Street Fighter V…Thanks, but No Thanks

Image by Flickr user iGamers Box (CC)
Image by Flickr user iGamers Box (CC)

Though I wasn’t great on following its news, at some point it became apparent to me that I was going to have to pass on Street Fighter V. Maybe it was with the announcement of the new characters, F.A.N.G., Necalli, Rashid, and Laura (eh, okay). Maybe it was when I learned that there’d be no traditional Arcade mode. Maybe it was when I saw that classic characters such as Guile and Balrog (and others? Where’s Blanka? Where’s Akuma??) would be locked behind DLC walls. Though I remained excited at the prospect of a new Street Fighter game in theory, all these things left me cold. The exclusion of Arcade mode, in which you play against the computer, seemed especially wrong. Not just because that’s a staple of fighting games generally, but because it meant that the game would be geared towards the online crowd.

Thanks, but…nope.

There are days when I feel like a gaming relic, what with my stalwart single-player, offline sensibilities. I know that single-player gaming isn’t going anywhere, and that there remains an incredibly strong call for it in action-adventure games. But one the things that I relish about fighting games is me, alone, battling it out with the A. I. I’m not very good with fighting games (though I love them so), and these battles give me the chance to be as terrible as I want to be, as frustrated as I want to be, and as glorious as I want to be. Those are not feelings I’d attain over a questionable internet connection with JudoJane13, no matter her skill level.

But wait!, you say. The game offers local co-op! That’s a plus, isn’t it? Yes, at least they didn’t take that away. And that’s great for me and my husband or any other challengers that happen to be in the house at the time. I l-o-v-e playing fighting games against another human being in relatively close contact (not too close though, lest a stray elbow be thrown in mock aggravation). There’s something about the electricity produced during couch co-op in general that seems to only heighten when players take on their favorite fighter’s personas. It’s awesome, and yes, we’ll always have that. But that alone isn’t enough of a reason for us to invest in Street Fighter V. It still remains…incomplete.

Then again, maybe this new generation of fighting games, where online play rules, just isn’t for me. I don’t (necessarily) mean that in an egotistical way, but rather in the way that my Mom looked at me oh so many years ago when I brought home my first pair of platform shoes. That “been there, done that; you have fun” look that she gave me spoke volumes. And now…I get it. I get that successive generations always forge their own paths to make the old new again, to create something special and unique to their wants and needs. That’s how it’s going with gaming, as were in the midst of a definite transition in an industry that’s scrambling to stay relevant. Things are either going to go with the steamroller or they’re going to get steamrolled. Frankly, I’d rather see this new iteration of Street Fighter be the most successful one yet than for it be crushed in the name of “progress.”

So I leave Street Fighter V to the players who love it, play it, and will look forward to every new batch of content that comes along. May you fight with all the fury and passion that only comes from the pure joy of playing a Street Fighter game!

13 thoughts on “Street Fighter V…Thanks, but No Thanks”

  1. I don’t play Street Fighter but I have heard similar complaints, a little like something great has been lost this time around. But I do relate to your love of playing alone or with a partner you know, since that’s my style especially when (as you mentioned) I’m not very good at that particular type of game! That’s how I got through many shooter games. Online matchmaking and competition is not my thing there.

    Also, your platform shoes bit made me laugh. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can still see those shoes, too. I loved them, and wore them with everything! 😀

      I’ve heard the argument that playing against random players online is similar to playing against the computer because you can simply think of those players as A.I. I get it, but I don’t think it’s the same at all. You both know that your supposedly playing against someone with a similar skill level. And you both know that real people are at each end of the connection. That changes things both mentally and emotionally, and it comes with the sense of constantly being judged. For me, it would end up turning something fun into something stressful. In fighting games, and shooters, like you mention, having your own space into which to be as bad or as good as you want to be is a really important part of learning. And then, when you feel ready, you can make the choice to go online.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Street Fighter V is the latest entry in “Early AAAccess” games, in that the game is currently in an unfinished state. Most of the features and characters fans want will be added “for free” sometime in June. I put “for free” in quotes because all of these “additions” are features that have come standard in past Street Fighter games, and are considered standard in most other competing fighting game series (i.e. Mortal Kombat).

    Rumor has it that they rushed it out the door in order to appeal to the competitive fighting game scene, but I say that that’s no excuse even if it is true. They may not be pulling a *Hitman* here, but this still contributes to the “software as a service” idea that so many publishers desperately want to legitimize in order to start monetizing the development process itself. Why wait until the product is finished if you can make money while it’s still being made, right?

