So, so good for the genre-savvy, but beginners be warned: Street Fighter V does nothing to help you grow as a player.
Street Fighter 5's brilliant combat is let down by a barebones launch and server trouble.
It's hard to criticize something that seems like it was tailor-made for a wannabe competitive player like me, but I just can't ignore how little Street Fighter 5 does for the average fighting game player. It sports a wonderful, diverse cast of characters, places a clear emphasis on strong fundamental play, it gives competitive players a great online experience, and it does it all while looking gorgeous. Strictly in terms of mechanics and competitive features, Street Fighter 5 is just about peerless, but it has quite a ways to go before it stacks up against other fighting games - including its own predecessor - in terms of overall content.
Street Fighter 5 is deep, endlessly fun, and immensely inviting, but local competitive play is currently the primary way to enjoy it.
Street Fighter transforms itself from just a game to an entire entertainment platform of its own, or at least it will do once all the content is up and running.
Playing Street Fighter V is an outstanding experience, but the limited modes and infrastructure that binds them together stands on shaky ground
Street Fighter V is the skeleton of a great fighting game
Street Fighter 5 is missing essential elements, but its fighting engine is one of the best around.
Street Fighter V delivers strong multiplayer competition but feels much emptier than previous entries in the franchise.
Capcom moves the venerable series forward, but not without taking a couple steps back.
Street Fighter V is a great core for the next generation of Street Fighter. The roster of 16 characters is varied, the game has been tuned to be easier for new players, and everything feels relatively balanced. Unfortunately, SFV is missing most of the bells-and-whistles we've come to expect from a retail fighting game. Capcom is updating the game, so it'll reach greatness eventually, but it's not quite there yet.
Street Fighter V is a work-in-progress. The combat system stands as the game's strongest and most important pillar, which masks some of the minor imperfections with the graphical clipping and online performance. Having a console release now is understandably more important for the sake of the competitive community even if that comes at the cost of the single-player experience. However, asking for both a full single-player and multiplayer experience at launch should be the standard. The review score for the game will likely improve over the next three months as more content is added over the course of the year, but unfortunately, I can't grade what doesn't exist. Along with the new Hitman which will release episodically, Street Fighter V makes the case for rolling reviews as a necessary practice moving forward. So expect periodic updates to this review or as separate reviews as Street Fighter V develops over its lifespan.
In many ways Street Fighter V is unfinished, but as a platform, it has strong legs. If Capcom sticks to its word, this could have just as long of a lifespan as IV, if not more.
Even as a person whose grasp of fighting games is nowhere near top-tier standard, Street Fighter V is the most fun I've had in a fighting game in years. It's a bold choice by Capcom to make this an expanding platform rather than a simpler game release, and it means that while it's light on content, you have to appraise its stability, core combat and look to its true form in the future. Based on the strangth of the gameplay and performance, Street Fighter V is a sublime fighting game and shows that this old dog still has some new tricks.
Overall, Street Fighter V is a thoroughly excellent game and one that Capcom intend to support for a good while to come. It is, however, an intensely involved beat-em-up, as well as a work in progress, and only time will tell if the online community will be able to support players unfamiliar with the series. If you are into your beat-em-ups though, then Street Fighter V definitely has you covered for the foreseeable future.
Street Fighter V feels like it could be an incredible fighting game in the summer, filled with robust content and numerous game modes for both single-player and online multiplayer. But Street Fighter V isn't coming out this summer. It's coming out in February. The fact that a handful of game modes and features aren't ready for consumer use feels frustrating, especially since the quality of those inclusions can't be judged until they make it into the game. Battle Lounges, Online Lobbies, and Spectator modes could be awesome, but right now, nobody can say for sure. Thankfully, new features are coming down the line and whatever else is released afterwards can be earned through in-game currency, which is a welcome change from the past.
Although it still has much to achieve, Street Fighter V is already a very impressive comeback for the iconic fighting series. Stunning visuals and new fighting mechanics add to this game's already winning formula. Though it is promised for later, missing content is a disappointment. What is here is good enough quality to please fans though.
It's hard to find fault with the bigger picture Capcom has in mind here and, assuming the online issues are dealt with quickly at launch and the rest of the game modes arrive as promised, this is looking like a perfect round.
Street Fighter 5 is the best fighting game your money can buy.
People who got into the fighting game community with Street Fighter IV may not want to hear this, but from a base design, Street Fighter V is by far the superior game. Capcom has paved over and smoothed out a lot of the things I didn't like about Street Fighter IV's design. A lot of those issues created poor play habits, which makes it feels like Capcom is making small steps to mature the game, and in turn is trying to mature how the player base plays fighting games.