Street Fighter V is, of course, the latest in the series of games that got the fighting ball rolling. Which really isn’t saying as much as it once did because fighters aren’t what they once were. The days of them overwhelming this industry proved to be short-lived. Virtua Fighter is dead. Fatal Fury is dead. Dead or Alive is in deep decline*. It’s rare for a brand new fighting series to even be attempted anymore. But the old icons — Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken — have survived on their name recognition. Almost the only other fighters that have done particularly well lately are those based on DC Comics and Dragon Ball.
How does Street Fighter V measure up? Not so well. While it does have a very Capcom competence to it, the way it shortchanges gamers is also very Capcom.
*Another reason DoA isn’t what it once was is because its appeal relies heavily on sex. And gamers are much more gender-sensitive than they once were.
Plot: 5 out of 10
The plot advances in the short stories in the Story Mode that tell you what role every character plays in this game. The character interaction in these short stories are very good, I must say. Everybody acts in character and the dialogue is strong.
Only problem is that there is no Arcade Mode. That means that the characters have no endings. That hurts the plot a lot. I’ll further discuss how the lack of an Arcade Mode hurts this game later.
Graphics: 8 out of 10
One great thing about SFV is the graphics. The backgrounds and character models look incredibly good! You get a close-up look at the fine attention to detail whenever you perform a Critical Art (this game’s name for super moves that require you to fill up a power meter by fighting).
Sound: 5 out of 10
Music’s fairly catchy. It’s not great, but it’s serviceable. But the cutscenes in the aforementioned Story Mode have terrible voice acting. Lack of improvement in voice-overs since their infancy a generation ago is a sign of how Capcom has an unwillingness to shake things up when needed similar to Nintendo’s.
Gameplay: 4 out of 10
The controls work pretty well. Although there’s not much new added compared to SFIV. In some ways this doesn’t feel like an entirely new game. At least there are some brand new characters.
But that brings me to another problem. There are only sixteen characters immediately active, without recourse to buying downloads off Playstation Store. Mortal Kombat X had more. Tekken 6 had more. Injustice: Gods Among Us had more. Hell, Street Fighter Alpha 2 had more, and it came twenty years before SFV.
Another serious problem is the lack of an Arcade Mode. The short Story Modes are pale imitations. You can play online, but the lack of a traditional Arcade Mode makes the game seem incomplete.
Capcom admits that the reason why this game didn’t sell as many copies as were hoped for was because word spread that this game was going to shortchange gamers. The stated reason for the lack of an Arcade Mode was for a SFV tournament or whatever that Capcom was hosting. This almost sounds like a bullshit excuse because companies have been doing these contests and still made complete games for decades.
Challenge: 3 out of 10
The Story Modes are as easy as they come. They’re clearly designed to train beginners for online play.
Overall: 5 out of 10
Capcom is out of step with consumers, I’m afraid. With the shortage of built-in characters and no Arcade Mode, nobody should have been surprised that SFV sold about as badly as any game in a series this big could. It reminds of how NHL 15 did after a number of features that NHL 14 had were terminated. But that wasn’t this bad because NHL 15 didn’t do away with its Be a Pro and/or Be a GM modes. I realize that Capcom is in a rough financial spot, but screwing over gamers is not the solution.