    You know what? I’m getting really tired of all this garbage major publishers have been pulling in order to try to get our money before they have a product worth the price they’re asking. If they keep this up, perhaps it would be better to forgo new releases altogether and have fun with old stuff until the inevitable GOTY versions get released. They obviously don’t value their customers, so why should we go out of our way to support them?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Exactly. I’m no longer willing to pay for new games on release day, even ones that are seemingly finished. I understand that the industry needs to make money in order to stay in business; I’m happy to play full price for new games. But I also have a responsibility to myself to be a smart consumer. What good does it do anyone — the makers or the buyers — to constantly shell out money for bad products? It simply perpetuates an inefficient cycle of supply and demand that’s hardly sustainable. (And we all saw where that led the game industry in the 1980s.) It’s funny, but people have been hounding Nintendo for awhile now about some of their choices, but when you think about how the company isn’t really pandering to the episodic, serialized, DLC-filled, microtransaction-riddled trends (or maybe they are an I just don’t know it?), you can’t help but appreciate its values.

      Maybe it’s just another storm that we all have to weather. Considering how big the industry was a few years ago before its numbers started to fall, it’s hungry to attract new players in anyway that they can. There are young players now who may not ever know any other way of gaming than by paying for content as its made available. Like I said, it’s also a great way to alienate parts of your audience, but in their business plans, it’s likely that the possible financial projections are worth the risk. (Still doesn’t make it right, though.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband made the mistake of purchasing this game. He didn’t realize CAPCOM only released part of a game. Although in raise of complaints CAPCOM is backtracking and saying they will release additional content. They wanted to release the game in time for tournaments and that is all well and good if the game was complete but as it stands now it’s awful. No, arcade mode, they look like they used story boards during the patheic story mode where you don’t even finish the story. Mortal Kombat X was a 100 times better than this game and I’m sad to say I wish I could get my money back. But thankfully I haven’t touched this game.

    https://www.vg247.com/2016/02/24/street-fighter-5-launch-is-a-big-fuck-you-to-casual-players/

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    1. I love watching Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat tournaments, so I can certainly understand where Capcom is coming from in their decision there. But yeah, it leaves at least some portion of its audience out in the cold. Right now we have a “wait and see” attitude. If a “complete” version of the game is ever released, we’ll probably get it. But that’s really only of they offer up Arcade Mode and a better Story Mode. If the future content is simply groups of new (and old) fighters, I don’t think that’s enough of an incentive. But hopefully you husband (and you) will find something good in the game at some point — something that will make purchasing it seem like it was worthwhile.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ugh, no multiverse stuff, please! The Street Fighter characters have pretty solid backgrounds that haven’t changed much over the years. I would really hope that Capcom wouldn’t mess with such a solid foundation. But who knows, right? Frankly, the way the franchise is headed pales in comparison to what most of use grew up with, but as I wrote, I’m perfectly happy to see it evolve so that newer folks can get into the series (even if it becomes something less than great).

    Honestly though, about Arcade mode, you’d honestly think that that would be first on the list. Like, that’s an important element in what makes a fighting game a fighting game! For them to have just cast it aside is a real slap in the face to the fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never played Street Fighter before, but I have the same feelings about playing online vs. single-player as you do. I don’t like being forced to play with other people if I don’t want to. I have games where certain chunks of it are off-limits because it must be played with at least one other person, and it bugs me that I’m not getting my money’s worth. I know multiplayer is the trend right now, but it’s not quite fair when us single players are given less options to play the way we want. If the new Super Smash Bros on the Wii U didn’t have single player, I wouldn’t have bought it. I don’t play with strangers online, and I don’t have anyone nearby who wants to play the game with me, so any game that requires this would become unplayable for me.

    I’m not great at fighting games, so I agree, I’d rather play alone for that reason, too, where I can just have fun without having to worry about what other people might think. Heck, if the game is too hard, I can just play against the lowest level AI’s, and no one needs to know….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s it exactly. Gaming time shouldn’t be a stress-ridden mess where you’re wondering just how badly your being judged from the other side of an Internet connection! I get that socialization in games is something that lots of people want, and that’s perfectly fine. Make multiplayer games all you want, gaming industry! Just remember that every time you do, part of your core audience may get left out in the cold. 😦 Guess we’ll just have to go spend our $60 elsewhere. (Good thing there’s plenty else in the single-player arena.)

      I’ve also got a good share of games in which I’ll likely never get any of the online achievements. Maybe I’m missing out, but going through the experience just isn’t worth it. Game time = ME (and only me) time.

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  6. Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    Oh, Street Fighter V. Could we even get along had you simply been a “normal” fighting game? I’m honestly not sure, as I ponder in this United We game post. Certainly not in your current state of providing mostly online play. For now, I’ll view (and drool) from afar, and I’ll be content with that.

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