Street Fighter V Season 5 Review
In this post we will give a Street Fighter 5 season 5 review, now that we’ve had this version of the game for a full work week, we’re getting a much more vivid idea of what this latest evolution offers both in terms of the fresh content and updated gameplay.
After a year with Champion Edition’s 40 character roster, Dan Hibiki (and technically Eleven) has increased the number of fighters we can choose from. On top of this, the game’s basic feel and flow is already starting to feel somewhat different thanks to the much needed addition of a brand new defensive mechanic: V-Shift.
Season 5 looks to give current Street Fighter 5 users a fresh experience as well as former Street Fighter 5 users a reason to come back and give it another shot. Developers have clearly made a few moves to ensure this happens, and the new V-Shift mechanic is arguably the most notable when it comes to the competitive crowd.
As far as the balance of offense and defense, Street Fighter 5 has long been regarded as being way off in favor of the former. V-Shift is designed to attend directly to this, and though it looked a bit overpowered when it was first showcased, now that we’ve been able to explore the new mechanic with our own hands we find it to be a welcome addition thus far.
Opinions on the overall effect V-Shift will have still vary widely, and while it doesn’t look like it will weigh too heavily on SF5’s meta, there is a chance it doesn’t do enough to offset the powerful offensive buffs some characters received. Time will tell on this front, but for now, we intrigued at best and can’t complain at worst.
Players cannot use V-Shift in a cavalier manner as it requires a decent bit of precision and direct intent, but it does provide for a sorely needed option that, if implemented correctly, can give second chances to those in sticky situations. If you’d like more details on how V-Shift works and is affecting SF5’s meta.
Not only is the game’s pace and flow getting shaken up by the additional mechanic, but the entire roster has been tweaked about as developers have made another major pass at making weaker characters stronger, stronger characters weaker, and all characters more fun.
While it’s going to take some time to figure out exactly where things actually land in terms of balance, we’re already seeing some promising signs of positive change. One of the game’s absolute best avatars, Akuma, has received some substantial nerfs that might actually cause him to drop a few rungs on the tier ladder.
Franchise poster boy, Ryu, has been something of a joke because of how weak he’s been since Season 2. Capcom has given him numerous buffs over the last few years, but the most recognizable fighting game character still just couldn’t get the job done. Not only is he now substantially better here in Season 5, we’ve even heard little speculative rumblings from community members who are beginning to worry he may be too good now.
While we can’t say with much certainty that SF5 is truly in a better place, balance-wise, we can say that things are looking promising here in this still early point on the S5 timeline. It seems encouragingly probable that Capcom may have finally found a more appropriate direction to take this game in, and that we’ve just started down that path.
On the other hand, the biggest potential negative is also found in this part of the update. Between V-Shift and the new balance, there’s an absolute ton of change going on. As a result, it’s extremely hard for players or developers to accurately predict what the sum of all these new variable will end up being, and there’s a good bit of room here for things to get out of hand.
Another pillar of Season 5 and a major point of interest for the community is none other than SF5’s 41st official character: Dan Hibiki. Dan has always been designed with intentional weaknesses baked right into his design so that he can, first and foremost, fulfill the role as a joke meant to playfully jab at SNK, Street Fighter’s long time competitor.
While Dan still very much fits this bill, developers have effectively made him intriguing to the fanbase as a character worth exploring. From his nuanced animations to his creative move set, Dan has proven to be quite popular as of late, and fans have even been questioning whether or not he might be a viable choice in competition.
Despite his being a joke character, Dan’s release has been one of the most hype among the 25 DLC releases SF5 has seen over the last 5 years.
Dan’s inclusion isn’t the only change to the character select screen, by the way, as Capcom surprised us all with the sudden addition of Eleven as well. Eleven technically isn’t his own character, however, as he serves more as a stylized random select than anything else.
The mimic character will randomly morph into one of the game’s 41 contenders (45 by the end of the year) as well as randomly choose a combination of V-Skill and V-Trigger. The character he ends up as will function normally, but will have a special “Eleven” skin that clearly evidences the fact that they’re a mimic.
While not necessarily necessary, this inclusion is a nice touch that adds just a bit more for those who want to keep things interesting and have a bit of randomized fun with friends.
It wouldn’t be a major Street Fighter update without some fun new fashion, and there are new costumes available for four characters: Menat, Ed, Lucia, and Cammy. The first three have new “Sporty” looks while Cammy has a “Killer Bee” costume that’s reminiscent of her Street Fighter Alpha days.
If Capcom’s goal was to give people a reason to check out SF5 again, they’ve succeeded. The scene has enjoyed a new surge of hype and Season 5 has gotten off to a very energized start. We hope you liked our Street Fighter V Season 5 Review
Given the game’s tumultuous past inclinations to cautiously wait and see if any major potholes emerge are very much understandable, but we’re happy to report that none have manifested yet. A freshened way of playing, an updated roster, and the tons of new potential are all giving SF5 faithfuls plenty to excitedly excavate. This update has given Street Fighter 5 a good momentum to kick off its final chapters, and instead of being preoccupied with unignorable issues, we’re happily exploring what’s in front of us and looking forward to the rest of Season 5.
Written by: John ‘Velociraptor’ Guerrero