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We all have that one game, that game that we live, breathe, and dream, a game we almost treat as a religion, for me that game is Street Fighter. Yesterday I had the chance to play some local matches at a Street Fighter V event hosted by Capcom. Man I’m stoked!!!

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What made this experience great from the start was the venue at which it took place. I travelled to this place in The Netherlands called Zoetermeer where this amazing old school Arcade/museum “Playworks” was used as the arena in which we battled. The place was filled with some of the best arcade cabinets (USFIV, Marvel vs Capcom, Virtua fighter, final fight, etc..) and it really contributed to the overall feel, well done Capcom.

We had about 2 hours of versus matches with 6 playable characters. The ones missing were my personal favorite Ken Masters and Necalli, who was recently announced at EVO 2015, but that certainly didn’t spoil the fun.

First lets get down to basics, for the most part the basics of Street Fighter V are similar to his older brothers. However there are some new features in Street Fighter V.

V-Skill
V-Skills are unique skills per character that can be accessed at any time by pressing medium punch and medium kick together. These skills do not require use of the V-Gauge and have different uses per character (e.g. mobility, offensive, defensive). V-Skills are rather important in battle as they may help a character in an area they’re weak at or help to fill up the V-Gauge quicker. Learning how to properly and efficiently use each character’s V-Skill will be key in winning matches.

V-Trigger
V-Triggers are unique abilities per character that can only be activated once the V-Gauge is full, by pressing heavy punch and heavy kick together. V-Triggers, much like Ultras in Street Fighter IV, are a way for your character to turn the tide of battle. That, however, is where the similarities end. Activating the V-Trigger, which allows access to a character’s full potential, is merely step one. It is completely up to the player to properly utilize the benefits received from the V-Trigger to change the course of the match. As V-Triggers add quite a bit of depth to each character, mastering their use will be paramount to victory.

V-Reversals
V-Reversals take up one stock of V-Gauge, and allow a player to counter the attack of the opponent while blocking, thus creating some breathing room. They are similar to “Alpha counters” from the Street Fighter Alpha series, but this time not every counter results in a universal effect; some push the opponent back, some knock them down and some switch sides. Players should explore each character to see how their V-Reversals function.

These new features add so much depth to the overall gameplay. The V-skill in most instances allows you to counter your opponent’s fireball/attack, giving everybody a fair chance at winning. V-trigger is used to buff up your character, giving him or her just that bit of extra damage output you could need to take the match. For example, with Nash you can use the V-trigger to quickly evade an opponent’s attack or use it to extend your combo.

The first character I wanted to try out was Charlie Nash. Why,you ask? Because Nash is one of the two characters available that weren’t in USFIV. Nash has received a complete visual upgrade, sporting metal like body parts and his newly acquired shadow abilities. For the most part, Nash plays and reacts like his previous incarnation, with some subtle differences like his shadow abilities. Nash is a fun character to play with. That being said, it felt like Nash was lacking on his neutral game and therefore was a bit of a letdown. However, keep in mind that the version we played is obviously not the final build.

I actually had my hopes up for Ken to be playable, but unfortunately that build wasn’t available. Let’s hope for a newer build at Gamescom! When Ken is not available you can always rely on Ryu. Ryu played very similar to his previous versions, throwing Hadoukens like it’s nothing, without even breaking a sweat. Ryu’s V-skill allowed him to parry projectiles, giving you the chance to punish your opponent. I actually liked Ryu. He is after all one of my all-time favorite characters, slightly behind Ken, who is also from the Street Fighter franchise.

The other characters available were Chun-Li, M. Bison, Birdie, and last but not least, Cammy. They all had their own feel and techniques to work with. If I had to make my own personal top 3 at this moment, it would definitely consist of Cammy, Ryu, and Chun-Li. Cammy played so much like her old USFIV self, but with the added V-Skill and Trigger. The V-Skill enhanced her Spiral arrow and Cannon Strike, making her even more of a challenge than before.

While all playable characters were amazing in their own way, the true star of this game is its overall feel and look. Capcom told us they would go back to basics with Street Fighter V, and from what I’ve seen and experienced, this is so true. USFIV has its own style with the flashy background finishes and all, but Street Fighter V offers so much more. The characters and surroundings are detailed, clothing and Ki moves like it should, character models are top notch, and backgrounds look beautifully detailed and have amazing depth. The list goes on and on, but the one thing thatstood out for me was the intensity that I felt while playing the matches. Every punch made a lasting impact and every Hadouken coming my way felt like it was the last one my body could take, Winning a match felt like a personal victory and every defeat I suffered, was devastating.

 

The match up screen offers some background information on the characters, like where their strengths and weaknesses lie, what they like most (we now know Cammy likes Cats), where they originate from, and what they weigh (Chun-Li isn’t keen on sharing). The match up screen is completely stylized, and like the rest of the game, contributes to the overall feel.

I could go on and on about this amazing game, but for those like me that are lucky enough to participate in the BETA, go experience the game yourselves. For those not participating in the BETA, you have my deepest condolences. A big shout out to Capcom for organizing this and giving me a chance to experience Street Fighter the way it was meant to be experienced.

About author

Kevin "Method" van Dongen

Ain't no thing like me, except me. I am the biggest half behind this website and love to write about my deep love for fighting games, (J)RPG's and Destiny. Really do not like Call of Duty and absolutely love pizza.