Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Review – Second Wind

When Street Fighter V was originally released back in 2016, it received heavy criticism for its lack of content outside of the online and offline multiplayer modes. You can check out our original review of Street Fighter V here on The Koalition, which details exactly what made its release so divisive among fighting game fans. But you should never truly count a champion out, especially a franchise like Street Fighter which has notoriously had multiple releases for many entries in the franchise. And like so many times before (despite some saying that it wouldn’t happen this time…), Street Fighter V gets a shot of adrenaline in the form of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. But instead of just getting new characters and new updates, this version of the game gives everyone so much more.

The biggest change for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is the new Arcade and Extra Battle Modes, both of which add a ton of gameplay for those looking to fight offline and away from multiplayer. Arcade Mode gives exactly what you would expect, a series of matches to fight in and earn a special ending when completed, but it acts as something even more. Arcade Mode is more like a celebration of the series’ 30-year history by having branching paths based on previous Street Fighter games.

For anyone that has been with the series since Street Fighter 2 in the arcades, the remixes to recognizable musical cues and visual nods to each iteration of the franchise will put a huge smile on your face. However, the only downside to this is how you won’t earn a lot of fight money finishing Arcade Mode multiple times, even if you complete all the different paths for every character on the roster.

Extra Battle is a supplemental mode to the Missions tab from the original game. Here you can participate in rotating challenges that offer rewards like extra fight money, player titles, and character costumes. While the rewards are good, the level of challenge to get them can vary a great deal. Some challenges require you to win a fight against an overpowered opponent, such as a powered-up Akuma, that can sometimes bend the rules in their favor.

Other challenges will be time-based and multi-tiered for their rewards, such as completing a series of rotating fights within a given time period. It can be pretty frustrating having to navigate through all the stipulations for these challenges, but the rewards they give can possibly be earned in future challenges when they rotate out.

For the whole roster of fighters, everyone gets a bunch of new updates on their move sets. While some characters may gain or lose a few moves here and there with Arcade Edition, everyone does get a new V-Trigger to choose from before a match. The new V-Triggers have different effects that can change up the style of play for a character, making the mirror matches between fighters a lot more complex.

Ryu with his first V-Trigger will be familiar, but using his second V-Trigger in the same type of match-up could make him a lot more deadly. Although some of the new V-Triggers may not be as viable in competitively play to players at first glance, given the time they may be used in different ways that will change the landscape of competition for Street Fighter V.

Some of the other big changes in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition come in the form of a complete visual overhaul to the menus and soundtrack, as well as the addition of a Gallery mode and Team Battle Mode. You can view Arcade Mode endings and special artwork and movies within the Gallery Mode, provided you’ve fulfilled the criteria for unlocking.

This usually comes down to finishing Arcade Mode with a character, but can get more difficult when you have to do so on harder difficulties and without using a Continue. Team Battles are pretty straightforward, where two teams of up to five fighters can battle it out in both Elimination and Best of Series style setups. There isn’t much else to Team Battles, but they can be fun to play if you have a group of friends around or in a party online.

As a total package, this is how Street Fighter V should’ve been released from the start. There is a ton of content to play offline, with many unlockables and fan service to those who have been with the franchise since the start. New fighters and character updates give a breath of life to the competitive scene and offer new possibilities for how the game will continue to evolve as more content is released. If you were someone disappointed with how meager Street Fighter V felt at launch, you’ll be happy to know you have so much more to do with this new version of the game. This is the Street Fighter V you always wanted.

This review was based on a digital review code for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition for the PlayStation 4, provided by Capcom.

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