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e3 2015

Street Fighter V

The Variable System Is Fun, But Takes Some Getting Used To
by Tim Turi on Jun 17, 2015 at 07:49 PM
Platform PlayStation 4, PC
Publisher Capcom
Developer Capcom
Rating Teen

Capcom's big Street Fighter V announcement during Sony's E3 2015 press conference was that kick-happy Cammy and dirty biker Birdie will be returning for the latest entry. SF veterans should definitely be excited about the return of those two, but the most significant changes come with the tweaks to the fighting system. I got my hands on SF,V at E3 this year, going several rounds with Capcom experts while learning the ropes of the new mechanics.

To the average Street Fighter IV fan, the variable system may seem a little intimidating at first. However, the EX gauge (filled up by dealing damage) is still intact, allowing characters to execute huge, devastating Critical Arts (basically supers) like insane kick flurries or wrapping an opponent in chains and jumping rope with them.

Unlike the more straight-forward EX gauge, the variable system replaces SF IV's slow and deadly focus attack and requires players to understand a few more complex game mechanics. The variable meter (filled by receiving damage) gives players an alternate means to enhance their base fighting abilities mid-match. V-Skill (activated by hitting mid-punch and kick simultaneously) can be used without burning through your v-meter. Nash's v-skill allows him to smoothly pocket enemy projectiles and leech their health. Additionally, Ryu's v-skill lets him parry both projectile and melee attacks. Timing is important for using v-skills effectively, but they can change the tides of battle.

V-reversals use one section of the variable meter and allow characters to deal a small amount of damage while creating distance from the enemy (executed differently between character, generally by pressing forward + triple-punch). During my hands-on time, v-reversals allowed me to escape brutal beatdowns when my back was up against the wall.

V-triggers are the most dramatic and powerful way for you to drain your character's variable meter. Pressing both heavy kick and punch attacks activates a special fighting modifier. For Ryu, his fists crackle with electricity and his hits are imbued with extra attack power. Even his hadouken fireballs can  be charged up to deal extra damage. Chun Li's v-trigger allows her to attack multiple times with every press of a button.

I spent much of my hands-on time with Street Fighter V trying to wrap my head around the variable system, but outside that initial struggle I had a fun time settling into the tried-and-true fighting gameplay. Pulling off shoryukens and throwing a turtled enemy with precise timing is still a treat. The moment-to-moment intensity and visceral impact of SF V's fighting helps smooth over the rocky adjustment some players may have to deal with when transitioning to the new title. I still need more time to get used to the new changes, but so far SF V delivers on what I love about the series. SF V hits PS4 and PC Spring 2016.

Products In This Article

Street Fighter Vcover

Street Fighter V

PlayStation 4, PC
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