By Tom Tolios / June 11th, 2015
When Capcom revealed their initial screenshots and footage for Street Fighter V a few months back, audiences were divided. To many, the game looked a lot like Street Fighter IV. Careful examination of the art style and animation does show subtle differences between the two but it’s all moving so fast that without taking that second or even third look, it’s hard to make the distinction. Sony added more fuel to the fire when it became known that the game was going to be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PC. Xbox One owners were barred from ringside this go around, as this recent GameSpot article citing a Capcom source confirms. A few early gameplay videos showed what appeared to be minor differences, such as interactive backgrounds, but that didn’t much whet the appetite of a notoriously rabid fan base eager to see more of why this game deserves to be the next numbered entry in the series. So far, the only real announcement that gives this game the feel of being something new is the reveal of a cyborg enhanced Charlie (Nash in Japan) as a member of the roster. From the opening round, Street Fighter V has been on the defensive.
Now, on the veritable eve of E3, Capcom and Sony have decided to give us our first real look at the kinds of enhancements to the battle system that justify labeling this Street Fighter V. After a brief series of character snippets showing off their fighting skills, along with seeming confirmation that they will be going with the name Nash for Guile’s Air Force buddy and former partner (given that M. Bison is still called by that name in the same clip and not by the name of Vega, as he is known in Japan), we get some significant reveals on the gameplay. First we are shown ‘V Skill’, which promises that when used, every character will perform different types of maneuvers. We see Nash absorb a Kikkoken projectile from Chun Li, presumably to help build his own V Gauge (my personal speculation), and right after that we see M. Bison absorb Ryu’s Hadoken and then throw it back at him. The implication here is that not everyone will be able to reflect projectiles when they use ‘V Skill’ although this can’t be confirmed-it’s just as likely that reflection may be one option available to every character on the roster.. Next we are shown the ‘V Reversal’ technique that looks similar to a combo breaker type maneuver that consumes one bar of the V Gauge when performed, and given the footage shown it appears to be a cancel of some sort out of a block state to reverse one’s fortunes if they’re forced into a defensive stance by aggressive opponents. Then we are shown the ‘V Trigger’, which the text during the footage states are ‘unique abilities’ that consume the V Gauge completely. Nash uses his V Trigger to get out of a corner trap in the video and turn the tables on Ryu. Lastly, we are told that there will be ‘Critical Arts’ that promise to ‘unleash the ultimate attack’, and these are probably taking the place of the Ultra moves from Street Fighter IV, but to what extent these moves will be useful isn’t indicated in the clip.
All of these gameplay elements appear to be aimed at offering players techniques for counterstriking out of a defensive state and then tenaciously attacking when you have the advantage. The ‘V Reversal’ looks a lot like an Alpha Counter from the Street Fighter Alpha series minus the knockdown effect at a glance, but I’m just speculating on all of this based on what I am seeing and nothing more. While it could be argued that these systems are just variations on a theme and have already been implemented in different ways in previous games, it’s certain that to anyone even marginally familiar with the controls, it won’t p;ay completely like it has in the past. And isn’t that all we really want out of the fifth entry of a storied fighting franchise? Let’s just hope that the new battle system elements turn out to be integral to high level play and not just window dressing for what some are already calling ‘more of the same’ without even having played Street Fighter V yet. For my money, I’m ready to ‘Rise Up.’
Check out the video to see it all in action!
CapcomSonyStreet Fighter V