E3 2015: Behold Street Fighter V’s Punishing Power
I'm not going to lie to you folks; Street Fighter V was one of my most anticipated games of E3 2015. Having played every Street Fighter and every derivative of Street Fighter since the Super NES days, the game just called to me as soon as I hit the floor. Playing the game did meet my expectations, as I found the small demo to be a great indicator of things to come, but I really need to see more before I completely buy in.
The E3 floor demo only sported six playable characters: the iconic Ryu, the first lady of fighting Chun-Li, the evil M. Bison, the genetically-reprogrammed (I think) Charlie Nash, and the two newly announced fighters, Cammy and Birdie, who some may remember from all the way back in Street Fighter Alpha 3. Each character retained some of what made him or her great in previous games while utilizing the brand new SFV systems very well, creating a perfect blend of old and new.
The new V-System in Street Fighter V still doesn't make all that much sense to me, but the more I played the more I began to understand. Essentially there's a new bar sitting on top of the Super bar that fills during the match, allowing each character to perform unique moves or give themselves unique properties. There are three types of V abilities: V-Trigger, V-Reversal, and V-Skill. V-Reversal is pretty self-explanatory, and V-Skill is a special move that requires V meter to perform, but V-Trigger is the meat of this meal.
Activating V-Trigger gives each character particular buffs for a short period of time, and these changes could be the difference between victory and defeat. Cammy, for instance, gains extra hits from her special moves and the ability to chain specials together for big time combos, while Chun-Li gains extra attack power from her strikes. Every character reacts differently when V-Trigger is activated, and the mechanic really adds to the strategy of every match.
I got a chance to play as every character in the demo at least once, and so far my heavy favorite has to be Charlie Nash. There are so many unknowns about him still that I just want to see more, but right now he's a really powerful and pressing character that's tough to overcome. That's not to say Ryu, Chun-Li, and Bison aren't also fun to play, as I particularly like old man Bison's new ability to absorb projectiles and fire them back, but Nash is where it's at.
As for the two new characters, Cammy plays very similarly to her Street Fighter IV counterpart, retaining some of the same combos here in SFV. She's still super-fast and she can still pack a wallop in a short amount of time, especially with her V-Trigger activated. On the other hand there's Birdie, who is one strange dude. He's like a mixture of Balrog's charge moves with Zangief's grapples and an Omega Red-esque long-range grab that can be thrown straight or at an angle for anti-air measures. I know he hasn't been around since Street Fighter Alpha 3, so I guess I'll have to go back and re-familiarize myself with him there, but in my short demo time I just couldn't figure him out.
Street Fighter V is clearly still in the beginnings of development with a long way to go, but the foundations shown in the E3 2015 demo are a strong start. The new V System is definitely different for Street Fighter but it works fairly well, I just have to get used to it through extended gameplay later on. The six characters all are a joy to play, though some are certainly easier to figure out than others, and the stages are bustling with life just as we'd expect. With a beta coming soon and a 2016 release planned, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of Street Fighter V in the coming months.
Street Fighter V is slated to release in 2016 for PlayStation 4 and PC.