Street Fighter V
The Street Fighter franchise has long played host to a cast of colorful characters with distinct fighting styles. With Street Fighter V, Capcom is filling the lineup with fighters that range from iconic to previously unknown.
In the beginning, the character reveals focused on the mainstays of the franchise – Ryu, Bison, Chun-Li, and Charlie Nash. Each of the characters feels similar to how they have in their other appearances, with the exception of Bison. In Street Fighter V, M. Bison doesn’t have his powerful Psycho Crusher special move (it’s instead saved for his powerful Critical Art, similar to his appearances in the Alpha series), but is fast and features an increased emphasis on juggling.
In addition to those four, Street Fighter V will also include fan favorites Cammy, Ken, and Vega. Ken has a much more aggressive style than what has been seen in the past, looks vastly different than previous entries, and with the V-Skill and V-Trigger systems granting him unique abilities, he is further differentiated from his counterpart Ryu than ever before.
Vega possesses two fighting styles: with and without his claw. When he has his claw equipped, he’s a much more defensive fighter who can use his range to score quick pokes on his opponent. When his claw is withdrawn, Vega becomes more of a brawler. I’ve always enjoyed Vega’s speedy fight style, and with his V-Skill making him even more evasive than before, he could be a nightmare to face if he’s in the hands of a skilled player.
Though I played a ton of Street Fighter Alpha 3, I was less familiar with R. Mika, the latest character to be announced. R. Mika’s over-the-top professional wrestling personality shines through in her moves as she flies through the air with flashy specials and features a lot of flamboyant animations. Further adding to her fighting style is the fact that her V moves focus on tagging in her partner, Nadeshiko.
This was also the first time I got my hands on Necalli, the first of four brand new characters that will appear in Street Fighter V. Necalli is a brawler at heart, but he has some awesome charging slash attacks, as well as some powerful grabs and throws. He has a great combination of speed, style, and power that plays well and I can’t wait to play with him more to see if he could become one of my regular characters.
Street Fighter V is set to launch with 16 fighters. While that may seem like a massive downgrade from the high 44 characters in last year’s Ultra Street Fighter IV, Capcom is open about how it will be supporting the game post-launch. Rather than releasing fighters exclusively through compilations like Super SFIV, SFIV Arcade Edition, and Ultra SFIV, Street Fighter V will receive regular updates with downloadable characters.
Players who wish to purchase the characters can do so with real money, or they can earn them using earned in-game currency, meaning if you play enough Street Fighter V, you’ll be able to unlock downloadable characters free of charge. Capcom says this method of unlocking will carry over to anything that affects gameplay, while cosmetic things like skins will likely remain purchasable only with real money.
In releasing the characters as downloadable add-ons to Street Fighter V rather than forcing fans to buy the newest compilations, Capcom hopes to do away with the splintering that the online community has seen with Street Fighter IV. Street Fighter V is set to release on PlayStation 4 and PC in spring 2016.