I haven’t played a Street Fighter game with any kind of regularity since Super Street Fighter II Turbo (though I have played a few fighting games since then, most notably the Capcom vs. Marvel series), so I’ve had to reacquaint myself with the Street Fighterverse. Most of that entailed reading up on all the iterations between Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Street Fighter V, and watching some match footage of Luffy, the Beast, GamerBee, and others.
While I’m not an expert, I’m certainly no noob either (though I do get my ass handed to me on a fairly regular basis when I go online). As a lapsed player returning to the fold, here are the five things I noticed about Street Fighter V after installation.
The very first thing I did was try out the new characters. There are four this time around: the Middle Eastern Rashid (he gets no official nation for reasons), the Brazilian Laura (sister of Sean), the Chinese F.A.N.G (I don’t understand the full stops either), and the pre-Columbian Mexican monster Necalli (he seems to eat people). My favourite of the four is Rashid, who is the easiest to play with. His ‘Turbulent Wind’ style is easy to grasp, and he can combo pretty effectively in both the ground and the air. Plus, he’s the first Middle Eastern character in Street Fighter history (not counting EX)! Laura is pretty easy to play with too, but her costume design makes me uncomfortable (more on that below). Necalli and F.A.N.G are not as easy to play with, and require some real concentration, but players who can use them well will need to be feared.
A Lot of the New Costumes are Pretty Ridiculous
I understand Birdie is a pretty ridiculous character, but his golden Shadaloo costume is just terrible. It’s supposed to be funny, with his immensity spilling out in unsightly places, but the yellow just makes him look like the sun going supernova. Thankfully, he spends most of his time in his traditional vest and pants.
Zangeif sports a new costume that covers his torso and only one arm and one leg for some reason, but you can just switch back to his traditional red briefs and chest hair.
The worst of the lot, however, are the female costumes, which is sadly par for the course (Poison, Juri, Ibuki, etc.). The new character Laura spends some time in a tiny tank top that shows off underboob, paired with Daisy Duke shorts and a thong wedged so far up her butt, the designer clearly has no idea how female underwear works. I mean, why do Zangief’s sexy briefs support, but Laura’s thong invades? Her regular costume is better, with proper pants and one hopes proper underwear, but her top still shows off a ridiculous amount of cleavage.
Cammy’s new military-style costume is actually pretty neat, except for the fact that it’s a miniskirt because patriarchy, and it often flies up giving us all a good look at her underwear.
And whatever designer decided Rainbow Mika’s costume needed a boob window and assless pants should be forced to wrestle in assless pants.
At least Chun Li’s Interpol uniform looks like a proper police uniform, instead of a sexualized version for adolescent boys.
There are a lot of missing fan-favourite characters in this initial version, though more than a fair amount make cameos in the Story Modes: Guile, Decapre, Ibuki, Sean, Balrog, Oro, Sakura, Juri, and Crimson Viper. And with Ibuki, Guile, Balrog, and Juri confirmed as DLC (along with Alex and Urien), the other cameoed characters can’t be far behind.
But where are Sagat, E. Honda, and Fei Long? Not single mention of them anywhere. Street Fighter IV gave them to us in the initial release, so why are they missing here? And where the hell is Thunder Hawk!? You can only support one Mexican character per game is it?
I do kind of dig the fact that DLC characters can be purchased with the in-game currency you earn for winning matches and completing tasks, and so don’t have to use real money if you don’t want to.
Charlie Nash is Frankenstein’s Monster Now!?
Okay, this is just kind of weird. Like I said in the intro, I haven’t really played Street Fighter for some time, so I’m not entirely sure what happened at the end of Street Fighter IV, but whatever it was, it left Nash with a new, green half-a-face stitched on where his old face used to be (and with a Mind Gem?). His right arm below the elbow has also been replaced with a green arm.
Other character have had less weird, but no less life-altering, changes made to them: Chun Li now has an adopted daughter, Birdie has left Shadaloo, and Dhalsim has a beard (why doesn’t it catch fire literally all the time?).
Seriously, where is it?
In the past half-day or so, Capcom has come out to say they are “looking into adding an Arcade Mode” and I can only assume it’s thanks to fan backlash, but why, oh why, wasn’t it included straight out of the gate? It’s just kind of weird.
I did enjoy the Story Modes a fair amount, mostly because it satiated my need for a narrative. However, they were quite short, and, unless I’ve become some kind of Street Fighter god (which seems highly unlikely), the battles were way too easy, and there seemed to be no way to up the difficulty setting on them. But I at least I earned some free money to download Guile later.
A free, proper Story Mode is coming in June, so that’s good, but an Arcade Mode is still just a dream (at least until we get something more from concrete Capcom than “yeah, yeah, shut up already”).
And those are the five things that jumped out at me. Ultimately, the game feels unfinished, but it’s still pretty fun, especially if all you’re looking for is to fight against players around the world. Speaking of which, if you want a match in which you’ll likely get an easy win, come find me. My handle is thecomicman.