Street Fighter V has unfortunately suffered a lot due to an early launch that was rather lackluster and lacked content inciting angry reaction from fans of the series. The game was still popular among the fighting game community because of its tightly knit gameplay mechanics that were fun and encouraged skilled play, but the content was severely lacking with a net code that suffered at launch. This changed with time as Capcom started to put more work into polishing the game after releasing it early, which has all led to the launch of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.
The release of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is after almost 2 years of the original game, and it comes packed in with all of the post-launch support and characters, while a new season pass for the upcoming characters was also confirmed along with the release of Arcade Edition that brings some fan favorites back into the game along with 2 new characters. The release of the original Street Fighter V included a rather disappointing roster with a mixture of 14 new and old fighters. This number has now jumped to an impressive 28 fighters after the inclusion of Season Pass 1 and 2 characters. 6 more fighters will be a part of the upcoming Season Pass 3, bringing the total number for the character roster to 34.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is not just a simple update, even if it might seem to be the case on surface. It completely revamps the look and feel of the game. The UI has been retouched and now fits well with the rest of the game. The new content includes a full Arcade Mode, something which has been long demanded by the fans. It is a special mode that has been developed keeping the 30th anniversary of the franchise in mind. It includes Arcade Mode tailored around every Street Fighter release, from Street Fighter 1 to Street Fighter Alpha, so you can experience the story of these games to some extent with the Arcade Mode.
Arcade Mode will let you take part in a number of battles that are usually based on the game that you pick. The fighters that you will encounter in the mode are not just pre-determined, but are select by the player themselves. You can attempt to compete internationally for leaderboards since there is a score and ranking system included with it. The reward for completing the mode with any character is a short artwork that is specific to a that character. This artwork doesn’t really offer much for the story though, but it seems to be drawn well and serves as a good collectible. You will have to beat each Street Fighter Arcade Mode with select characters in order to get their artwork unlocked, and this can take a lot of your time and can start to feel repetitive after a while. The game tries to mix things up by bringing back the classic bonus stage usually involving breaking a set of objects in limited time. They can also reward unlockable artwork so don’t go easy in them.
The new content is not the only thing offered by the Arcade Edition. One of the most interesting change to the gameplay is the inclusion of a second set of V-Triggers. These are special moves that can be enabled at any point during the battle. They have their own gauge to fill next to the Critical Arts but they offer a more offensive/defensive advantage in battle. Make no mistake though, V-Triggers won’t always deal damage unlike a Critical Art attack, but they will rely on your skills in making the best out of a situation. The expanded V-Triggers now make the characters more varied and interesting to use for newcomers and veterans alike.
One of the new gameplay mode is Team Battle which I honestly didn’t enjoy as much. I prefer a more direct 1 vs. 1 approach to battles since it suits the gameplay system of Street Fighter V. This mode is based on the Ultra Street Fighter IV team battle mode and works on the same principle. Team Battle is a neat little distraction though and it was nice to have it finally included with Street Fighter V. If you enjoy challenges, the game offered Survival mode that had a different difficulty option depending on your skills. Arcade Edition comes with a new Extra Battle Mode that includes challenges through official updates from Capcom. Some of these can be pretty tough to complete but the reward is fight money that you can spend on the shop in-game.
It can take a while to master each character and thankfully there are helpful tutorials for this exact purpose. If you just want to learn about the new V-Triggers, you can get demonstrations on their usage by checking out the Volume 3 tutorials. These demonstrations cover all of the character roster and also offer an insight into how to best utilize their skills and strength in a match. Once you are confident with the gameplay mechanics, you can test your skills with trials offered for each character that can help in learning some of the more complex combos involving normal and special attacks.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition attempts to rejuvenate the base game by offering a lot of new content. Since the general gameplay of Street Fighter V was never terrible in the first place, the lack of content was the only thing holding it back. This has been rectified with the launch of the Arcade Edition and for someone who only played the vanilla Street Fighter V, there is a lot to deal with here. It is not hard to imagine that the full potential of Street Fighter V has been finally reached, even if it took plenty of time to get here.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is a brand-new disc that includes all base content from the original Street Fighter V release, Arcade Mode and a code for Character Pass 1 and 2 content, which includes 12 playable characters and 12 premium costumes.
The true potential of Street Fighter V has finally been reached with the Arcade Edition, making it the most content rich release of the series so far, with a deep and engaging gameplay system that tests the limit of your skills.