The latest instalment of the world’s favourite fighting game Street Fighter V hit PlayStation 4 and PC recently but does it live up to the inevitable hype?
To tell the truth as a huge Street Fighter fanboy it is difficult to be objective when it comes to Capcom’s legendary series.
But the overwhelming feeling I get having spent many hours playing through SFV is that I’m reviewing it at the wrong time.
The game just doesn’t feel finished.
With so much great content - including a fight store to purchase lots more characters and the like - planned for its first major update in March, perhaps that is the time to give a true assessment of the overall package.
Much was made of the playable story mode in SFV pre-launch but for me it is the biggest turkey in the game.
While the art work is fantastic, the actual storyboard, script and voice acting are awful... almost laughable.
In mitigation, though, the stories serve as a prologue for the Street Fighter V cinematic story expansion, which will be released in June 2016 as a free update to all players. Another reason perhaps that scoring SFV at the moment could prove premature.
But Street Fighter has never been about storylines, it has always been about blood pumping 100mph fighting action.
And in this most crucial area the franchise continues to deliver and then some.
Focus attacks, which many gamers complained slowed down the action in the last game, are no more, instead being replaced by V-Triggers, the ‘V’ standing for Variable.
This is a clever introduction and gives the game huge variety.
Each character’s V-Trigger move works in a different way so for example Ryu enters a powered up state from which he can do extra damage and guard break while Chun-Li’s V-Trigger gives her attacks extra hits.
Charlie has a teleport, M. Bison improved movement and new combos and so on.
The V-Triggers can’t just be button mashed so will take some mastering and fighters will need a full V-Gauge to use them. How do you build the V gauge? By taking damage.
V-Skill move (MP + MK) is a defensive option that, again, works differently for each character. Unlike the V-Trigger and V-Reversal abilities, V-Skill does not require any meter to use, so you can use it at will.
Ultra Combos have been replaced with Critical Arts and you will need a full EX meter to use it. Pull them off and you guessed it, they will do a massive amount of damage.
Online play has been smooth for me and while SFV is far from perfect at launch it is still an immense fighter warts and all.
Rating: I fully expect the March and June updates and DLC to elevate it to a 9 or 10/10 but for now it’s an 8/10 for Ryu and co. This one promises to be a grower.