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And this is why you wait for future versions to be released

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    Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    And this is why you wait for future versions to be released

    So, the new rule should be that people wait until the first ¡®special edition’ of a new Street Fighter game comes out, because obviously there’s going to be tons of them. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is actually a really fun game, coming with a lot more content out of the box than the original version did. Of course, there is still DLC that has to be paid for with either real or in-game currency and more characters are being steadily added to the roster, but this time we’ve actually got a good package to start with. Given that this version sells for $40 at launch if you didn’t already have the original game, it’s pretty substantial.

    For starters, purchasing the Arcade Edition gives you free access to all the characters from the first two seasons of DLC. That’s a major upgrade from sixteen to 28, which is a much more acceptable roster size in this day and age. Well, I can’t exactly say ¡°out of the box¡± as they aren’t in the game from the start; the retail edition just provides you with a free code to get the characters. I’m guessing this means if you buy a used retail version you won’t get to use the code, which is not a good practice. Still, we have much more acceptable roster with some representation from most previous Street Fighter titles. That is, if you buy the retail version- getting the free upgrade for the original game means you still have to pay for the DLC characters. I suppose good things come to those who wait.

    The other big improvement is that now we actually some good single-player substance added to the game! Not only does the Arcade Version come with all the post-launch bells and whistles like challenges and versus mode against the CPU, but as the title suggests it actually includes an arcade mode finally! The arcade mode is pretty sweet, letting you face a set of opponents based on previous titles. You can select the Alpha arcade mode, Street Fighter 1 arcade mode, etc. This completely blows the mediocre character story modes out of the water, as these are proper battles and last longer than 5 minutes. We also have extra battle mode where you can wager fight money to take on difficult AI opponents in timed challenges for potential rewards. I’m not too keen on the whole use of in-game currency, but it’s still a nice addition. We also now have the team battle mode from Ultra Street Fighter IV where you can select a team of characters to battle each other, with the next character in line entering the battle when the current one is knocked out. Add in some little extra things like a bonus stage, gallery, extra V-trigger for every character, and overall things look much better. Street Fighter V launched in a state that made it feel more like an online service than an actual fighting game, but this version remedies that to a large degree.

    We’re not looking at a perfect package here, however. There are still only ten starting stages with the rest locked behind DLC. The DLC pricing in itself is still quite outrageous, which does count against the game as Capcom clearly withholds these things for more money in a less than stellar manner. The music ranges from serviceable to great, but isn’t quite on par with iconic past themes. Also, while Street Fighter V’s mechanics are quite good they are far from being the best in the series. Street Fighter 2 in it’s prime, and the Street Fighter Alpha sequels come off as better games overall to me. Plus, as I said, those who bought the original version are not getting quite the same bargain as anyone smart enough to wait for the super/ultra/mega-awesome editions that always follow.

    All things considered, however, this is a great version for people to jump in with. It’s a really fun fighting game that actually has a considerable sum of substance to it now. It now feels like a fighting game proper, and not just a glorified online service. Judging it as a standalone retail game, it’s also quite a deal at just $40 for launch. I do seriously think Capcom’s tendency to hold stuff back for future editions is why their games tend to not meet sales expectations. Maybe if they just took a little more time and gave us a massive package of awesome from the start they’d be selling a lot more games in the long run. I’m almost positive there will be more future renditions of Street Fighter V with extra value coming in the future, so I can’t fault anyone who decides to wait a little bit longer. For those looking to get a Street Fighter itch, however, this is a pretty good version to get started with.

    Final Score: 8/10 (As a standalone $40 retail launch.)

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