First impressions of Street Fighter V

In the halls of this year's Tokyo Game Show, it was hard to ignore the hype surrounding the Capcom booth for Street Fighter V

Photo via Capcom

In the halls of this year’s Tokyo Game Show, it was hard to ignore the hype surrounding the Capcom booth for Street Fighter V. With the growing popularity of esports, and Capcom’s support of the scene, it’s poised to be one of the biggest and most anticipated fighting games to be released.

Capcom was kind enough to let us play the game for a solid 30 minutes, allowing us to get a feel for R. Mika as well as the recently announced Rashid and Karin.

I am not a Street Fighter expert. Quite far from it, actually. But I do have a basic understanding of how the game works and why its depth is so appreciated. The one thing that was immediately apparent was how much more accessible it felt. With the camera zoomed back, things didn’t seem as cloistered as in Street Fighter IV. I felt like I had more movement potential, when in reality it was probably the same.

Movement was very responsive—dancing and dashing came easily, and knowing where the walls were made it easier to block incoming attacks. While playing Ryu, I was able to pull off hadoukens without too much difficulty, but still found myself accidentally jumping or crouching.

R. Mika and Rashid were both unique and fun to play. Mika, lacking a range of moves, required the player to be very close and personal. Her quarter-circle punch, which is an odd butt bash called Flying Peach, introduces potential for comboing, much like in Street Fighter Alpha 3.

Rashid was much faster and his whirlwind attack gives him great spacing potential. He’s a very kick-heavy character, and seemed like the easiest to pick up and play. Low, heavy kicks can quickly knock down opponents, allowing newbies to mash away.

The big announcement at TGS was the reintroduction of Karin, also from Street Fighter Alpha 3. She plays well, but isn’t quite as accessible as, say, Ryu. Much like in Alpha 3, expect a heavy aerial game with a lot of dancing.

Street Fighter IV had the super and ultra meters that would require certain button combinations to use. It’s been made far simpler in V. When you fill up your V gauge, all you have to do is press medium kick and heavy punch simultaneously to activate. It makes it much easier for newcomers to feel badass without having to practice and memorize a difficult series of buttons.

At E3 earlier this year, gamers noticed that the breast physics in Street Fighter V were off the charts. Capcom commented, saying that it was a glitch that needed patching. The TGS build still hadn’t fixed the bug, but it’s so comically funny, it might not be a bad idea keeping it in.

It’s also a conversation starter. While playing as Karin with a Sony representative, she commented on how much Chun-Li’s breasts moved. With my broken Japanese, I tried to explain to her that it was a glitch in the game code. Things got lost in translation as she assumed the word for breasts was “glitch.”

Overall, Street Fighter V feels tighter, looks great, and with all character DLC being free, Capcom is heading in the right direction.

Street Fighter V is set to launch on PS4 and PC in 2016.