Street Fighter is a revolutionary and inspirational fighter series and has been since the late 80's-early 90's. I can remember playing Street Fighter 2 on my SNES and losing time and again to Vega. It entertained me for years and others as well. The importance of this series to fighter games in general is HUGE. Some believe Street Fighter IV revitalized the genre after the "dark period" where fighters were at a standstill. What I'm trying to get across here is the its a huge deal, worldwide. And the reason why is it has always been a complex and acquired fighting game where simple random button pounding would get you KOed. So when I heard the mechanics and fighting styles had changed up In SFV, I was nervous and excited at same time. I think it works very well & is a welcomed change to the fight system of Street Fighter V. Even players even familiar with Street Fighter entries of past will find the new system a mystery at first and mastery of it requires serious skill and practice. Only time and knowledge of how it works will give players the skill set to survive. Since Capcom clearly focused in on the attacks and styles of each individual character and all their attacks all ranging from light punches all the way to Critical Arts, each fighter feels much different from the other and thus will have to be approached differently than the other fighters both on offense & defense. I'll get a little more into that further in the review but its a splendid & improvised take on combat in SF. But if anyone wants a tough reminder of just how "good" they are, go online and fight a ranked match, and don't be upset if you get schooled.
For starters, as you all know, the Focus-based Skill combat system is gone due to high demand. Now Capcom has instead put more attention to each individual character and created a V System, in which each character possesses their own unique special attack list. Each fighter will have a V Gauge, which builds up and is 3 staged. Once full, if the requirements are met and correct buttons pressed, characters can perform their special move. Zangief for example is a brutish wrestler with immense strength and one of his abilities from using his V Trigger attack is the ability to take damage and basically absorb it in his Armor Body. No health will be taken while he remains in Armor Mode unless he gets hit with a Critical Arte. One could probably guess his special attack is a powerful slam and one that will leave foes stuck halfway out of the ground should it be his finishing move. And take Ryu, his powerful abilities allow him to not only pretty much parry most attacks and render them worthless, but his signature Hidoken flame move can be charged up and used at a much faster and devastating way. Certain characteristics and elements like these are what make SFV a great & unique fighter in my eyes and makes character selection more critical than ever. The focus has been put on each fighter as an individual and been made into something of their very own instead of the Focus skill attacks of SFIV. This is a great feature and some characters will require ALOT of practice to even figure out the most effective ways to perform it. For Ryu, you wanna use while defending and launch a counterattack finisher type attack. For other characters, it is going to be something totally different. Each character has 3 types. V Skill is the main special combination attack, V Reversals are self explanatory and also a V Trigger. V Trigger grants special buffs and each characters differs and offers advantages and can also offer disadvantages too if not careful. These buffs and enhancements come in many different forms and more often than not change the battle outcome. Players will be required to spend some time with their favorite characters to effectively learn when to use V Triggers and when not to and what to do when they do. It is a wise move to learn your favorite character's advantages while having their V Trigger abilities active and to get every bit of use out of them.
The Arcade Mode is not present and although it has been rumored to be in development, there are still many more awesome modes to be excited about. The Versus Mode is more or less the same & is mainly for those who just want to enjoy a competitive match with friends locally or online. The Online capabilities of fights have improved dramatically since Capcom released this game back in February. Capcom has installed a nice network system that manages your stats, your levels, money used for buying new in-game content, and titles that will appear when players face off against you. Capcom also does a good job of seeking out and punishing the "Rage Quitters" or people who quit just before losing or something similar. Which is a good thing, the network can be extremely slow at times and it sucks to have your match disconnected right when you are about to beat someone all because their a pissy sport. You can have League Points or money stripped as well as your global rankings and standings. The huge newly released Story Mode is a surprising drawn out and very detailed insight on the story behind SFV and I was greatly impressed with the beautiful ad and well written cutscenes that came with it. It offers plenty of information on how each of these characters got involved with the "big fight" this time around. I was very surprised at the live action scenes instead of the traditional SF still shots (that offered very few facts about the fate of each characters and what led them there). SFV most certainly fixes that. Well told story mode with a ton of cool scenes is a huge step up for SF in my book. The Survival Mode, however, is my personal favorite mode in SFV. You will control one character and be tasked with beating a certain amount of opponents while carrying over what remaining health you have from the previous bout. But what makes this mode special is the option to purchase boosters and helpful buffs such as attack power increased for next match only or restore some of your lost health. The way you purchase these randomly choice given boosts is based on your current score. Points vary depending on what you get, health restoration amounts usually costing the most. The amount of fights you must complete in order to finish depends upon the difficulty setting. Easy pits you up against 10 foes while Medium has 30 and then Hard will force 50 straight recurring bouts. Each time you beat a difficulty with a character unlocks more Costume selections and titles associated with that character. Its an excellent way to practice, earn Fight Money, & unlock new costumes and skins while waiting for an online opponent.
Another new addition are all the few new faces to the series. One noteworthy addition is the talented and beautiful Laura. She is Jiu-Jiutsu Black Belt who has some nifty throws and MMA type attacks & devastating counter attacks. She is also the sister of Sean Matsuda, a Street Fighter III fighter. A big and sinister character named Necalli debuts as well. He possesses a mysterious and devastating special power, which the game fails to explain. His history and background also are never mentioned and hopefully in time, more will be explained. A powerful and formidable foe indeed. Fang is a brand new M Bison lackey who possesses a valuable set of weaponry as well. He has the ability to poison foes with a single touch in combat, and doing so will result in the opposing players to slowly lose their health bar. He can indeed be a very tough foe and offer some intense and memorable showdowns. He is working for M Bison, but did not originally intend on it. An eccentric and aggravating pest in my opinion but he is valuable to fight with. The last of the currently available characters that is new to the series and my peronal favoriteof the new guys is Rashid. He is a turban wearing assassin whose complex and diverse V Skill set is not so easily figured out and can be quite rewarding when used effieciently. His element of offense is clearly wind based attacks and his fast paced skill set and movement can become a pestering recurrence when fighting him. He is quick and can almost always hit you with something regardless of his position or distance from you. The updated roster just saw Ibuki & Balrog get released. Guile & Alex were released before that and all characters play a pivotal role in what makes SF successful.
Online competition is by far the focus of the game, but its the intense and thought provoking strategic fighting system that shines brightest. So, all in all, SFV is a good success, while remaining true to the skillful and fair fighting styled gameplay drives as opposed to the lucky or cheating bastards who just press random buttons and from time to time strike luck and win. This has always been essential to Street Fighter as a series in my eyes, as it truly require some practice and time spent with playing it, I respect that and the fact that Capcom managed to implement that style and still keep it original enough for old school vets and long time Street Fighters fans like myself to enjoy. The fights are insanely intense and bring some tense and dramatic showdowns to the table, and require patience as well as practice to truly utilize effectively.
Fans who are new to the series may want to ensure that Street Fighter meets their personal play style. (Street Fighter can be tough for players who aren't familiarized with the technical fighting styles) I am confident it will please most of you but do your homework just in case. As for the long term series fans, its a no brainer to go give this a shot. Especially since there is reportedly a ton of new content currently in development for the game, even some new additions coming out later this month, so here's to hoping Capcom can right the minor and few wrongs by then. BUT ALL IN ALL THE BEST SF MADE YET!!!!! Hope you enjoyed the review and that this may help answer any questions you may have been unsure of. Well worth it in my opinion. ENJOY!!!