I’ve written some really positive stuff about SFV earlier when I got my first real in-depth play of it back in beta 2, and also some of my more recent concerns from beta 4 as we get nearer to the full launch. I’d been discussing with some friends and listening to the impressions some local fighting gamers about V so I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of that here on Agoners too.
My friend and fellow Team Shitty Hitty member Ups55 said this about why he was excited for SFV in a way he really wasn’t for SFIV –
It maybe something about the evolution of the systems regressing (not dependent on so many supers) but needing more forethought about how to fight. There seems to be better balance against projectiles in my view too from what I’ve seen. The V system just seems versatile and can be interesting but not necessarily overpowering. That’s my jist so far until people start spamming more, then I may change my mind. The hype bit – it’s hard to understand, might be because I missed a lot of SF4 but gaining some time back may mean SF5 is a fresh start to get into it again.
One of my other friends FightingRoadhog said:
I come at it from a different angle (didn’t hate SF4 quite as much) but have arrived at the same conclusion- V looks, feels and plays excellently- and makes 4 look and feel cluttered. I have really high hopes for it.
For me, the release of SFIV was totally overshadowed by HDR which was already out a few months prior. By the time IV released I already knew from reading about it and playing it on arcade etc that it wasn’t nearly as good as HDR and was a backwards step from the great design ideas in HDR, like, making motions easier not overlapping and better character balance etc. But hey, you can go back and read about all my issues with IV in my mega-series on SFIV if you like. But this time around perhaps the biggest difference with the release of SFV is that, rather than already being incredibly into a better fighting title, instead I’ve got a huge gap in my fight-gaming life. I’ve felt pretty disenfranchised by the bigger FG scene since the HDR tournament scene dried up (we went into why in Agonisers #1), XBox Live went to crap and the XBone was so bad I ditched consoles altogether. To summarise, I feel like –
I didn’t leave fighting games, fighting games left me
So SFV offers the hope and the possibly to get back into the bigger FG scene and even the tournament scene if I really take to it, and that’s what excites me the most, alongside the fact it feels mechanics-wise a lot better than IV (even though it still isn’t on a par with HDR) and that the online features are much improved over all other fighting games I’ve played – which is about time too since they are currently 10 years or more behind other genres!
I think the V system mechanics that Ups55 talked about earlier are actually almost bit understated if anything in SFV. But it’s a nice way to help make characters unique, and it’s better than creating a new overpowered universal subsystem that ends up defining the game and the effectiveness of characters to a great extent, as happened in SFIII with parries and SFIV with FADC-Ultra combos. It should allow Capcom to balance characters better over time too, as each V-Skill, Trigger, Reversal or even V-meter gain and usage can be modified per character to help balance things – and indeed this has even already been happening across the betas. In reality it’s only a loose subsystem and ends up almost being like having just more unique special moves per character. As an SFII player I actually find projectiles are rather too weak in SFV but I have hopes they will make some stronger projectile characters and more zone-based gameplay as they add in more characters to the game and balance things over time. I love fireball ‘spam’ or in reality, strong zoning play – it’s what Street Fighter should be all about. Right now SFV seems tipped firmly in the favour of moves and characters that can easily counter projectiles the majority of the time, save a few situational strong things like Ryu in V-Trigger or a Dic EX Psycho Blast at the right time.
Overall I’d say the feeling is one of cautious optimism from almost everyone about SFV. Despite various concerns being raised by folks such as myself, the main thing, the gameplay, I’ve heard very little of people complaining about. Perhaps the only small worry has been the seeming lack of complexity in the game, but that’s not at all concerning to me, since it’s never hurt the simpler SFII at all to still be the biggest selling Street Fighter by far. Also people generally confuse complexity with depth, when it’s depth, not sheer complexity, that matters much more in the long run. It’s also very obvious that they are set up to add more things into the game should they want to do so – myself and others I’ve spoken to at Steel City Clash are already predicting a Critical Art select system like SFIII in the near future. So it really looks like V will be a decent base to work on and the way they can grow it’s player base over time now, with a good sales model, rather than having to reset everything and release a new version means that this should be a good game for me to get into for years to come.