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Game Review – Street Fighter V

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Street Fighter V
PS4 • PC
Capcom

3 Score

Look, a new Street Fighter!

That’s good!

But it doesn’t have an offline arcade mode.

That’s bad.

There’s all new characters and reappearances from Streeties history!

That’s good!

But fan favourites like Sagat and E Honda have been omitted.

That’s bad.

There’ll be a lot of free DLC upgrades in the future!

That’s good!

But the substantial ones won’t be seen until June.

That’s bad.

It’s probably the most accessible, well balanced Street Fighter ever!

That’s good!

But the servers are patchy at best and matchmaking is basically a roll of the dice.

That’s bad.

So can we go play Street Fighter now?

Yes you can and for everything it lacks, it’s actually pretty incredible. Fighting games are all about timing inputs down to the frame and the latest Street Fighter sees most of that relaxed a lot. Inputs themselves are generally less taxing with simpler move sets as well. You might be thinking that means a sloppier, dumber game, but what it means is you spend more brain-power on making the right decision for the moment rather than getting Guile’s stupid J/Z charge motion to work when you need it.

Oh yeah, Guile is gone too. This levels the playing field as far as physical barriers to the game and promotes the chess-like strategy that really underpins Street Fighter combat and that is a great thing. The ultra meter is gone and is replaced with a V Skill meter which builds similarly, but plays differently for each character triggering different skills and buffs mid fight and gives you access to a Street Fighter Alpha style counter attack. It’s all very slick and most importantly it’s all very Street Fighter. And that’s good.

Streeties tragics like us that got this far and don’t own it yet stop sleeping. For people waiting to be convinced, well if you want to get into the competitive side of things, now is absolutely the time to start. By the time your skills are there, hopefully the rest of the game will be.

At the moment for everyone else though, it kind of just feels like a beta masquerading as a full retail game. The price of admission at the moment doesn’t reflect what shows the screen, but as updates become available it almost certainly will. How much value that represents to you at the moment will be in direct proportion to how hard you froth on Street Fighter already. We’ll be back later in the year to give you a heads up on how it goes.

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