I think it’s safe to say it’s the end of Street Fighter V. The entire Capcom Pro Tour is still ongoing and they might do a balance patch here and there. However, that’s probably going to be about it. Capcom released their final DLC character in Luke, a totally new character and someone who’s going to be closely connected to what Street Fighter is going to be like. I’ve gotten my hands on Luke and I’m off the opinion that he’s an okay character. He doesn’t really hint at what the next Street Fighter game will be like but maybe it’ll make sense in retrospect when we’re all playing Street Fighter VI several years from now.
That’s all well and good… and all of that is ways off from now. Maybe Capcom has been toiling away in secret for years with the next entry of Street Fighter and they’re going to announce it sooner rather than later. I can’t think about that now, though. I would rather look at the present and the more recent past and look at the current entry Street Fighter V. More specifically, I want to check out how Street Fighter V will be remembered. Yes, I would like to take a look back at the entire 6 years the game has been out and try to figure out how fondly or how bad the game will be remembered.
As much as I love Street Fighter V, Capcom did make it hard at times to love it. This was particularly true during the early years of the game when they put out the really plain old vanilla version of Street Fighter V way back in 2016. Capcom already had things in place for a good game but they just didn’t bother to add any of the bells and whistles and, you know, an actual enjoyable gaming experience.
When Street Fighter V came out, it only had 16 characters. A rather slim roster, even when you consider it was twice as many as the 8 from the original Street Fighter II. Times have changed since then and fans expected a whole lot more. Another thing we expected Street Fighter V to have was a decent single player experience. I get Capcom was focusing a whole lot on the competitive aspect of Street Fighter and they needed to get it out there so they can also do their entire Capcom Cup official tournament thing. Unfortunately, releasing a game without some kind of single player aspect, even in a fighting game, was one of the worst things they could’ve done.
It certainly didn’t help Capcom’s network connectivity wasn’t and still isn’t good. However, back then, things were worse as there was no repercussions for disconnecting in the middle of the match. This allowed ragequitters to leave before getting a lost and avoid their beloved ranking to go down. I haven’t really played any online matches in quite a while but I do remember things getting better after Capcom did eventually make it so the ragequitter got punished. It took them a while to figure that out, though.
That was one of the bigger improvements Street Fighter V got during the initial years. Besides the adjustments to the online mode, they also trickled in some new single player content. One of the biggest additions was Street Fighter V’s dedicated full-fledged Story in A Shadow Falls. I can’t help but feel disappointed by A Shadow Falls. It was nice Capcom decided to follow Mortal Kombat and Guilty Gear’s footsteps and try to tell a grand story. A Shadow Falls just was so underwhelming. Some characters would just appear for the sake of them appearing and even some characters, like newcomer Necalli, came off more like a sidestory as he never really factors into the overall story. Nice try but do better next time, Capcom!
Throughout the early years of Street Fighter V, Capcom did add additional stuff to the game but mostly in the form of DLC characters. I do have to say the first season had the most best additions to the game. That was the one when standouts like Balrog/Boxer, Guile, Urien and Ibuki came out; sorry Alex and Juri fans. Season 2 was a weird one as, besides Akuma, everyone that came out were totally new fighters. I do like how some characters, such as Menat, Kolin and Zeku, felt most technical than the rest of the cast by then. However, this was also the time when Capcom tried to experiment with simple input commands with Ed. All-in-all, Street Fighter V’s vanilla days were rough and definitely the more unripe pickings when it came for content.
Then came the biggest gamechanger for Street Fighter V. That thing was Arcade Edition. This, in my opinion, was the most important update for the game as Street Fighter V finally got an actual single player mode! Arcade Edition added an actual arcade ladder based on the previous entries of the series. While this came in a little too late, this did make Street Fighter V a complete game at long last. I will say the endings are all very simplistic as no one gets an ending more or anything like that; they all get a static comic book style image showing what happened. Still, about time, Capcom!
Additionally, Arcade Edition added something fans who have stuck around for all this time really wanted: secondary V-Triggers. I was not one of these people. I think the original V-Triggers were perfectly fine but I do like Capcom giving us a option. They were a mixed bag, overall. Some, like Akuma, Ryu and Cammy’s new V-Triggers, are objectively not as good as their originals. On the other hand, others, like Chun-Li, Ibuki and Kolin, got new V-Triggers which supplant their first one.
It was also around Arcade Edition’s era when Season 3 and 4 dropped 12 additional characters. Some of the additions included a nice mix of familiar faces and newcomers. Some underwhelmed, like Falke, Kage, E. Honda and Seth. Others, like Lucia, Cody and Poison came off much stronger than expected. The real standout of these new characters was definitely G. I really didn’t think much of him but, in the hands of a pro, G can be really scary, especially with his V-Trigger 1. Overall, Arcade Edition made Street Fighter V feel like the game it needed to be when it was released.
Near the end of its lifespan, Capcom updated Street Fighter V one final time with Champion Edition. While not as major as what they gave us with Arcade Edition, Champion Edition does add give all characters a new V-Skill in their arsenal. Like with the new V-Triggers, some were good while some were not so good. Characters like Ryu, Karin, Rainbow Mika and Juri got the short end of the stick when it comes to new V-Skills while fighters such as Vega/Claw, Guile, Chun-Li and Sakura got the ones which better compliment their attacks.
Champion Edition officially only has 5 additional characters (6 if you include Eleven… but you really shouldn’t) but these are some of the more fun characters to play as. You got returning characters like Dan, Rose and Oro, a “guest” character in Rival Schools’ Akira and, finally, Luke. These new characters really play around with what you can do and, while it does seem like too late for them to be tournament viable for the pros, the diversity is what makes this roster really incredible. Overall, Champion Edition doesn’t reinvent the wheel or even try to fix anything but, by this point, there was really nothing to fix. While Champion Edition was technically Street Fighter V’s final form, Arcade Edition was good enough so Capcom wisely didn’t tinker around it too much.
So, how will fans remember Street Fighter V? Well, only history will say how people will feel about the game and that’s well into the future. What I can say is how I’ll personally remember Street Fighter V. I can say I do love Street Fighter V but it was simply difficult to love from the start. The vanilla package left a lot to be desired and it took Capcom a while to fix most of the major issues, such as the lack of single player content. I will still remember Street Fighter V fondly but only because of Arcade Edition as it was only then it was the complete package. I do hope Capcom learns its lessons from how disastrous Street Fighter V’s early years are… because they’ll have to use than when they build Street Fighter VI.
How do you think you’ll remember Street Fighter V? Let me know in the comments section below!