The champions return.
Street Fighter V on PlayStation 4
Spawning multiple series within its own franchise, and even showing up in several crossovers, Street Fighter has managed to stand the test of time for nearly 30 years. With Street Fighter V, the series is poised to prove its relevance once again in a sea of huge games and strong fighting competition. Although the game stutters in some aspects, Capcom shows just why this this franchise has continued to thrive.
Street Fighter V is the first entry to be built specifically for the current generation, and it shows. The fluid motion of each character, the sense of speed and power, and the stunning animations cement the game as the most impressive-looking Street Fighter title yet.
It also helps that the game is a blast to play. Fighters have evolved over the past few years to provide much more responsive experiences, and Street Fighter V capitalizes on this by offering some of the most refined gameplay of not only the series, but the entire genre.
Pulling off glorious combos and powerful attacks requires skill and precision, but the controls never get in the way of this. Combat is intuitive and matches move quickly, pushing you to become a fast learner in mastering your placement, reading attacks, and understanding your own movements. Complementing these fights is Street Fighter V’s system of contrasts, a range of variety that spawns from its cast.
The developers hit a sweet spot between old and new faces in the 16-fighter roster. Known characters maintain their classic feel, while the newer contenders feel right at home and not shoe-horned in. It’s enjoyable watching fresh fighters go against the greats, because they manage to be great themselves.
This latest entry takes extra care to differentiate its cast. For example, newcomer Rashid makes use of speed and physical range to make up for his lack of long distance projectiles. He’s able to pull of stunning combos with tons of hits, and dodge with ease as he bounds off of walls, flips behind you, and rolls around. Necalli, on the other hand, is all about power. While he may not be mobile in his normal state, he has impressive defensive capabilities that don’t leave him outclassed in a fight. Even so, he manages to feel completely different from series veteran Zangief.
Each competitor has his or her own rhythm, and with the new V-Triggers, they have their own trump cards as well. Whether it’s a powerful attack or a boost in speed, Street Fighter V’s V-Triggers mix up the flow of battle by providing a means to turn the tides on any opponent.
Street Fighter V sports several modes, and though the story mode provides some backstory for each of the characters with bright, colorful comics, it still comes off as noticeably lacking. Character interactions within the comics help you understand their place in this world, but stories only range from two or three fights each, meaning you can beat the entire story in around two hours if you take the time to watch cutscenes. While Street Fighter is constantly praised for its multiplayer, a longer story wouldn’t have hurt.