Hands on with: Street Fighter V
Street Fighter V is Capcom’s newest entry into the legendary fighting game franchise. And following Street Fighter IV (and its many iterations), it seems Capcom has learned a lot over the course of SF IV’s lifespan.
For starters, the game has been made easier for those who may be new to Street Fighter, or fighting games in general, with a tutorial mode to give newcomers the basics. Also, one of the four new characters to the Street Fighter series, Necalli, was designed to be easy to use yet powerful. His simple fighting style makes it simple for newer players to get to grips with the ins and outs of Street Fighter.
Those familiar with the series can jump right into the thick of battle, but will realise that all is not how it used to be. New game mechanics have been implemented to keep fights feel fresh; the first of which is the V-Skill, a technique unique to each and every character, adding individual depth as well as variety to the game.
V-Triggers, the second key game mechanic, help to augment the unique characteristics of each fighter. Some, like Necalli’s, completely change a character’s move set, keeping foes on their toes. Both of these mechanics mesh well into the overall Street Fighter formula, bringing a refreshing flavour and diversity to many fights. The V-Skills especially can turn the tide of battle, capable of catching even series veterans off-guard.
Capcom hasn’t shied away from tweaking, or almost completely changing characters. Ken Masters, a recurring character in the Street Fighter series, has had his move set revised. His most notable change being in his hurricane kick (Tatsumaki Senpukyaku), its angling, both on the ground and in mid-air. Those already familiar with Ken will have to learn all of his new quirks and tweaks in order to make effective use of him.
Capcom’s bold decision to alter a series classic was part of making Street Fighter V feel different from its predecessors. Street Fighter IV and its iterations were plagued by frequent releases, miniscule changes, and in some cases, new characters. However, Capcom has decided to take a different approach, now choosing to make balance and gameplay changes available to all via free updates.
Overall, Street Fighter V is a welcomed addition to the series. It keeps it familiar with keep series staples such as Ryu and Chun-Li, but diverse enough with the inclusion of new characters like Necalli and Laura, new game mechanics, and changes to existing characters. The game feels new and fresh, different enough to be recognised as a new entry into the Street Fighter franchise, but similar enough to not alienate the existing fan-base. It maintains a healthy balance, sure to appeal to old and new players alike.
Street Fighter V will be released on 16 February, and will be available on PC and PS4.
By Ebenezer Nkengfack