Street Fighter V dropped in February of 2016 to some very mixed reviews. Capcom mistakenly tailored the game to competitive and tournament players more so than the average gamer. As a result, Street Fighter V lacked many features that most modern fighting games possess, making those who enjoy single player content feel a bit alienated. I reviewed Street Fighter V at release and found it to be a great fighting game marred simply by the lack of much do to aside from competing online. Now in 2018, Capcom drops Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition in an attempt to right some of the wrongs made at release. Can Capcom turn this mess around and actually deliver the Street Fighter sequel fans have been begging for with this Arcade Edition? For the most part — yes.
Much has changed since we originally reviewed Street Fighter V at launch. Capcom has added a few new features to the game that injected a bit more meat to the experience. A free cinematic story mode launched several months after release that added a full fledged story mode akin to the single player modes found in NetherRealm’s recent Mortal Kombat and Injustice releases. As nice as it is to have, it isn’t very compelling and ends way too quickly. Still, I won’t complain about its inclusion.
Capcom also addressed the complaints of salty players backing out of matches in order to avoid losses on their records by punishing “rage quitters” more harshly than before. Aside from a steady stream of downloadable fighters, stages and costumes, Capcom also added a Mission mode that gave players a reason to boot the game up regularly by offering daily challenges that reward fight money — the in-game currency used to purchase DLC. Other tweaks were made to online play and the battle lobby as well as character balancing along the way.
Even though a decent amount of effort was made to keep Street Fighter V relevant, the game still lacked enough content to keep ALL players engaged — not just the competitive players. Arcade Edition includes all of the original content found in Street Fighter V, yet also adds a brand new Arcade mode that was sorely missing from the original release. An Extra Battle mode is also included that allows players to wager fight money by tackling weekly challenges in hopes of scoring new costumes. Arcade Edition also overhauls the UI, adds new music, includes new V-Triggers for each character and makes extra tweaks to competitive online play.
The new Arcade Mode includes six different variants that correspond to each generation of Street Fighter. The mode includes Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V variations that separate the arcade modes by implementing characters who only appeared in those games. For example, Street Fighter II mode is a shorter arcade mode that only includes SFV characters who appeared in SFII as well.
It’s a fun arcade mode, but it lacks a special challenging boss character at the end that fighting games usually have. Anyone looking for a tough Seth challenge at the end of the road will be disappointed here, but most will be happy with the new arcade offering. I know I didn’t mind the exclusion of a boss character too much since most of them make me want to snap controllers over my knee in a fit of rage and frustration anyway. The load times are a bit longer than I would have liked in between matches as well, which kinda sucks but isn’t too much of a hamper on the experience.
Extra Battle mode is great for those chasing down new costumes for free by tackling weekly challenges. The mode requires players to cough up 2,500 fight money in order to participate, but those who are successful will earn pieces of new costumes for their favorite fighters. The first week’s content consists of fighting a very challenging AI of Akuma. I personally prefer saving my fight money for DLC, so I won’t personally use this mode much until I’ve obtained everything I want. Hardcore players will most likely enjoy the challenges this mode offers.
Capcom has included a slew of new tracks to the soundtrack in Street Fighter V as well. The title screen now sports a few new theme songs which can be customized through the options menu. The music is good, but I personally missed the amazing title theme from the original release, which is thankfully still included. It didn’t take me long to disable the new tracks and add the classic theme back in.
One flaw I did find was that Mission mode now seems to offer a lot less fight money for completing daily missions. Normally, players could rack up a decent amount of fight money in this mode, making them eligible to snag some fun DLC free of charge. Now I find that gathering fight money is a little more time consuming due to the values seemingly decreased. I’m not sure if there is a specific reason Capcom did this, but I know the conclusion that we’re all going to be assuming here, and that’s to sell more content. We’ll see if Capcom tweaks this as the game progresses throughout the year.
I’m also bummed that Capcom didn’t take advantage of the Playstation 4 Pro here. You would think by now the game would have at least included a resolution bump or a few graphical features found in the PC release. I’m not expecting any native 4K resolution here but it would have been nice to have a decent boost in image quality by increasing the resolution to 1440p or something. Boost mode does seem to help speed up the load times a bit, but far from significant.
Upcoming season 3 characters have been announced, with the season pass is now available to purchase for $30. Like previous seasons, the all content aside from costumes can be purchased using in-game fight money earned by simply playing the game. This year’s fighters include Sakura (my personal favorite Street Fighter character), Blanka, Sagat, Cody and two new character G and Faulke. Each character can be purchased separately for $5.99 as well. Sakura is free for the first week of the launch of Arcade Edition, but will be required to purchase after January 26th. Sakura is definitely how most players remember her aside from the overhauled appearance; however I did find her slightly slower than normal.
Keeping to their promise that anyone who purchases Street Fighter V will never have to purchase another version of the game in order to get new content, Capcom offered the Arcade Edition to owners of vanilla Street Fighter V absolutely free. An on-disc, physical version of the game is available for $40 that includes all season one and two DLC characters along with various bonus costumes as well. All of this boosts the original games 16 character roster to 28 fighters. Anyone who has not played Street Fighter V yet will benefit greatly by purchasing the new edition of the game. Previous season DLC has also received a price drop for regular Street Fighter V owners who have not yet purchased them as well.
Thanks to this new Arcade Edition, Street Fighter V is a much better value to gamers, unlike my previous impressions of the original release. The unfortunate thing about Street Fighter V is that I genuinely found it to be a very solid fighting game that just had very little to do. I normally do not find myself playing online much since I struggle to compete against the fighting game community who put hundreds of hours into these games to prefect their skill. Now I have plenty of content to keep me busy when I feel like scratching that Street Fighter itch. The game still contains the solid fighting mechanics, great controls, slick presentation, robust online modes and awesome music as it did prior. Although now Street Fighter V includes the content that it really needed to reach a broader audience.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition does a pretty good job at appeasing the critics of Street Fighter V by adding a lot more content to the game while also giving players much more to do, no matter how they tend to approach fighting games. The single player now has Character Story, Cinematic (General) Story, Arcade, Survival, Extra Battle and Challenge modes to keep solo players busy. The Capcom Fighters Network (CFN) now includes systems in place to thwart rage quitters, tweaked netcode, stronger battle lounge and casual modes for those looking to play in more friendly terms. Capcom is continuing the steady stream of new content to the game as well in order to keep fans coming back for more.
In my original review of Street Fighter V, I closed with this statement:
As it stands, Street Fighter V isn’t worth the $60 asking price and the game scares away any potential new competitive players due to having little to nothing to do outside of getting destroyed by highly skilled players online. My recommendation is to wait for the big March update, re-evaluate the product and see if Street Fighter V is worth the investment.
It may have taken two years to get there, but I can finally say that Street Fighter V is now totally worth owning for all fighting game fans alike thanks to this Arcade Edition. With plenty of content, a much larger roster of characters and improved online play, this is now one of my favorite games in the series. It’s still not perfect, and Sony needs to start putting the pressure on Capcom to take advantage of the PS4 Pro, but the flaws are so minor now that they’re not even really worth focusing on too much. So go forth, gamers, and add the game to your Playstation 4 or Steam library. It’s really good.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition was reviewed on a Playstation 4 Pro with a copy purchased by The Gaming Outsider.