Street Fighter V: Champion Edition Review
The Street Fighter franchise has been a mainstay in the video game industry for decades. One of my earliest memories of the Super Nintendo is brawling with Blanka in Street Fighter II.
Fast forward to Capcom releasing Street Fighter V in 2016, it took the casual and pro fighting scenes by storm with precise, yet fun gameplay. Unfortunately, it was missing quite a bit content with only a few modes and just over a handful of characters. Since then Capcom has worked hard to introduce a plethora of new modes and characters over the years. The release of Street Fighter V: Champion Edition brings all of their efforts together into one definitive experience.
If you are looking to break into the fighting genre, or need the most complete version of the game, now is the perfect time to step into the ring.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Genre: Fighting game
Modes: Single player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating : T (Adolescent- Teenager)
A Storied fighter
Like the original game released in 2016, Championship Edition features animated cutscenes to tell each fighter’s story. Between fights no detailed is spared, including funny quirky moments about each character’s backstory. Since the original title’s release, the roster of fighters has grown considerably.
The base of 16 characters has been expanded to whopping 40 playable brawlers. These fighters come from four seasons of content upgrades, of which have all been included with Champion Edition.
Over 200 costumes are now included in the package, so you’ll be busy with unlocking all the available content options. These added extras are all included in the game, but you need to play and earn “Fight Money” to unlock them. This currency lets you purchase things like characters and costumes for future use. You can use real-world money to unlock everything right away if you are in real rush. I found it more fun to play through each mode and use my earnings to pick up new characters and accessories.
The stages have also grown to 34, giving you more locales then ever to fight in. The most notable is Gill’s Sun Chase Moon home with its split between day and night. The 2D fighter looks as great as ever, offering more variety in environments to brawl in.
Rule the ring
You can always hang your boxing gloves on one key tenet with the Street Fighter series: you are going to get excellent gameplay. Street Fighter V and by extension Champion Edition are no exception, it’s one of the most fun and technically sound fighters out there.
It’s no wonder its always been a staple with esports players and in the EVO Championship Series. The elite pedigree in gameplay has gotten even better with a few tweaks and upgrades. Let’s take a look at the new V-Skill II system and the other gameplay tweaks made in Champion Edition.
V-Skill II System
The V-Skill system mechanics were first introduced in SFV, allowing players to access unique moves for each character. The powerful attacks complement each fighter’s style and if used correctly provide a big advantage over your opponent.
The introduction of V-Skill II provides players with even more options and depth to the classic combat system. It gives you access to a second set of moves for each character, doubling your offensive options.
The playing field is more level now with a new battle balance update bringing general game improvements and character-specific changes. These are over four seasons of fixes and upgrades over the game’s lifespan. The result is one of the cleanest, technically sound fighters I’ve ever played.
In terms of Street Fighter V’s highly stylized graphics not much has changed, and that’s a good thing! The beautiful “anime-esque” presentation remains with larger than life effects that pay homage to the franchise’s history. The game is locked in at a rock-solid 60 fps on the PlayStation 4 offering buttery smooth gameplay. The only brief slowdown I experienced was while playing online but it can be attributed to internet connection speed. Overall, it’s a joy both play with so many subtle visual treats. For example, the entire screen shakes when landing a blow adding to the visceral nature of the experience.
Presentation and user interface
The one area the game could use more work is the menu presentation and user interface. Menus are a little bland and often confusing, clashing with the beautiful art style and graphics. It doesn’t take away from the combat experience, but it would be nice to see a more simplified menu navigation to accompany the excellent graphics, gameplay and sound.
Sounds of battle
The sound design is fantastic offering great character voice dubs and incredible thundering bass in combat. Subtle details like character’s footsteps change depending on the environment’s surface they are on. Splashing sounds in puddles, more pronounced slapping on rock and tile really add to the experience. The character themes carry a lot of heavy drumlines which fit in with the entire experience nicely.
Modes of engagement
Champion Edition really shines when it comes to all the modes and different options it provides players. The biggest critique of SFV when it originally launched was its lack of extra content, that is no longer the case. Champion Edition is packed with things to do: a full arcade mode, fighting chance, a cinematic story mode, team battle, ranked / casual matches and more. If you are new to all of this, it also features a deep training mode to get you started off.
It’s time to step into the ring
SFV originally debut with a small fighter roster and fewer modes than expected, leaving a lot to be desired. With the release of Street Fighter V: Champion Edition there is now an absolute wealth of content for everyone from the newcomer, up to the seasoned fighter. Champion Edition adds up to 40 characters, 34 stages, 200 costumes and over a handful of modes. If you are looking to jump into or upgrade your Street Fighter experience, now is the perfect time.
+ All Street Fighter V content in one place
+ Improved gameplay
+ Signature graphics
– Outdated User Interface
– Earning “Fight Money” can become tedious
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF STREET FIGHTER V: CHAMPION EDITION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5