Street Fighter V – Review

Ps Plus in September offered this classic side-scrolling fighter for free to all members. While I do not have a huge experience with fighters as I have only played and enjoyed Dragon Ball Fighterz and Mortal Kombat X, I hope to offer insight to new players to the fighter genre.

Due to my relative new experience to side-scroller fighters, I quickly became aware of the depth of command lists and button assignments meaning that the old proverb ‘git gud’ would prove harder than I thought. Street Fighter V is not a game for casual players and the tutorial’s included within the game to not really scratch the depths of combo’s and fighting styles required to become competitive on the online scene. The online community is full of experienced veterans who are a whole universe better than me. I found myself sticking to the story as online play would see me be smacked into the ground by a level 90 profile.

Playing online was also a drain on my patience. It took upwards of 5 minutes from searching for a match to then be placed into a game. I found that patience is very much a virtue with this game. It took nearly 4 years for the game to be a finished product with enough fighters and arenas to suffice a £50 pound launch price tag. Booting up the game takes a long time too, rivalling GTA V times (maybe it is something to do with fifth mainstream instalments?)

The fighting itself is good. It is clear to see how Street Fighter has become and remained a beloved franchise since the 1980’s. Every character has their own style of fighting and their own new ‘V Triggers’ and ‘V Skills’. These add individuality to each character and makes each matchup different and exciting.

During each fight, players can also see the beautiful animation and colours that make up Street Fighter V. This game has a sort of ‘cartoony’ style to it and differs from competitors like Mortal Kombat and Injustice. Every fight that I played was a joy and even though I am not an expert and the story modes difficulty spikes humbled me on more than one occasion, just watching my character get ruined by barrages of fists and kicks was still pleasant to see.

On the contrary, what did not make for easy viewing was the shameless placement of DLC and microtransactions. Everything from fighters to arenas can be purchased from the store. This is such a huge blow for me as instead of learning the game and becoming more fluent with combos to earn arenas and characters, a simple £3.39 for each new arena can grant access. This massively killed my enthusiasm for learning the franchise as there is no pay off or reward for me as a player. While this can be avoided if you were to purchase the ‘Champions Edition’ of the game (which I thoroughly recommend if you were to play SFV in 2020), the Ps Plus free game is the base version that came out in 2016, lacking the costumes, arenas and characters that were added into the updated version. The Champions Edition seems to me to be Street Fighter’s way of papering over the cracks of the original base game and how much it’s launch lacked. Luckily, I did not buy the game at full price at launch and since then, feee updates including a cinematic story have been added.

For someone who wants to experience the single player aspect more than anything, Street Fighter V’s story mode is good. It gives the player a fair play with each of the characters within the game’s roster and provides some grip on techniques. However, it is not enough to become any way competitive and the game offers no easy way to do this. Challenges help learn a base to each character, but it remains that YouTube tutorials would be a better suit if any newcomer fancies a shot at being competitive in this game.

Street Fighter V is a good game. However, it requires a lot of investment to understand the lore and fighting styles if you are new to the franchise. This game lacks the catering to the audience like me who has never played a Street Fighter before and makes it a mountain to climb to then be accessible.

If you love Street Fighter, you will love this game. But for most people and players, this game is not worth a full asking price.

I would pay £6.50 to experience Street Fighter V out of its original £49.99 asking price in 2016 (13%).

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