Street Fighter V was announced months prior to E3, and a handful of publications couldn’t get any hands-on time with the title due to the massive lines there were. Thankfully the game was featured at San Diego Comic-Con, and while the lines were still rather long, they’re nowhere near as long as the other lines for various things at the con, and I must say–this is a game I’ve become excited for.
Now before you read on, I do have something to admit here. While I have a pretty good grasp and knowledge of fighting games, as I’ve played them quite frequently since the release of Virtua Fighter 2, I’m nowhere near competitive, so while I do go into the gameplay, I do apologize in advance if my preview isn’t as technical as an Evo competitor would make it. Let’s also keep in mind that I only used Ryu and Chun-Li in my playtest.
As with plenty of the Street Fighter games before it, the big changes in Street Fighter V come from what’s been taken away. In the case of Street Fighter V, the biggest missing features of note are the focus attacks and revenge meters. In other words, there are no more ultras.
In their place is the new Variable Meter, or the V-Meter for short. Each character has both a V-Meter and a Super meter, and the length of the V-meter is dependent upon the characters that are being used. The V-Meter is filled the same way the Revenge meter was (by getting hit) and resets after each round. Now instead of allowing you to unleash an ultra, this opens up new mechanics in the form of V-Reversals and V-Triggers.
A V-Reversal uses up one bar on the V-meter and their use varies per character. For Ryu and Chun-Li, you punch three times while guarding. Any character can use their V-Trigger by tapping the high punch and kick buttons at the same time.
Aside from this, it plays pretty much the way Street Fighter IV does with various little changes, like the fact that every connecting move seems to be more damaging than they were before. As far a Super moves, those still exist, as you’ll see with the Super meter still there at the bottom and seems to now be a series mainstay.
Ryu handles pretty much the the way he’s always played, so in all honesty there’s really nothing to talk about here.
Chun-Li, on the other hand, has a fair share of alterations. Her V-Skill is a diagonal spinning aerial, which is awesome as a defense tactic as it puts her at less of an advantage that a normal jump does. Her V-Trigger increases the damage she gives making her an attractive character for players who like to rush their opponents.
All the stations at SDCC featured local multiplayer, so obviously we ran into no lag at all, and everything seemed to be quite enjoyable with spectators acting like they’re watching matches at Evo. As annoying as it is (which was probably because I didn’t win a single round after three matches–I came close with Chun-Li though), it definitely added to the experience and is what fighters have now become.
Street Fighter V is due out early next year and the first open beta will begin on July 23 for those that have already pre-ordered the PS4 version of the game.