Street Fighter V is out right now for PS4 and PC and it's as fun as it can be. However, the little content that is being offered so far is disappointing.
First of all, let's talk about the positives before we discuss the negatives. Graphically, Street Fighter V is a huge improvement over Street Fighter IV in many ways. The colours are more vibrant and the stages are teeming with life and activity. There are even some stages where gamers can interact with the surrounding environment.
The best thing for Kiwis is that there is a literal New Zealand stage added in this game. It's a nice waterfall stage filled with a Tuatara and even a Pukeko. Sadly, we have yet to see a New Zealand fighter in the franchise but hopefully that changes in the near future. The stage in New Zealand is where Ryu and Ken train so they know how beautiful our country is...
Speaking of Ryu and Ken, the character models in this game look great although some minor changes might irk some fans. Ken has had a makeover from the last time we saw him and Cammy's face looks slightly odd. The rest of the characters look fine including the new faces such as Necalli, Laura, F.A.N.G and Rashid.
Some people might be disappointed though that the launch roster is only 16 fighters. More fighters will be added post launch, but several of the favourites in previous games are still missing. The likes of Blanka, Sagat, E. Honda, Guile, Sakura and more are sitting this game out for now.
Instead, Capcom decided to replace them with characters from the Alpha series. Returnees to the franchise are Karin, R. Mika, Birdie and Nash. Characters from previous games do make a cameo during the game's story mode, but they won't be playable until Capcom decides to release them.
Gameplay wise, Street Fighter V is excellent in so many levels. The game is fast, swift and every responsive and I never had any performance issues while playing through the game's offline modes. Capcom has made it slightly easier to execute special moves and it has managed to make every character useful. Ken is still overpowered for my taste, but he's the only guy I feel that has special advantages.
As great as the gameplay and graphics are, Street Fighter V has little to offer in terms of game modes. The Story Mode is short as each character only has to participate in two or three matches that only lasts one round each. There's no traditional "end-boss" like in other fighting games. Criminally, the game also has no Arcade mode either.
Arcade mode has been replaced somewhat with a new Survival Mode. Players will need to defeat waves of A.I. controlled opponents with only one life bar. Thankfully, players can regenerate health or get other benefits by spending the points they earned after each battle they have won.
The only other modes are Training, VS and the online multiplayer offerings and that's it. Challenge mode is locked and won't be playable until March. Even the in-game Store which gives you access to more costumes and fighters is not available until March too. Capcom promises a more robust Story mode will be released for free in June.
With the lack of content at launch, Street Fighter V feels like a 'bare bones' game for offline gamers. Most of the new game modes that will be out in the future will be released for free. Not to mention future fighters can be purchased with the game's own "Fight Money" so you don't have to use real money to play them.
Sadly, I couldn't test the online multiplayer as the servers were still having issues when I was playing this game. I did play the game a lot offline with my brothers and it was a blast. Street Fighter games have always been enjoyable to play with other people and the fifth game is no different.
Overall, Street Fighter 5 will satisfy diehard fans as the visuals and gameplay are excellent as always. At launch though, the game has a lack of content which is really disappointing. Most of the content being released in the future will be available for free which is a positive thing. In my opinion though, Capcom would have been better off delaying this game by a few months as the base game right now offers very little.