Review – Street Fighter V: Champion Edition

The year 2016 was filled with gaming duds like Star Fox Zero, Mighty No. 9, and No Man’s Sky, but the game I hated the most was Street Fighter V. It was a technically sound game at launch, but it was abhorrent when it came to content and single-player experiences. There were less characters in here than most Street Fighter games from decades ago and not even the opportunity to play against the CPU on a 1v1 fight, something even most Atari games had back in the day.

I loathed SFV back then and stopped caring about it ever since, but I figured it was about time to give that bad boy a second chance after all these years. Capcom has constantly updated the game with new modes, characters, and costumes, so I felt like it was time for me to tackle what is more than likely the most complete iteration we’re likely to get: Street Fighter V: Champion Edition.

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Gill is hot and he’s cold. He’s yes and he’s no.

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition includes all previous fighters, costumes, colors, songs, arenas, and modes, essentially fixing what was the main issue I had with the vanilla version of the game. This title oozes content. There are loads of fighters to choose from, each one featuring a distinct fighting style and strategy, making this game one of the most balanced Street Fighters ever released. If there’s one thing I could never complain about with Street Fighter V, even when it first came out, was how excellent the gameplay and the overall character balancing is. It’s even more impressive now that there are over forty characters to choose from; ranging from new fighters to returnees from all previous iterations of the franchise. Another neat feature is the addition of a second V-Skill for every character.

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So, when this eleven foot tall guy crouches like this, I can’t punch him. Even though he’s almost as tall as my actual character.

One of my favorite things about this current version of Street Fighter V is its arcade mode. You have the option to play six different versions of it, depending on which iteration of Street Fighter is your favorite. The roster of characters, as well as their default costumes, will be based around each specific game, resulting in perfect mixture of old and new. There is also a brief and unimpressive story mode, as well as a bagillion online multiplayer options, as this is still Street Fighter V‘s main focus.

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This plastic art style sure makes everyone look ugly as all heck.

Even though this is a vast improvement over how Street Fighter V was four years ago, I still have my fair share of gripes with this “Champion Edition“. The first is the game’s art style. This whole clay-like, plastic looking art style makes every character in the game look like the human characters from Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit on near-lethal amounts of steroids. I can’t complain about the framerate, though. The damn thing is as rock-solid as you can imagine, truly something all fighting games should strive for.

My other issue is the fact that this game is still promoting itself as an e-sport first, Street Fighter second. This is a live service through and through, and it just doesn’t feel right. From the ludicrously long time it takes for you to even access the main menu due to the game needing to connect to servers, to the fact that there are ads before each match (at the moment, they’re all by Capcom, but who knows what will show up in the future). These elements keep reminding me of the rushed, lifeless, and charisma deficient shell of a game that Street Fighter V was back in 2016. My guess is this was only to meet a deadline for a fighting game championship.

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This is no excuse for not coming up with a new Darkstalkers, by the way.

To sum it up, Capcom has finally managed to deliver what Street Fighter V should have been from the very beginning. It’s a game that runs brilliantly, plays like a dream, and is filled with a ton content that will appease both casual players looking for some fun solo modes and local multiplayer, as well as EVO aficionados who will spend hours and hours fighting people from all over the world thanks to the game’s excellent netcode and online infrastructure. I still have my gripes towards its graphics and in-game ads, but there is no way I can deny the fact that Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is a great fighting game that is worthy of its name and legacy.

 

Graphics: 7.0

It runs with the smoothest of framerates, but I still have mixed feelings towards the overall plastic-like art style.

Gameplay: 9.0

The simplified, yet still hard to master, combat system has always been Street Fighter V‘s highlight. It’s no different in here. It’s as fast and responsive as a fighting game should be.

Sound: 9.0

Street Fighter games are famous for having great and varied soundtracks, and this one isn’t different. The voice acting, albeit cheesy, is also pretty good. It’s impossible not to smile when Ryu shouts “HADOUKEN” like a lunatic.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Infinitely better than how Street Fighter V was back when it was originally released in 2016. There are tons of fighters, costumes, and modes. With that being said, the game is still mostly focused on being an e-sport first and fun fighter second, and the inclusion of in-game ads is just ridiculous.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is available now on PS4 and PC.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Street Fighter V: Champion Edition was provided by the publisher.

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