Street Fighter is one of the most iconic fighting game franchises of all time. With its highly competitive gameplay and renowned cast of World Warriors, it has remained a staple in the FGC (fighting game community) for over 30 years.
The latest installment, Street Fighter 5, was released in 2016 to mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. If you’re wondering whether SF5 is worth playing in 2023, this comprehensive guide will examine all aspects of the game to help you decide.
If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Street Fighter 5 had a rocky launch but has improved tremendously over time. It’s now a polished fighting game with great netcode and a thriving esports scene. For fighting game fans, SF5 is definitely worth playing.
Gameplay and Mechanics
Focus on fundamentals and footsies
Street Fighter 5 puts a strong emphasis on the fundamentals of fighting games, making it a great choice for both newcomers and seasoned veterans. The game encourages players to learn and master the basics of spacing, timing, and strategy, known as footsies.
By understanding the range and reach of each character’s attacks, players can effectively control the battlefield and outsmart their opponents.
The footsies game in Street Fighter 5 is all about positioning and controlling space. Players must carefully observe their opponent’s movements and react accordingly, using a combination of quick attacks, well-timed blocks, and evasive maneuvers.
It’s a delicate dance of anticipation and reaction that adds an extra layer of depth to the gameplay.
V-System for unique abilities
One of the standout features of Street Fighter 5 is its V-System, which grants each character a unique set of abilities and techniques. This system adds a new level of depth to the gameplay, allowing players to customize their playstyle and adapt to different situations.
Each character has access to three V-Skills, which are special moves that can be used at any time. These moves can range from defensive maneuvers to powerful offensive attacks. Additionally, characters can also activate their V-Trigger, a state that enhances their abilities and can turn the tide of battle in their favor.
The V-System adds a layer of strategy and decision-making to each match. Players must carefully manage their V-Gauge and choose when to use their V-Skills and V-Triggers for maximum impact. It’s a gameplay mechanic that keeps matches dynamic and exciting.
Crush Counters and Critical Arts
Street Fighter 5 introduces two new mechanics that can change the course of a match: Crush Counters and Critical Arts. Crush Counters are powerful counter-attacks that can be triggered by landing a well-timed heavy attack.
When successfully executed, Crush Counters leave the opponent vulnerable and open to devastating combos.
Critical Arts, on the other hand, are super moves that deal massive amounts of damage. These moves can turn the tide of battle and are often used as a last resort to secure victory. Executing a Critical Art requires precise timing and resource management, adding an extra layer of excitement and tension to each match.
Presentation and Modes
Stunning visual style and effects
One of the standout features of Street Fighter 5 is its stunning visual style and effects. Capcom has truly raised the bar when it comes to the graphics in this latest installment. The character models are incredibly detailed, with each fighter having their own unique look and animations.
The stages are also visually impressive, with vibrant colors and intricate backgrounds. Whether you’re throwing fireballs or performing special moves, the game’s visual effects are nothing short of breathtaking. The attention to detail in Street Fighter 5’s presentation is truly commendable.
Variety of single-player and multiplayer modes
Street Fighter 5 offers a wide variety of modes to cater to different types of players. For those who prefer to play alone, there are several single-player modes available. The Arcade mode allows players to battle their way through a series of opponents, each becoming progressively more challenging.
The Survival mode, on the other hand, tests your skills by pitting you against an endless stream of opponents. Additionally, there are training modes that allow players to hone their skills and learn new techniques.
For those who enjoy multiplayer action, Street Fighter 5 offers both online and local multiplayer modes. Players can compete against friends or other players from around the world in ranked matches or casual matches.
The online matchmaking system ensures that you’ll always find opponents of a similar skill level, providing a fair and competitive experience. The multiplayer modes in Street Fighter 5 add a whole new level of excitement and challenge to the game.
Cinematic Story Mode
Street Fighter 5 features a cinematic story mode that delves into the backgrounds and motivations of the game’s diverse cast of characters. The story is presented in a series of beautifully animated cutscenes, complete with voice acting and epic battles.
Players get the chance to experience the narrative from different characters’ perspectives, adding depth and richness to the overall game experience. The cinematic story mode in Street Fighter 5 is a great addition for those who are interested in the lore of the franchise and want to see a more immersive storytelling approach.
Fighters and Balance
One of the key factors that determines the success of a fighting game is the roster of characters available. In Street Fighter 5, Capcom has done an excellent job of providing a diverse range of fighters for players to choose from.
The roster includes classic characters that fans have come to love over the years, as well as new and exciting additions that bring something fresh to the table. This variety ensures that players of all playstyles can find a character that suits them, whether they prefer rushdown offense, zoning, or a balanced approach.
Diverse roster of classic and new characters
Street Fighter 5 features a mix of iconic characters from previous installments, such as Ryu, Chun-Li, and Ken, alongside new fighters like Laura, Rashid, and Necalli. This blend of old and new adds depth and excitement to the game, as players can experiment with different playstyles and strategies.
Whether you’re a long-time fan of the series or a newcomer, you’re sure to find a character that resonates with you in Street Fighter 5.
Balance changes and reworks over the seasons
Capcom has shown a commitment to constantly improving and balancing the game through regular updates and patches. Over the seasons, Street Fighter 5 has received numerous balance changes and character reworks, ensuring that no one character dominates the competitive scene.
