Gelugon_baat: I can't argue that; it's very grindy. That being said, I can't think of another fighting game with DLC that can be unlocked without buying it. Not only that, but even if you buy the characters, they're still cheaper than the other fighting games' DLC characters.

You're right though - if you're just now starting to try and unlock season 1 and 2 characters, stop. It's not going to happen. Thankfully the AE is reasonably priced.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@superklyph: The only customer whom I believe the price is reasonably set for is the new player, who has yet to play Street Fighter V.

Players who bought the license for the game but fell off get the middle finger.

This could have been avoided if existing content has had their Fight Money prices rejiggered, or there is a "Welcome Back!" bonus. (On the other hand, the loyalists would get the middle finger instead if this happens.)

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I would agree with all the complaints about how fucking long it takes to grind the "Fight Money" to unlock shit, but this just reminds me of something that I heard in a certain PAX panel where Wargaming.net officials were the panellists. (I couldn't find that video, but I know it was in one of last year's PAX.)

I recall that the YouTube version of that video was thumbed-down so hard - and for good reason. The panelists said one thing that people like you and me wouldn't want to hear:

"Making games is getting more expensive. People expect more from the next game and they want it for the usual 60 dollars. This is not sustainable."

My first reaction was this thought: "But some of you fucks are just recycling shit! How can that get more expensive every year?!"

Yet that would have been me, a decade ago. Since then, I have done work where even "recycling shit" is a pain-in-the-ass. For one, the old stuff might not fit with the new stuff because of software glitches, procedural mismatches and such other time-consuming incompatibilities that have to be solved, thus taking time away from making new content.

(Of course, you can make the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" argument that the makers of the earliest Fallout games used to make. Yet, would you like another game that is made using Tim Cain's engine?)

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I didn't know that the Arcade Edition was going to be a free upgrade for those who already own the license to the game. I thought that Capcom is going to put up a fee, like it did for the Super, Ultra, EX and such other editions.

I am trying to look for any information that this might be a limited-time-only upgrade; most announcements that I see on this matter does not mention whether this is the case.

Can anyone in the know tell me whether this is a limited-time-only deal or a permanent upgrade for existing customers?

Avatar image for superklyph
SuperKlyph

@Gelugon_baat: Permanent upgrade, doesn't come with characters.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@superklyph: Okay then... But I would be more convinced if you could show me an official Capcom FAQ on this.

Avatar image for tonyleo01
tonyleo01

@Gelugon_baat: Capcom has said when SFV first came out that they won't be releasing additional versions of the game like in the past, but will just keep releasing free updates to the base game. The plus side of this is that the online community won't be separated by the different versions or patches of the same game even if you never use real money to buy any DLCs.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@tonyleo01: Well, I know that people can play with characters that they have against characters that they don't have, but what about stages?

Avatar image for tonyleo01
tonyleo01

@Gelugon_baat: everything else works the same way as the fighters DLCs. You can play against people or CPUs who own the stages in arcade mode even if you had never bought them. You just won’t be able to select them in vs and what not.

I had bought 3-4 stages and a few costumes with fight money alone and I only play maybe a few times a week. I did buy all my fighters though because I don’t have the time to grind but I’m sure people who play all the time have no problem unlocking stuff with fight money.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@tonyleo01: That's fortunate.

Now, if only those people who planned the game's release date back in 2015 had been this thoughtful.

(I heard that they rushed the game so that it can be featured in a fighting game event.)

Avatar image for superklyph
SuperKlyph

@Gelugon_baat: If you don't have the game, it would be cheaper to get the arcade edition rather than the character passes.

Avatar image for ConanTheStoner
ConanTheStoner

@Gelugon_baat:

It's permanent.

SFV is an ever growing game that gets updates throughout the year, but there's always a big update once a year. Rather than just calling this update season 3, they re-branded it as Arcade Edition to give the game another go with reviews and fans.

But yeah, this free update isn't going away. Capcom keeps everyone on the same version with this game. You'll always get the modes, features, balance patches, bug fixes, etc. that everyone else gets, for free.

Just to be clear, this doesn't mean you get all content for free. If you own a vanilla license of the game, that doesn't mean you automatically get the season 1 and 2 DLC characters for example.

Avatar image for timthegem
timthegem

I'll hold out for the Alpha Turbo edition with Moisturizing Beads.

Avatar image for lembu90
Lembu90

2 Years 2 Late

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@lembu90: Would you say that about games that get their shit mostly together after two years or more, like Rainbox Six: Siege?

Avatar image for lionheartssj1
lionheartssj1

Nickle and dime. The mention of arcade mode actually being nostalgic is a little sad too. Should have been there to begin with, like all the other games in the series.

Avatar image for vega13mv
vega13mv

Shin Akuma took all my fight money, you win Capcom.

Avatar image for kiloman_74
kiloman_74

@vega13mv: yes, he's a bastard alright.......

Avatar image for genji_shimada
Genji_Shimada

@vega13mv: Yeah, he can only be feasibly beat with certain characters and he loves to use his Critical Art after you jump over his hadoken so you can't jump again.

Avatar image for superklyph
SuperKlyph

@vega13mv: I tried once. It was a big "not gonna happen."

Avatar image for dhaynes25
dhaynes25

It's sad that we have to buy the next six fighters for $30. Smh. I thought this was the definitive edition with everything but it's just the season 1 and 2 characters plus arcade mode

Avatar image for FaeLKuN
FaeLKuN

@dhaynes25: You can unlock them for free with in-game Fight Money.

Street Fighter V More Info

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  • First Released Feb 16, 2016
    released
    • Arcade Games
    • Linux
    • + 2 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    Street Fighter V is coming out exclusively for the PlayStation 4 and PC.
    6.1
    Average Rating181 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Capcom
    Published by:
    Capcom, Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Genre(s):
    2D, Action, Fighting
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
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    Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence