Platform: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Developer: Capcom, Dimps
When Street Fighter 5 was released in 2016 it left many die-hard fans feeling more or less, disappointed. The game felt unfinished, it lacked modes, fighters and was riddled with bugs and glitches. Fast forward two years, more or less, and Street Fighter 5 is a whole different animal. There are now multiple seasons of DLC, additional fighters, and polished gameplay. With Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, Capcom has finally delivered upon what was promised from the beginning … a fully fleshed out Street Fighter game.
Know what you’re getting…
First and foremost, know this, if you already own Street Fighter 5, then Arcade Edition is a free update. Yes, free. It comes with a myriad of new content and an overhauled UI. However, if you don’t own the game, then you’re in luck because Arcade Edition includes the base game, new modes, features, that slick UI and of course, 12 fighters from seasons one and two.
So what exactly is “arcade” edition? To put it simply, it’s a collection of modes that allow you to play Street Fighter 5, with its gameplay mechanics, graphics, combos, and stages, but in the original setup of previous arcade versions of the game. For example, Street Fighter 1, you have to fight four characters from around the world, just like the original. With Street Fighter 2, that number goes up to match the arcade version of ‘87 and filters in some of the arcade version’s mini-games, like barrel breaking. Upon completing the required stages, players are rewarded with art that gives them a sort of story or ending (see below). There are modes for all Street Fighter 1-5, with some Street Fighter Alpha tossed into the mix.
Team Battle mode has been added, allowing you to construct a team of five players (or friends) to battle against another team online. Players can adjust the rules to allow for a “best of” competition or eliminating all of your opponents to just how much health your fighter regenerates after winning a round. There are a few extra modes that will be arriving shortly after launch, like Extra Battle, limited-time challenges that reward players with experience, money and unique costumes. The other is Special Challenges, where players can earn unique titles.
Some serious New V-Triggers have been added to the game. V-Triggers were added to the game which allowed your character to potentially come back from a seriously butt whooping. For example, Ken’s (my favorite fighter) new V-Trigger is a classic callback, the Shinryuken, which blasts enemy fighters high into the air and blasts them with a fiery, twisting Shinryuken. The damage is insane and can really turn the tide of a fight. Ryu, Ken’s counterpart has a slightly different V-Trigger. Ryu’s grants him the ability to “super” parry. Essentially, fighters become more deadly, the more damage they take, forcing a fighter who is winning, to fight more carefully.
Arcade Edition’s overall gameplay is basically the same. If you’ve never played Street Fighter 5, this is a great version to pick up and jump right in with more characters and modes to play. New players are welcomed to the game with an improved training mode. The training feature allows users to see frame data, to examine more closely where their fighters are more susceptible to attacks or where they can take advantage of their opponents. While it may sound trivial to experienced players, this features can really help those fresh-faced newbies who want to play Street Fighter, without getting crushed by long-time veterans.
With Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, Capcom has finally delivered a great fighting game experience. It’s not perfect by any means, but this is truly the game that should have been released two years ago. It’s smooth, fast and fun. The menus are drastically improved and with so many new characters included, it’s a great value no matter how you look at it. Best of all, it has something for everyone, training, a newly expanding single-player experience and tons more for those who love online (or offline) multiplayer. While Arcade Edition didn’t quite give me goosebumps like I received when I first saw Street Fighter 2 in arcades in 1991, when I was just 12 years old, this version, however, lives up to the legacy of the Street Fighter name.