As we all know, Street Fighter is one of the biggest video-game franchises of all time, spawning movies, manga, comics, and more. When the fourth main instalment hit home consoles in 2009, it received a warm welcome: critics and gamers alike heaped praise on it around the world; it won the Golden Joystick Fighting Game of the Year Award; and went on to sell more than 3 million copies on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
So, it’s no surprise that fans are super-excited for the release of Street Fighter V. The fifth main instalment in the series will arrive for PS4 and PC (no Xbox release – yet) in less than a month, updating the well-loved gameplay with current-gen visuals.
What can we look forward to? Let’s take a look …
16 Characters at Launch
In any fighting game sequel, getting the balance right is key. No fan wants to give the latest instalment in a beloved series a spin only to find their favourite characters missing – continuation and familiarity is essential, but new faces are always welcome.
New fighters help to keep the action fresh, and give hardcore fans new moves to master and new sprites to enjoy.
Street Fighter V will feature 16 characters at launch, many of whom are seasoned veterans:
- M. Bison
While the classic characters will have the same fighting styles and move-sets we know and love, new heroes bring a fresh selection of attacks with them: Rashid has a nifty whirlwind-uppercut to play with, and Karin’s rekka-based moves recall the mighty Fei Long. We can’t wait to get our hands on them!
Unfortunately, while we have plenty of familiar characters, there’s no sign of Sagat – apparently, he’s been left out as there are other characters performing a similar set of moves. Blanka has also been confirmed … unofficially, at least.
No More Focus Attacks
In Street Fighter IV, Focus Attacks allowed fighters to take an enemy’s attack and unleash a counter-attack (accompanied by beautiful inky splatters across the screen) – this took some practice to use right, so any fans who mastered this feature may be disappointed to learn it has been jettisoned from the new game.
Instead, Capcom has introduced the ‘V-Guage’: this meter builds whenever the player takes hits, and adds three new techniques to the gameplay. V-Skills are character-specific attacks, unique to each; V-Reversals are counter-moves; and V-Triggers consume the whole meter to unleash a special boosted-move (such as stronger attacks or enhanced Hadoukens).
More EX Gauge Goodness
Street Fighter V will again feature the EX gauge, which builds whenever the player lands a hit on their opponent, and then lets them use special moves or combos (‘Critical Arts’).
For example, Birdie’s Critical Art sees him launch a jumping-headbutt, before wrapping the enemy in chains and slamming their head into the ground; Chun-Li performs a bombardment of Hyakuretsukyakus; Karin uses palm strikes; and Ken has a string of flaming kicks.
Given the amount of Street Fighter games there have been over the years, Capcom deserve credit for finding new and inventive ways to keep the gameplay as fun as it is. Critical Arts may well become one of the best new elements introduced to the series yet, making tough characters even more badass than ever!
Street Fighter V looks set to be another smash-hit for Capcom, and a firm favourite with fans.
With only weeks to go until release now, at least we don’t have long to wait – what new features and characters are you most looking forward to in Street Fighter V? Let us know!