Published on March 4th, 2020 | by Zorbz
REVIEW – Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Originally I reviewed Street Fighter V when it originally released early 2016, 4 years later Street Fighter V is back with ‘Champion Edition’ which gives you access to all the DLC which adds each character, stage and other content making it the complete package. In total: 40 characters, 34 stages, over 200 costumes as well as two new returning characters Gill and Seth. Is this worth the price of admission and how does it stack up now. Below you will find my Original review as well as my updated thoughts on this new Champion Edition.
Concept/Story: Original Review thoughts – Street Fighter, as the name suggests, is all about fighters, and their quest to be the best. They all have their own agendas as some have simply sought out greater competition whilst others look to take over the world (such as the evil Shadaloo corporation). Story has never been a major draw at all in any of the street fighter games, but if you’ve been playing through the series over the years you pick up on characters agendas and so forth. Street fighter V’s story mode however, drops you into a 3 or 4 fight battle scenario that follows along with some hand drawn still images and voice work that is atrociously acted and features plots that never really amount to anything or make any sense. This is especially apparent to anyone picking up the game after having never played a previous entry. So suffice to say story mode is abysmal and frankly brief and severely lacking any depth.
Updated Thoughts – Back when Street Fighter V originally released it just had these brief little story modes for each character which were so half baked that they were an absolute joke. Those are still here but now for all the new characters as well. Whilst they’re still pretty meaningless they do offer some fun for some of the more obscure characters. What was added since the launch was the proper full blown story mode titled ‘Shadows Fall’ which is a lot more fleshed out and sees you travelling the globe playing as multiple characters. This was originally added for free for people who purchased Street Fighter V months later but it’s now available straight away if you’re just picking up Champion Edition. It’s over the top and the dialogue and voice acting is still terrible but it does flesh out the single player a lot more which is a welcome edition!
Graphics: Original Thoughts – Street Fighter V sticks with the same comic stylised visuals made popular in Street Fighter 4 but adds just enough new flair to make it stand out. Characters are bigger, more muscular and feature a lot more detail in their design. From Ryu’s bulging biceps, Chun Li’s stocky thighs, to F.A.N.G’s wirey frame and Birdie’s protruding gut, each character is very distinct and stands out from the others. The stages themselves are all highly detailed with a lot of colour and charm that separate each from the other, however unlike the stages in previous Street Fighter games, it doesn’t seem that each character has their own level, and if they do in fact, then you wouldn’t really notice. This is a minor let down because the street fighter 2 and alpha era of games had characters fighting on their own unique stages that were immediately recognisable and fit the characters look, theme and persona.
Updated Thoughts – Visually the game is still the same all these years later and that’s fine because it already looked great but what makes Champions visuals really stand out even more is the wealth of costumes available in this edition. Some characters can be dressed up like other Capcom title characters such as Dante from Devil May Cry, Morrigan from Darkstalkers, Ratholos from Monster Hunter and some really quite hilarious ones which I won’t spoil. The new levels are what made the game feel refreshing to jump back into as they’re super detailed and also some old SFII levels have been lovingly recreated for the modern audience.
Gameplay: Original Thoughts – Mechanics, mechanics, mechanics. That is what fighting games are all about and Street Fighter 2 was what defined what a fighting game should feel and play like. Fortunately this has never changed and certainly hasn’t with SFV. Most of the fighting sticks to the old tried and true gameplay mechanics, however there have been some tweeks and adjustments. For example, the ultra meter from Street Fighter 4 is out and in place of it is the new V system, which can be triggered at any point during a match giving characters their own special perks, such as ken having all his attacks gaining a fire ability and being able to quick dash forward, to rashid sending out a cyclone in front of him. Each character now has what at first seems like a new ‘gimmick’ turn out to be a game changing feature that will definitely spice things up in the tournament scene for years to come. The roster seems, at the moment, quite lacking with noticeable favourites missing, however there are four new characters to master, but not only that, a few characters have slightly different moves or even just ways to trigger said moves, such as Nash’s sonic boom, or Chun Li’s twirly bird kicks. Even my favourite character Ken has a change to his strong cyclone kick attack, which again gives more reason to go back to the well and start learning the old characters new moves and techniques.
