Street Fighter V Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Street Fighter V. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
I've always looked at the Street Fighter franchise as the video game version of boxing's sweet science (making Mortal Kombat it's fun and over the top pro wrestling cousin). Sure, you can get lucky and land a few punches and fireballs, you may even win a fight every now and then but to truly be successful against the world's top players you'll need to master the series combination of speed, timing and patience. Street Fighter V continues this remarkably well, better than some of the previous games in fact, and at it's core, this is still a fantastic fighting experience. As a consumer product though, it's lacking an incredible amount of features and game modes, some that are the most basic of game modes. Most of those features will be coming later this year but as it stands Street Fighter V feels like a high profile and full priced early access game.
Like most people my age, I've been playing Street Fighter pretty much my whole life. I still remember coming home from school with my friends and spending more time than my parents probably liked learning how to piece together combos from characters like Ryu and Blanka in Street Fighter II. Then when I got to college games like Street Fighter III and all of it's iterations where the main attraction of my dorm room (not much else was happening). I tell you all of this to assure you that with Street Fighter V the franchise is as good as it's ever been when it comes to it's core fighting mechanics. Throwing a hadouken still feels as good as ever, especially since I still remember the button combos for most moves. Much like previous games in the series, there's a lot of depth here and it rewards players who are looking to put in the time.
The biggest addition to the Street Fighter mechanics this go-round is the V system; a set of moves and reversals unique to each character that can have a major impact on each fight. Your V-Skill can be accessed at any time and is essentially a more powerful version of one of your character's special moves, like a more powerful hadouken from Ryu. Then there's the V-Trigger which are most similar to Ultra moves in previous games, allowing you to really change the course of a fight if used right. There's also a V-reversal which is exactly what it sounds like but doesn't take up as much of your gauge as the powerful V-Trigger moves. What I loved about this system was the fact that these are amazingly powerful moves but you can't just spam them and hope for the best, to be successful with them it'll still require timing, patience and strategy.
The character roster isn't the most robust but what's here is more than worth your time. The game features sixteen characters at launch, four of which are brand new to the franchise, with more promised further down the road. Returning characters like Ryu, Ken, Chun Li and Zangief all feel like they should and natural while the new characters are fun to experiment with. Necalli for instance is a brutal aztec beast and FANG is a unique feeling character that uses a mix of faster moves and deadly poisons to take out opponents. Each character has variations and a different strategy that you'll want to spend time mastering if you truly want to be successful here. I've always strongly advocated learning a character like Ryu before trying anyone else as his moves has always felt like fighting games 101 but each character is no doubt fun to experiment and play with.
Unfortunately though the character roster isn't the only thing that's limited in Street Fighter V. To say that this game is missing a few features is putting it lightly, and to their credit Capcom was quite up front about what would be included in the game at launch but the average user who doesn't read message boards may be really disappointed at the fact that so much is missing here. I understand why Capcom needed Street Fighter V to come out now, there's a need for it on the professional fighting game circuit but the fact that it's missing such basic modes and features that are standard in games and that they're still charging $59.99 for it, even in it's current state is more than a bit baffling.
From what I could find and from what I could see, there's literally no way to have a traditional best two out of three rounds fight against the computer. Now that's just basic fighting game stuff, in fact that's one of the core building blocks that the genre was built on. There is a story mode that pits you against the computer but these are one round fights and let's talk about that story mode shall we? While Capcom does say that a more complete story mode is coming later this year, I finished the included mode...for each character...in forty five minutes. Here's how they play out, pick a character and guide them through few fights; cheesily acted watercolor stills separate fights and you won't get anything out of them. Some characters like Necalli and Ryu have around four fights in their story, while others like FANG have two.
If you're looking for single player action, you may want to look elsewhere than Street Fighter V and it's clear that the game is built towards an always online experience, though at launch even that's not working. As of this writing I have not been able to get online to Street Fighter V's network...at all. I'm greeted each time I try to log in with a message that tells me that I can't connect and that's a major issue. Nearly all of the game's content is tied to the online system and if I'm not able to get online and there's not a lot of single player content...what's really left?
When it's finished, Street Fighter V is going to be a great game, but as it stands now...it's a bit of an unfinished mess. The fighting mechanics are as good as the series has ever seen and it's a gorgeous game but to be so slim on features that it's missing even the core modes that built the genre; it's a bit insulting that Capcom is charging full price. I can see releasing the game now and charging a lower price, almost like an early access game. Unless you're a diehard fan, who can't wait to get ready for the pro-circuit your best bet is to wait until Street Fighter V is finished, and is likely cheaper.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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