I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know why Capcom thought this was okay. I don’t know why everyone else seems to think this is okay. The proverbial house on fire, crumbling around us Street Fighter fans while we just sit there and think this is all fine.
I’ve been playing Street Fighter V most of this morning. I was surprised it ran on my computer and at first it didn’t. I had to set everything to low before it ran at a steady 60fps. I first jumped into Training mode and picked Ryu, my main since Street Fighter II: The World Warriors. Tried out his new V-abilities, his new target combo, and felt how he played compared to other games. Then I gave Laura a try; she’s fun. Then I tried Nash, then Ken, and then Karin. I got a feel of them all before heading into Survival mode. Why Survival mode? Well, there’s no Arcade mode, that’s why. No Vs Com, no Team Battle, no Tag, no Challenges, no other type of Ladder mode, nothing else. Except for Survival and Story.
Survival mode is set up as a group of fights in which you have just one life bar for. In between fights, you can spend points you accumulate during fights for health, buffs, and debuffs. I went through the easy group since it unlocked a new color for my character, and later through normal since it unlocked the other three colors. The other groups, hard and hell, only award you experience points used for titles and stuff like that. There’s not much to say: the fights aren’t hard, even on hell. It’s mostly a battle of attrition. Story mode was next. I picked Laura first since I thought she would have something new to offer, being a brand new character. I was done within 10 minutes because there’s only three fights in each story. Some only have two. The story are really vignettes with still pictures for cutscenes as well as bad voice acting. I went through six stories: all the characters I had practiced before as well as Chun-Li.
At that point, I turned the game off and realized that this is a bad game. Not just bad but AWFUL! Now, I will say that the combat isn’t bad. The V system is interesting and offers some cool abilities to some fighters. Laura’s seemed pretty useful to me as you can cancel it into certain moves. However, not all fighters are treated the same and some of the V abilities feel like a waste. I couldn’t use Ryu’s parry once, and locking Karin’s main special move from Alpha 3 is an unnecessary handicap. The V system is not bad but it’s not great either. However, the game feels so chunky and heavy. Even fast characters like Karin and Chun-Li feel unnecessarily weighed down and it makes the game feel too deliberate.
However, the real issue is that the game is just not finished. WHERE THE FUCK ARE ALL THE GAME MODES!? This game has Training, Story, Survival, Versus, and Online. THAT’S IT! In a half an hour or so, I was already a third through the Story mode, and Survival is just redundant. It doesn’t help that there’s no difficulty sliders. The AI is only one difficulty setting and it’s excruciatingly easy. So really there’s only Versus and Online. These are for playing someone else locally and online. That means there’s no substantial way to play against the computer by yourself. None. If you are really into playing online, then this game does have something but even that’s missing features. No spectator mode, no tournaments, no endless battle. Just local, ranked, and invites.
I really wanted to play Street Fighter V but there’s nearly nothing here to play. This is as bare bones as it gets and it gives SoulCalibur V flashbacks. If you are really into online play, this might be worth it. And I hope it will be because there’s nothing else here. I hope Capcom adds more modes and features later on because this could be a good game. However, right now, it’s not worth the money, the time, or the bandwidth. There’s just too much missing here to feel like a complete game and the so-so gameplay can’t save it. I'll check back with the game when more stuff is added, but as far as I'm concerned, Street Fighter V hasn't been released yet.