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Street Fighter V: Worth A Second Look?

When Street Fighter V was first announced back in December of 2014, there was a lot of buzz around the next installment in this cult-classic series. After all, it had been about 7 years since the previous title had been released. While most of the hype surrounding this game continued through launch, many players were displeased with a major feature not being offered in this release: arcade mode. Street Fighter V was released on PS4 and PC in early 2016 with no arcade mode, and even rumors that there wouldn’t be such a mode moving forward. It took almost two years for the Arcade Edition of the game to be released as a free update to owners of the game or a $40 standalone title. Now that we’re in 2019, though, and Street Fighter V has an arcade mode and a rapidly expanding list of characters, is it worth picking up?

Previous Releases

Before the fifth Street Fighter game, every release in the series from Capcom had included an arcade mode to fight against a computer-generated player. This allowed players to hone their skills or just enjoy casual gaming that didn’t involve a storyline. While this mode was certainly beloved by anyone who played the Street Fighter franchise, it seemed that Capcom did not think it was a critical part of their game when they released Street Fighter V. With the game taking such a long time to be developed, it’s unlikely that adding this game mode was an issue of time. Capcom most likely just assumed that it wasn’t needed to bring players into their next title. And they were kind of right. In February of 2016 Street Fighter V was the 7th best selling game in the US. Even without an arcade mode, fans of the game were clearly willing to buy into this release. Although, just because a large group of people would buy the game without arcade play didn’t mean that it wasn’t still greatly desired.

While there was a fairly big hole missing in the game Capcom did a decent job updating the game with new players. Through 2016 there were 7 new characters released, and in 2017 and 2018 there were an additional 9. These updates clearly were very welcome by players, but there were always still talks about whether or not the game would ever get an arcade mode. In October of 2017, though, fans finally got what they wanted. Capcom announced that an arcade edition of the game would be made and sold for $40, while the included content would be available as a free update for anyone who had already purchased the game.

Street Fighter V’s Faults

While the beginning of 2018 gave players the game mode they had wanted from the start, and a fair amount of characters had been added with more promised to come, the question still stands if Street Fighter V is worth it even with all of this added content. It may be true that new players have been added fairly consistently throughout the game’s life, but compared to many other fighting games such as Tekken, it’s really not much. In addition to this, the only other notable updates to the game throughout its seasons have been the occasional new stage or costume which can seem underwhelming to many familiar with other fighting titles. Capcom has not been adding any large updates of totally new characters or moves to the game and that has many players wondering if this installment in the Street Fighter series was a flop.

It is possible, I believe, that if Street Fighter V had released on day one with an arcade mode it might have been considered more of a success than it was, earning its place among the main-line titles before it. Unfortunately this did not happen, however, and so the mildly weak additions of characters, stages, and costumes seemed to only compound the fact that this game was released incomplete in many peoples’ eyes. In fact, Capcom themselves even released statements admitting that they should have included the arcade mode feature from the start. But for the purposes of the rest of this article we’ll look at Street Fighter V as it stands right now with all of its seasons and added mode.

fighter with a name card

The Game In 2019

The plot of this game takes place between the Street Fighter III and IV games and is actually quite good in my opinion. In classic Street FIghter style you find yourself in circumstances of peril fighting off the bad guys to save the world once again. While it may seem a bit cliche to some, it holds true to the previous games’ style and makes for an enjoyable time. The new V-Gauge system added in this game also increases the playability, adding a new level to the combat system which is a nice refresh from the previous games. This base game, then, in-and-of itself is very playable and you’ll definitely enjoy it if you’re a fan of previous games in this series. On top of this core gameplay is the arcade mode with new stages, costumes, and characters. Again this is pretty straightforward if you’re familiar with any of the previous Street Fighter games. The game mechanics are still spot-on and three years in the game has polished out pretty much every kink that existed at launch. Aside from the addition of the new V-Gauge system the arcade mode is similar to what we’ve seen before and just as great as the classics.

So then if there are so many great aspects of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition in 2019 then surely there have to be some downfalls too. That is unfortunately where the previously mentioned sparseness of updates comes in to play. While the framework and foundation of this game are incredible right now, the timing between the season releases and the small amount of included content in them leaves a lot to be desired. While Capcom is no doubt working on a 6th installment in this cult-classic game series, they surely have no lack of manpower to add more first-time characters and new and interesting stages and costumes to this existing game. The content being released every season for Street Fighter V isn’t terrible by any means, but it is much smaller that most gamers have come to expect from a modern fighting game made by a AAA company such as Capcom.

To wrap this article up then I’ll have to include some of my own personal opinions on how this game stacks up right now. Although it had an admittedly rough start it seems to be offering an exceptional gaming experience at its core. I think that if you’re looking for a really solid fighting game, or if you are a fan of the Street Fighter series then you should absolutely pick up a copy of this game. But if you do, maybe don’t constantly look forward to big updates or wild new move sets or characters and instead just see any updates as a fun surprise. If you’re expecting a game with season updates as intense as Tekken or Fortnite then I can’t say this game would deliver up to your expectations, though. Ultimately I think that Capcom righted most of the wrongs that gave this title its rocky start and it’s definitely worth a second look if you were scared away at first.

 

Do you think Street Fighter V is up to snuff now? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

 

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