Sunday, February 7, 2016

New Street Fighter? I'm not scared.

So, Street Fighter V comes out on the 16th , just a few days off, but I'm not really worried.
Maybe this is like a Coke vs. Pepsi thing with Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but it's hard for me to say what to recommend to other people because I like Street Fighter for the gameplay and I like Mortal Kombat for the wacky storyline and interesting stage interaction. Having started Mortal Kombat X after Christmas, eight months after everyone else, I would say that the wacky storyline part of the game seems to be intact.

Every time a new Mortal Kombat comes out, I feel like I am having it to learn it over again, and for the most part that's true. Starting from Deadly Alliance through to the present, it seems like one move or another was always having its control input changed.  Not all of them, just one or two per character, or they would take a special move away or add one and then you might find it back later in another game. I can't even complain about the influx of new characters - I'm just trying to consider characters that have been in the game the entire time like Scorpion and Sub Zero. My biggest problem was them changing how Sub Zero's slide is done, because it just used to be a specific joystick and button combination (back + LP + Block + LK), and then it got removed, and then it got changed to more like the other special moves, where you have to do a particular joystick motion prior to pressing the button.

That's not to say that they don't change things in Street Fighter,  and there have been quite a number of major changes from the II series to the Alpha series to the III series to the IV series, and now in the V series. However, the main characters Ryu and Ken's signature moves - their fireball, hurricane kick, and dragon punch - have not had their inputs changed at all. Certainly, they have had moves above and beyond the basics changed from version to version and the move properties change slightly, but the basics have remained the same. I think that makes the changes in the other parts of the game easier to take.

If you have been playing Street Fighter IV the last few years, or you're still playing some version of II, you will probably find that the biggest difference in the regular move set in V is that you can't chain a bunch of light attacks together into a combo any more. Most characters have had their combos and regular moves tuned up or changed in an effort to make button choice more deliberate and to make each move have a useful function. Another change in the normal moves is that they won't change properties at close range - so each button press will be more consistent. Some moves are different if you hold the joystick in a certain direction while doing it - that's always been the case - it just won't get affected by the distance you are from the other character. The biggest difference in the rest of the control mechanics are all part of the new V-system. Each character has a specific V-skill, done with Medium Punch plus Medium Kick (MP+MK). A correctly executed V-skill adds to the V-Gauge.  When the V-Gauge is full it allows for use of a more powerful V-Trigger move done with HP + HK and completely depletes the gauge. Alternately you can V-Reversal,  which is done with holding towards your opponent on the joystick and pressing either all three punches or all three kicks depending on the character. The V-Reversal only consumes one segment of the V-Gague. The V-Gague either has two or three segments, again dependent on which character it is.

If you look at the trailer here that shows the game modes, it sure seems like there's more story elements in the game now than there used to be. I don't know if that's because they felt like they had to compete with Mortal Kombat, or if they just felt like they had a compelling story to tell this time, but I'm happy either way. Since I wasn't part of the beta I didn't get a head start on this game but I am looking forward to digging into it once it's released on the 16th.

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