Updated thoughts – Gameplay through all the updates over the years has been balanced to perfection but you probably won’t even notice unless you’re a pro player or on the tournament scene. There’s an additional V trigger which adds more depth to the mechanics but for me the most exciting part is of course the new characters. Learning the new characters (which the majority are returning characters from previous games) is a blast and will give people a reason to jump right back in. The amount of characters is staggering and as I mentioned earlier about all the extra costumes, add those to each character it just feels like a huge complete package that will keep new and old players alike busy for a long time!
Sound: Original Thoughts – Music you would think in a fighting game is one of the last things you would be aware of, and quite frankly a lot of modern fighting games use generic themes playing in the background whilst you battle it out. Street Fighter was known for its ridiculously catchy tunes that people still listen to and recognise to this day, however Street fighter V, although the music isn’t bad, just lacks something. This might be due to the limitations of the hardware back in the day that the audio was more simple, catchy and concise, but still, the tracks in this iteration just feel like background noise that i’m not even necessarily aware of. Gone are the days of an epic battle whilst humming away to guile or kens theme song for extra dramatic effect. I will say however that the sound effects of landing blows or the sound of pulling off a super attack to finish a battle are still really exciting and just give that extra oomph in the outcome of a battle.
Updated Thoughts – I have to praise the team for putting in the old SF 2 soundtrack which makes me so happy when playing some of the classic levels that have been recreated. They do sport modern versions of the songs but let you swap to the original BGM which is literally ‘Music to my ears’ and injects that healthy dose of nostalgia. The extra tracks does help, but what hasn’t changed is the terrible voice acting, but honestly who cares, it’s street fighter, not an immersive drama.
Multiplayer: Original thoughts – I heard that many reviewers suffered from broken multiplayer, but I never came across any issues. I’m not a multiplayer kinda guy, but multiplayer for SFV is where it’s at. Whether you are kicking back at home with your buddies holding your own tournaments on the couch to fighting the best of the best across the world online. It simply doesn’t get better then this. From online leaderboards to private match making and earning coins which in future will undoubtedly be used for purchasing new outfits and characters in the free to play model, this game has an online suite that just has you wanting to come back for more. One flaw I did find was when I was playing a ranked match against a higher levelled person, was the fact that after winning the battle he/she unfortunately and un-esportsman like quit out of the game forcing my victory to not be counted and no points being awarded. This is definitely an issue that needs to be sorted if any true competitive battles are to happen in ranked matches, but I am confident this will be addressed in a future update.
Updated Thoughts – Multiplayer was causing a bit of an uproar when the game originally came out however I never had an issue with it and honestly still don’t. There’s always people to play against, but just be careful because the people who have stuck around are generally really talented players. Here’s hoping a whole bunch of newcomers pick this up for the first time so I don’t have to cry myself to sleep at night for getting completely destroyed over an over. All of the previous issues have been sorted out that I previously addressed and it’s a more complete package overall.
Awesomeness: Original Thoughts – This is the part where I should be telling you how amazing the new modes are or how some loved features are back. Unfortunately what you get when you currently buy Street Fighter V is pretty bare bones. You have all your multiplayer, a brief story mode that serves no real purpose and survival mode, which is surprisingly fun. The one main staple that has been removed though is arcade mode. This has been the main feature of all the previous games and for some unknown reason, they’ve removed it. It was a shock to the system and many fans will be left wondering why. There is however a promise of a full fleshed out story mode coming around may or june, with a store option being added in march and new characters being released each month, that will be attainable for free. How this works exactly is still up in the clouds.
Updated Thoughts – I was originally bummed out about the lack of an Arcade mode – that’s now here, I was upset about the music and the roster – That’s no longer a problem, no story mode – There’s one now…even if it’s not the greatest. Basically everything I had an issue with has been addressed and exceeded my expectations. So many new characters, stages, music and costumes. When I talk about costumes, these aren’t just palette swaps but completely new outfits that also change the characters hairstyle, add masks, face paint etc and make the characters feel more dynamic when you have so many options to choose from to suit your style. It really is impressive and let’s be honest, being able to play as Blanka-chan is just down right hilarious
Final Word: I won’t keep my original here as everything I addressed has been fixed. This is the complete package and something for people to jump into if they bought the base game and never grabbed any DLC, or even if you’ve bought some DLC it’s still worth upgrading to get all the additional costumes and remaining characters you may have missed out on. The people that really benefit from this release though are the people who held off and waited for this complete package they knew would eventually come. To those people I am completely envious and you’re in for one hell of a time with this amazing game filled to the brim! Street Fighter is still the best fighting game series and that’s just fact!
Out of 5 Bugs!