Back in our Anticipated Games of 2016 article, I stated that one of the games I’m most looking forward to is Street Fighter V. There have been a lot of updates, character reveals, system/mechanic explanations, and hype leading up to its recent launch. Now that the game is out, we ask: Does Street Fighter V live up to all of it?
But before we answer that, let’s talk about my history with Street Fighter and fighting games in general. I first got introduced to the franchise with Super Street Fighter II on the SNES (or it might have been the Super Famicom) way back in the mid-90s. My first battles were mostly with friends (an important point to note for later). After that, I was pretty on and off with the series, played none of the Alpha series, played a BIT of the EX series (that’s a bad memory), REALLY wanted to play Street Fighter III (3rd Strike in particular) but never could find a copy for my PS2 back then, and skipped out on any of the entries in IV.
I admit, I never really put any extensive time into the series. However I was, and still am, really interested in 3rd Strike because the pace of that game is more to my liking; and I still kept up with the series despite not playing most of them. You see, I am more of a fan of “anime fighters”. Mainly games from Arc System Works: your Guilty Gears, Blazblues (this might be an exception to the “pace” rule though), and Personae. I was also a big fan of the Versus/Marvel (pre Marvel vs. Capcom 3) games (although some of those games tend to be “slow”).
I say all this because I want to make it clear that I prefer a “faster paced” fighting game. The main reason I skipped out on SFIV, yet was very interested in 3rd Strike is because of that fact. Both these games are more focused on fundamentals than any other fighting game, but the difference lies in how they’re paced. Essentially 3rd Strike is a game that’s more “active”: hence parries and how much damage each move does in this game (i.e. mistakes cost you and rounds go REALLY fast). While the Street Fighter IV series of games felt more “methodical”: back dash invisibility, focus attacks being able to cover your mistakes, and the over-all lower damage values in comparison to its contemporaries (i.e. while the game flow of IV is more like II with how you deal with neutral, the overall lower damage and abundance of defensive options made rounds last longer). This is exactly what got me interested in Street Fighter V. The game had a design philosophy more akin to 3rd Strike. They got rid of back dash invincibility, made moves do a BUTT-TON of damage, and included mechanics that allow a more aggressive playstyle (for instance giving some characters ways to bypass fireballs).