The standard by which all fighting games are dependent is the Street Fighter series, which has been around since 1987. It has been a long-storied history for Capcom’s side scrolling fighting game and with Street Fighter V slated for a March 16th 2016 release, the series will continue to flourish. At San Diego Comic Con, I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the upcoming sequel.
At first glance, it is easy to see both the similarities and differences in comparison with previous games in the series. It almost goes without saying that Street Fighter maintains its basic principles: six attack buttons, a joystick for movement, and each character’s signature/special maneuvers are still tied to a combination of button press and directions. Visually, characters maintain their exaggerated physiques but so far there are some subtle changes to well-known characters. For instance, M. Bison now sports a head of white hair, showing his age. Ken’s appearance has changed to match his growing differences from Ryu and Charlie, now referred to as Nash, appears to have some cybernetic enhancements to his body. Street Fighter V still has a more cell-shaded look when compared to Mortal Kombat, but it looks stunning in Unreal Engine 4 and Capcom promises that the game will maintain its 1080 pixel/ 60 frames per second glory on both the Playstation 4 and PC platforms. Speaking of these platforms, Street Fighter V will be playable online with cross-platform play allowing for one central player base. Unfortunately for Xbox One owners, there are no announced plans to bring Street Fighter V to the Microsoft console.
That player base is going to have a lot to learn because focus attacks, which were prominent in Street Fighter IV, are out and have been replaced by the V-Gauge. Identified by a meter above your super bar, the amount of V-Gauge differs based on your character. Knowing when to use new mechanics such as V-Triggers, V-Skills, and V-Reversals will be essential for high-level Street-Fighter players, as using these tools will cause your V-Gauge to decrease. Triggers are generally acquired each round and essentially amplify your character’s skill-set and abilities. Reversals are used for defense and can be called upon to punish an aggressive opponent, while Skills are character specific abilities used to build up the V-Gauge’s meter.
Overall, what I experienced with Street Fighter V is much more than a visual improvement. The game feels faster and plays smoother than its predecessors, and the veteran characters feel both familiar and new. Players on both PC and Playstation 4 should look forward to Street Fighter V with great anticipation.