Street Fighter V: Rise Up! A New Era Begins Here

Posted February 14th 2016

February 16, 2016: the landscape of the competitive fighting game scene has entered a new era, as Street Fighter V hits PlayStation 4 and PC, and players both professional and casual alike are diving in.

The word producer Yoshinori Ono used to describe the concept behind the game is "reset", and he certainly wasn't kidding. In order to make the game more accessible to a wider audience, Capcom made several significant changes to the gameplay systems of Street Fighter that FGC members have been analyzing in painstaking detail. In addition to building an engine that emphasizes basic Street Fighter series fundamentals (like footsies and space control) over craftier tricks often used at the highest levels of competition, timing has been significantly lengthened on links (from one to three frames) and vortex loops and FADCs have been removed entirely. The mechanics replacing them (V-Trigger, V-Reversal, etc) are both easier to execute and utilize successfully in battle. Team EG Fighting Game Division member Justin Wong agrees, commenting that while "anybody can get into this [version of] Street Fighter", the game has plenty of potential to appeal to hardcore fighting fans -- particularly those of 2001 classic Capcom vs. SNK 2 (noting similarities in the "ground game", which is an extremely important concept in both titles).

Not even the character roster was spared -- with the starting cast made up of twelve veteran fighters and four newcomers, many well-known colorful personalities in the FGC will be training up using new mains as they await more news about the characters that will be joining the SFV cast in the near future. Coupled with a significant reliance on the software-as-a-service model that provides players a way to earn in-game rewards (including new characters) via a F2P-esque currency system and a promise to deliver new, free feature updates to users on a regular basis, Capcom has built a game that in some ways is barely recognizable from its predecessors -- yet still manages to stay true to its Street Fighter DNA. Using this new service model, Capcom is aiming to make Street Fighter V a one-time purchase for fans of the franchise this time around; providing updates featuring new modes, gameplay features, and characters throughout the game's life as a competitive title. 

Based on his time with the beta prior to launch, Justin believes that early candidates for top-tier include Chun-Li, Nash, and Bison, but, of course, it's still too early to tell. "The beta's been such a tease", he says, noting his excitement to go hands-on with F.A.N.G, Bison's poison-slinging second-in-command at Shadaloo that is capable of wearing down opponents with poisonous projectiles and sneak attacks.

Despite a successful launch, a few minor hiccups have been reported by players around the world, including difficulties logging into servers and, more alarmingly, frame drops during heavy action in certain stages on the console version of the game. Frame drops on stages are the reason that most high-level Ultra Street Fighter IV matches were played on stages using the emptiest backgrounds possible. Are we destined for eight more years of EVO Grand Finals on Training Stage? Or will Capcom come to the rescue and resolve the minor drops that top players are finding? One thing is certain: the company will most certainly be watching the commentary and reactions coming out of players in the FGC, as well as the more casual audience, in regards to implementing desired fixes and features for Street Fighter V.

Which leads us to the competitive scene. This year's Capcom Pro Tour will be featuring Street Fighter V as its main title. Due to several changes to the rules, players around the globe will have more chances than ever before to compete and earn points towards a coveted seat at the Grand Finals at the end of this year. Even last year's Capcom Cup champion, Kazunoko, will be forced to battle his way to a slot in the Grand Finals --  it truly is anyone's game this time around. Team EG's Fighting Game Division is currently diving into Street Fighter V full-force, analyzing everything they can before the tournament season officially kicks off in Atlanta with Final Round 2016 in March.

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