The developers take into account feedback from the community and top players, making adjustments to keep the game fair and competitive. This ongoing support and attention to detail contribute to the longevity of Street Fighter 5 as a viable competitive fighting game.
DLC characters helped renew interest
In addition to the base roster, Capcom has also introduced DLC (Downloadable Content) characters to the game. These additional fighters not only provide fresh content for players to enjoy but also help to renew interest in the game.
New DLC characters bring their unique movesets, playstyles, and stories, giving players even more options to explore. This continuous stream of new content keeps the game exciting and ensures that there’s always something new to discover.
Competitive Scene and Tournaments
Street Fighter 5 has solidified its position as a mainstay in the competitive gaming scene, with a dedicated following and a thriving tournament circuit. The game is a staple on the Capcom Pro Tour (CPT) circuit, which features a series of tournaments and culminates in a grand finals event with a substantial prize pool.
These tournaments attract the best players from around the world, making for intense and thrilling matches.
Main game on CPT circuit with big prize pools
Street Fighter 5 is the main game on the Capcom Pro Tour, and it consistently offers some of the largest prize pools in the fighting game community. The CPT events provide an opportunity for talented players to showcase their skills and compete for substantial cash rewards.
The popularity of these tournaments has grown significantly over the years, attracting a larger and more diverse player base.
According to capcomprotour.com, the prize pool for the Capcom Cup, the final event of the CPT, reached an impressive $250,000 in 2020. This demonstrates the level of investment and support that Capcom puts into the competitive scene of Street Fighter 5, making it an attractive option for professional players and aspiring competitors alike.
Top players like Tokido, Daigo, and SonicFox
The competitive scene of Street Fighter 5 is graced by some of the most talented players in the fighting game community. Players like Tokido, Daigo Umehara, and SonicFox have achieved legendary status, consistently performing at the highest level and dominating tournaments.
Tokido, also known as the “Murderface,” is renowned for his analytical approach and execution precision. Daigo Umehara, often referred to as “The Beast,” is famous for his incredible comebacks and clutch performances.
SonicFox, a multi-game esports champion, has showcased their versatility and dominance across various fighting game titles.
These players, among others, have become household names in the Street Fighter 5 community, and their presence in tournaments adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation for fans and spectators.
Esports broadcasts regularly get 100K+ viewers
The popularity of Street Fighter 5 as an esports title is evident in the viewership numbers of its live broadcasts. Esports events featuring the game regularly attract over 100,000 viewers, creating a vibrant and engaged audience who tune in to watch the intense matches unfold.
The high viewership numbers can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the game’s rich history, the skill and charisma of the players, and the engaging commentary and production value of the broadcasts.
Watching these tournaments can be an exhilarating experience, as the best players in the world showcase their talent and strategic prowess.
So, if you’re looking to dive into the competitive scene of Street Fighter 5, you can expect a thriving tournament circuit, legendary players, and a passionate community of fans eagerly following the action.
Post-Launch Support and Improvements
Capcom has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Street Fighter 5 community through their extensive post-launch support and continuous efforts to improve the game. This has resulted in a more refined and enjoyable experience for players.
Bug fixes and netcode upgrades
One of the key areas where Capcom has focused their attention is in addressing bugs and improving the game’s netcode. The netcode is crucial for online play, ensuring smooth and responsive matches. By constantly fine-tuning and optimizing the netcode, Capcom has greatly enhanced the online experience for players, reducing lag and improving overall connectivity.
Furthermore, Capcom has been proactive in identifying and fixing bugs that may have affected gameplay. Regular patches and updates have been released to address these issues, ensuring a more stable and balanced game for players to enjoy.
New V-Skills and balance tweaks
Capcom has also introduced new V-Skills for each character in Street Fighter 5, adding depth and variety to gameplay. These new V-Skills provide players with additional strategic options and opportunities to explore different playstyles for their favorite characters.
In addition to the new V-Skills, Capcom has continuously made balance tweaks to the roster of fighters. This ongoing effort ensures that no character becomes overly dominant or weak, promoting a fair and competitive environment for both casual and professional players.
Continual free and paid DLC releases
Another aspect of Capcom’s post-launch support is the regular release of DLC content. This includes both free and paid content, providing players with new characters, stages, costumes, and other cosmetic items to enhance their gaming experience.
The free DLC releases have been well-received by the community, as they allow players to expand their roster of fighters without any additional cost. The paid DLC releases, on the other hand, offer players the opportunity to support the game’s development while gaining access to exclusive content.
Capcom’s commitment to providing regular DLC releases ensures that Street Fighter 5 remains fresh and exciting, keeping players engaged and invested in the game for the long term.
While SF5 had significant issues at launch like barebones content and terrible netcode, Capcom have put in the work to improve the game dramatically over time. With its excellent core gameplay, visually stunning style, diverse roster, thriving competitive scene, and dedicated long-term support – Street Fighter 5 has evolved into a must-play title for fighting game fans.
There’s never been a better time to give SF5 a shot and see the pinnacle of the series’ refined mechanics and competitive depth.
For those craving traditional high-level Street Fighter action, SF5 delivers an excellent back-to-basics experience focused on fundamentals. And with the upcoming release of Street Fighter 6 in 2023, now is the perfect opportunity to sharpen your skills and get up to speed in SF5.