Admittedly, I didn’t play Street Fighter Vwhen it launched back in early 2016, but one didn’t have to search far and wide to hear about the game’s many problems. Aside from server and matchmaking issues (including a lack of penalties to deter players from rage-quitting matches), the original release was pretty bare-bones by all accounts, and even the most diehard series fans had trouble looking past its flaws.
Flashforwards two years later, and we have arrived at Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, which introduces a handful of new modes and gameplay additions, all of which allow the game to finally stand on its own two feet and live up to the series name.
So, what’s exactly included in Arcade Edition? Well, plenty, it turns out. I won’t begin to feign any sort of expertise with the fighting genre, but there are a multitude of tweaks and changes to each character’s handling and movesets, which are bound to please long-time players (those who want the full details should check out this in-depth post on the Capcom Unity Blog). And, if you’re a newcomer to the fighting scene (like me), there are some updates to the game’s training mode, which allow you to view each action’s frame data, as well as an option to display “action advantage”. These are minor changes, sure, but they are useful when trying to understand the intricacies of the genre.
For most though, the most substantial addition comes in the form of the oft-requested Arcade Mode, which fans of classic games will undoubtedly enjoy. There are a handful of paths to choose from (which correspond to each numbered entry in the series, plus Alpha), and completing a path will grant you some rather neat artwork, which shows off what happened to your character during your playthrough. Remixed versions of classic music, bonus stages, secret boss fights; this mode has everything you could ask for, and the only complaint I could leverage against it is the two years we had to wait to experience it.
Team Battle and Extra Battle Modes aren’t nearly as noteworthy, but they are welcome additions for those who want to switch things up. Team Battle mode is perfect for clans, crews, and team tournaments, allowing for teams of up to five players to battle each other through a series of 1v1 bouts. Extra Battle is not nearly as exciting, but you can jump into it to unlock new crossover costumes, which is a nice touch.
Lastly, there’s the new V-Triggers, which mark a notable change in how each character plays. For the uninitiated, a V-Trigger is a special, unique move that changes a given character’s abilities, which can be used after taking enough damage, or through well-timed play. These new V-Triggers help to remedy the sense of stagnation and staleness that might come from years of playing the same character over and over. At the very least, they provide an excellent excuse to re-examine the roster, and try out new (well, technically ‘old’) characters that you may have forgotten about.
If you’ve fallen off of Street Fighter V in the last year or two, there’s really no reason to not jump back in and try these new changes out. All the latest updates and modes are available free of charge for current owners. Those who have yet to give the game a go can pick up a discounted retail version, which comes in at a discounted price of $40. This retail version also comes with the first two character passes, which (at the time of writing) cost $30 for the pair.
With a host of new features, as well as a slick new interface (and a dozen characters for those who pick up the retail version), it’s hard to argue against Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition’s value proposition. It may have taken a couple of years to get here, but Capcom has finally put the finishing touches on its flagship fighter, and the end result is fantastic.
This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game, which was provided to us by Capcom.
It may have taken two years to get here, but Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition breathes new life into the franchise, with a handful of welcome additions, tweaks, and new modes.