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street fighter v aftermath

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To say that Street Fighter V‘s launch was controversial is an understatement. While the game had a superb foundation, virtually all the other fixings that you would expect in a fighting game were lacking. The story vignettes were poor and spotty, the downloadable options weren’t implemented, and character models looked rushed and unfinished. Street Fighter V as a whole felt that way, and ever since February, they’ve been trying to earn back player trust, with a few stumbles along the way. Simultaneously, the competitive scene is thriving, but the longevity of that bustling scene has been called into question as well. Two characters and the touted story mode downloadable content as dropped, which begs the question for skeptics – is Street Fighter V even worth it?

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Street Fighter V already has sales going for it. Catching the game at a $40 window is common, even being highlighted in Sony’s mid-year sale. Coupled with the aforementioned apology tour, you’re getting a lot of value with these discounted prices. Launching a barebones, unfinished title like Capcom and Sony pushed in February should be met with a lot of criticism. That being said, they are trying to own up to these shortcomings and newly-announced characters like Balrog and Juri are looking a lot sharper than previous characters.

Before launch, Capcom was adamant in stating that Street Fighter V was both for the hardcore fans and for newcomers to dip their toes into. The former is going very well for them. Evolution (EVO) 2016 has over 5,000 entrants, and will be broadcasted live on ESPN2. In the history of the illustrious tournament series, this is easily the biggest tournament they’ve ever had. The various tournaments that are a part of the Capcom Pro Tour have been largely successful, as well. Clearly, their gamble to rush the game onto store shelves to front this Capcom Pro Tour was a big factor moving forward, and from what it looks like, it wasn’t a complete waste of resources and time. Sales for the game were far below expectations, but have never really petered out completely.

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Everything isn’t smooth in the competitive department, however. While a lot of issues plague the game outside of the meat and potatoes of gameplay, some strange issues are already being dug up. The game features 8 frames of input lag, meaning out of the 60 frames the game stabilizes at, 8 of those frames are delayed before the button you push applies to the action on the screen. It’s a little more than a tenth of a second. In a competitive environment, this makes players with more cautious and space-driven styles at a disadvantage, while more aggressive tactics that are normally riskier are more rewarded. This isn’t as easy as turning a knob over at Capcom HQ, as it might be instrumental in how smooth the game is otherwise. A lot of the competitive scene is adapting to it, but it’s a continuous issue that may or may not go away.

There have been some issues of the game’s longevity, as well. While Street Fighter IV overall had lots of room to grow thanks to the incremental sequels, Street Fighter V’s process is a little more stagnant. All you’ll ever need is a copy of Street Fighter V, with updates throughout the game’s life being promised. Even in that approach, the game’s slow sales could change the game’s lifespan.

Casually, the game is on an upward trajectory that the Street Fighter IV titles were building. While Street Fighter has always been a huge franchise, it’s definitely trying to break into the mainstream in a way that titles like League of Legends capture. Moves like broadcasting on ESPN 2 are incredibly huge steps forward for breaking into mainstream homes, and objectively, it’s easier for fighting games to be showcased to average joes. Playing is another thing altogether, however. Contemporary titles like Killer Instinct and Guilty Gear have way better training modes and challenge modes that ease players into that hardcore mindset. With Street Fighter V, players tend to have to look for external sources like forums or guides.

So is Street Fighter V worth it? It all comes down to personal preference. If you’re up for it, the game’s cheaper than it’s ever been. The competitive scene is thriving, though we don’t know for how long. It’s finally the complete package it should have been from the start, so now’s the best chance if you’re not still sour at Capcom.

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