Reviews

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition Review

Sahil: Street Fighter V from Capcom released four years ago. Yup, that’s right. Four long years have passed since the game’s tumultuous launch. What was tumultuous, you might ask? Well for starters, it excluded a story mode and an arcade mode – two staples of the Street Fighter series. It also infuriated numerous fans in the fighting game community with its severe lack of characters and stages to fight on.

Over the years, Capcom have steadily improved on the base Street Fighter V formula. The journey to this point, though, is one that was filled with a lot of vocal animosity from fans. There have been a lot of changes since the base game was released and Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition introduced numerous gameplay tweaks. The Champion Edition has improved on this even more with further balancing and general game improvements. What we have now is a fighter that’s still worth playing in 2020, even with the likes of competitors such as Mortal Kombat 11 around.

Gameplay in Street Fighter V will feel familiar to fans of the franchise.

The Champion Edition of Street Fighter V is filled with a tonne of content. It’s a great purchase if you haven’t picked up Street Fighter V before, since it includes 40 characters, including Street Fighter IV’s boss, Seth. Gameplay in Street Fighter V will feel familiar to fans of the franchise. Hadoukens will fly and flashy V-Trigger and Special Skill mechanics abound. The game features an in-depth tutorial system but the more hardcore fighting game fans will probably want to look elsewhere (YouTube) to learn the true ins and outs of the game.

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is a neat package that exists for getting players up to speed with the game and all its characters. It circumvents the “grind for fight money” complaints numerous gamers have had by bundling previous DLC characters into an affordable package. With that said, the fact that a re-release like this exists will probably still enrage some people. It shouldn’t have taken 4 years for Capcom to release a “complete” edition of the game.

Sam: I fondly remember Street Fighter V being one of the first major games I got the opportunity to write about and review. While I still gave it a favourable score, I couldn’t overlook the immense disappointment that came with its severe lack of content. A missing arcade mode might’ve been the nail on the coffin that kept me away from Street Fighter V for a very long time. Enter Champion Edition, a beefed up version of the game that finally brings the experience full circle and stacked with content. But the question still remains, is this return to Capcom’s staple fighter a worthwhile endeavour again?

Right off the bat, Champion Edition vastly improves on the gameplay from the base game. With the introduction of a second V-Skill, it brought mixing and matching into fights that made no two characters similar in how they fought. Some characters were even given offensive and defensive abilities depending on the kind of V-Skills you’d pair them with, often leading to surprisingly versatile and enjoyably unpredictable matches.

Capcom at least deserve that extra bit of credit for sticking with the title…

With the inclusion of 40 characters to complete the roster – and thankfully, the excellent Arcade Mode and a new Story Mode – Champion Edition feels like the inevitable true “complete” Street Fighter experience that Capcom somehow hasn’t learned a thing from since Street Fighter IV. Nonetheless, it’s the thought that counts, and Capcom at least deserve that extra bit of credit for sticking with the title and not letting it sink into obscurity while more successful, content-filled fighters dominated it.

That said, the amount of content here is commendable, even if it just barely scrapes past being as fulfilling as other modern fighters. Even if you don’t own the Champion Edition, with the base game you can unlock every new character by simply grinding out the required currency (which, given its cost, should take you a few hours to unlock new fighters, which is fairly balanced). If you do own the Champion Edition, though, every character is available from the get-go, including its numerous new vibrant stages and the latest big bad, Seth.

Even if you don’t own the Champion Edition, with the base game you can unlock every new character by simply grinding out the required currency.

What impressed me the most about Champion Edition is just how much of, well, everything there is. You’re never short on characters, especially trying to figure out their movesets and counters to each fighting style. Combined with the new V-Skills, it adds a tremendous amount of variety and replayability to the experience. Mixing and matching the wide assortment of costumes is also appealing, especially since Capcom decided to add some fan-favourite outfits from their library of IP’s (like Viewtiful Joe, Devil May Cry, Mega Man, Monster Hunter World, Resident Evil, and more). With the amount of content available now, that extra R399 for the Champion Edition Upgrade Kit is well worth your investment (considering you can pick up the base game for a fairly cheap price now).

I guess my biggest grievance with Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is its bizarre in-game ads. Even after purchasing the Champion Edition, Capcom continuously reminded me to buy the upgrade kit while fights were loading, or signing up for open beta tests. It’s a slight annoyance, but one that became frustrating to see after the 100th fight. Another sight inconvenience is the game’s balancing issues. Sure, a large majority of characters are fairly balanced and skilled in their own ways, but certain characters have a noticeably bulkier health pool or damage output (to some ludicrous degrees) that made some matches a one-sided scenario. For instance, not only is Abigail a bulking behemoth that takes up half the screen with his distracting body mass, he packs a heavier punch than most and seemingly has double the health pool. This is just one example, but it persists with a select few characters as well.

Overall, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition finally feels like the true current-gen Street Fighter experience that we’ve been craving since the disappointing arrival of the base game. It’s absolutely packed with content that’s well worth the price of admission right now, and even for those who haven’t yet purchased the upgrade kit, can still grind out all that Champion Edition has to offer for free without it seeming like a daunting task. Capcom managed to balance the gameplay superbly, and with the introduction of some new skills, adds a great deal of variety to the game. Street Fighter might not be back in top shape just yet, but it’s been a pleasure seeing its slow and steady ascent back into the limelight. I’ve been rooting for you, buddy.

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
8/10

Summary

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is bolstered by a terrific roster and welcomed gameplay tweaks that finally makes it the quintessential current-gen Capcom fighter.

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