Hands-On Preview: Street Fighter V – Back in the Ring
With a diverse range of games from Tekken to Mortal Kombat and more, fighting games have a seasoned and rich history and few have held that title longer than the Street Fighter series.
With a history that spans nearly 30 years, Street Fighter is once again getting back into the ring with the highly-anticipated Street Fighter V next year — can the series still keep itself in fighting shape after nearly three decades?
Though it’s still early, it’s probably safe to say a resounding yes, but there’s still plenty more to be excited about for the upcoming fighting game.
During this past New York Comic Con 2015, we had the chance to get in and play a few rounds for a preview of the game, with the convention’s build offering every character that has been announced for the game so far, including the recently-announced Brazilian fighter, Laura Matsuda.
Armed with an up-to-date roster of characters and a pair of arcade sticks, myself and a friend went to town, even with my Street Fighter skills lacking.
Admittedly I’m far from a decent player, as I was only able to win one round during our five or six matches played.
But, the fun is what matters more-so than skill — a fighting experience that’s both easy and approachable to newcomers, while also offering tons of depth for the enthusiasts who will surely pour dozens of hours into mastering it.
Over the several matches we were able to play, I tried to get a feel for the roster variety with a different character each round, going from veteran characters like Ryu and Vega, to also dabbling in several of the new characters like Neccali and Laura.
Each of the characters still had their own unique flavors from the more traditional, beginner-friendly style of Ryu, to the more technically-minded characters like Vega, and the other offerings from characters like Necalli.
In playing a few rounds with the veteran characters like Ryu and Vega, I eventually found myself gravitating a bit more toward some of the most grapple-heavy characters (like R. Mika and the more recently-introduced Laura) as they suited my fighting style.
In particular, Laura’s implementation of a projectile move (a first for grappling characters in the series) allowed me to set up some fun traps, especially in distracting players with her longer-ranged electric attacks in order to get in close and follow-up with a grapple move.
The precision and depth of Street Fighter V‘s combat remains in full effect from previous games in the series, while the visuals and performance also go hand-in-hand in making the game fast and fun.
As an update of sorts to the almost painted quality of Street Fighter IV‘s visuals, V was just as much to watch as it was to play, where even after our preview session I joined dozens of other fighting game fans in watching matches play out.
With its bright and colorful flair, the title played nearly flawlessly in both our matches and the several that I viewed after the fact with its crisp and smooth 60 FPS gameplay.
In particular, the animations proved to be one of the highlights of the experience for me, in transitioning between moves and especially when deploying special attacks against the opponent with vivid and wild animated sequences.
Street Fighter titles have generally released few and far between in recent years since Street Fighter IV‘s release back in 2008, though the wait for Street Fighter V is now just within a few months away.
March 2016 seems like it’s ages away, yet from our time with Street Fighter V it seems there will be plenty of action, intensity, and depth to make all that training and practice leading up to its release worth the fight.
Street Fighter V is currently expected to release for PS4 and PC in March 2016.