kevin;;street fighter;;event;;capcom Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen


By Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen on June 26, 2015

We all have that one game; that game that we live, breathe, and dream about and that we almost treat as a religion. For me that game is Street Fighter. Today I had the chance to play some local matches at the Street Fighter V event, hosted by Capcom. And man, am I stoked!!!

The thing that made this experience particularly great from the start, was the venue at which it took place. I travelled to a city in The Netherlands called Zoetermeer, where this amazing old-school arcade / museum "Playworks" is located. And it was this venue that Capcom chose to use as the arena in which we battled. The place was filled with some of the best arcade cabinets (USFIV, Marvel vs Capcom, Virtua fighter, final fight, etc..) and it really contributed to the overall feel, well done Capcom!

We had about 2 hours of versus matches, featuring 6 playable characters. The ones sadly missing from the roster were my personal favorite Ken Masters and the recently at EVO 2015 announced Necalli, but that certainly didn't spoil the fun.

First, let’s get down to basics. For the most part the basics of Street Fighter V are similar to its predecessors. However, Street Fighter V does have some new tricks up its sleeve. Here's what the developers have to say about these new features:

V-Skills are unique skills per character that can be accessed at any time by pressing medium punch and medium kick together. These skills do not require use of the V-Gauge and have different uses per character (e.g. mobility, offensive, defensive). V-Skills are rather important in battle as they may help a character in an area they’re weaker in or help to fill up the V-Gauge more quickly. Learning how to properly and efficiently use each character’s V-Skill will be key in winning matches.

V-Triggers are unique abilities per character that can only be activated once the V-Gauge is full, by pressing heavy punch and heavy kick together. V-Triggers, much like Ultras in Street Fighter IV, are a way for your character to turn the tide of battle. That, however, is where the similarities end. Activating the V-Trigger, which allows access to a character’s full potential, is merely step one. It is completely up to the player to properly utilize the benefits received from the V-Trigger to change the course of the match. As V-Triggers add quite a bit of depth to each character, mastering their use will be paramount to victory.

V-Reversals take up one stock of V-Gauge, and allow a player to counter the attack of the opponent while blocking, thus creating some breathing room. They are similar to “Alpha counters” from the Street Fighter Alpha series, but this time not every counter results in a universal effect; some push the opponent back, some knock them down and some switch sides. Players should explore each character to see how their V-Reversals function.

These new features add so much depth to the gameplay overall, the V-skill in most instances allows you to counter your opponents’ fireball/attack, giving everybody a fair chance at winning. V-trigger is used to buff up your character giving him or her just that bit extra damage output you could need to take the match, or like with Nash you can use the V-trigger to quickly evade an opponent’s attack or use it to extend your combo.

The first character I wanted to try out was Charlie Nash. Why you ask? Simply because Nash is one of the two characters available that weren't already in USFIV. Nash has gotten an complete visual upgrade sporting metal-like body parts and his newly acquired shadow abilities. For the most part Nash plays and reacts like his previous incarnation, with some subtle differences like the aforementioned shadow abilities. Overall, Nash is a fun character to play. That being said, it felt like he was somewhat lacking on his neutral game and therefore a bit of a letdown. Please keep in mind however, that the version we played is of course not the final build.

I had actually gotten my hopes up for Ken to be a playable character, but unfortunately he wasn’t available in this buid. So I’ve got my fingers corssed for a new build at at Gamescom 2015. When Ken is not available you can always rely on Ryu, who plays very similar to his previous versions; throwing Hadoukens like it's nothing, he’s not even breaking a sweat. Ryu's V-skill allows him to parry projectiles giving you the chance to punish your challenger for having the audacity to actually throw stuff at you. I actually liked Ryu a lot. He is, after all, one of my all-time favorite characters from the Street Fighter franchise and a really close second to Ken.

While all playable characters were amazing in their own way, the true star of this game is its overall feel and look. Capcom told us they would go back to basic with Street Fighter V and from what I've seen and experienced this is unbelievably true. USFIV has its own style with the flashy background finishes and all, but Street Fighter V offers so much more. The characters and surroundings are detailed, clothing and Ki move like they should. Character models are top notch, backgrounds look beautifully detailed and have amazing depth. The list goes on and on, but the one thing that stood out for me was the intensity that I felt while playing the matches, every punch made a lasting impression, every Hadouken coming my way felt like it was the last one my body could take. Winning a match felt like a personal victory, while every defeat I suffered devastated me.

The other characters available were Chun-Li, M. Bison, Birdie, and last but not least Cammy. They all had their own feel and techniques to work with. If I had to make my own personal top 3 at this moment it would definitely be: Cammy, Ryu, Chun-Li. Cammy played so much like her old USFIV self but with the added V-Skill and Trigger. The V-Skill enhanced her Spiral arrow and Cannon Strike making her even more of a challenge than before.

The match up screen offers some background information on the characters like; where their strengths and weaknesses lie, what they like most (we now know Cammy likes Cats), where they originate from and what they weigh (Chun-Li isn’t keen on sharing). The match up screen is completely stylized like the rest of the game, contributing greatly to the overall feel.

I could go on and on about this amazing game, but for those like me that are lucky enough to participate in the BETA, go experience the game yourselves! For those of you not participating in the BETA, you have my deepest condolences. A big shout out to Capcom for setting up this event and giving me the chance to experience Street Fighter the way it was meant to be experienced.

June 23, 2015
Zoetermeer, Netherlands