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Sonic Mania Review

 Sonic Mania released for Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One on August 15th, 2017, with PC due to release on August 29th, 2017

Sonic the Hedgehog is my favorite game franchise to this date. Despite his recent blunders, the Blue Blur still resonates with me and a lot of other fans as a fantastic series full of speed and badnik-smashing attitude. The Sonic series on the Genesis/Megadrive console are regarded as classics in the platforming genre rivaled to Nintendo’s mustachioed plumber. Over the years many have tried to replicate the speed and fun of the Sonic trilogy with games such as Freedom Planet by GalaxyTrail and tons of amazing Sonic fan-games that have circulated around the internet. After the pitch for a remastered version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles failed, all hope was lost to bring the entire Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy to a modern light. That is, until Sonic’s official 25th birthday stream from Sega. Fans cried with joy when they saw the trailer for Sonic Mania, a Sonic game developed by Sonic fans Taxman and Stealth. Sonic Mania is a true love-letter of the 2D Sonic games, developed by the mania, for the mania.

The first thing I have to talk about with Sonic Mania is the graphics, because they are absolutely gorgeous. The pixel art emulates the style of the 2D Sonic games to a T. Sonic and his other playable friends have an upgraded look to their sprites with way more frames of animation available than in the classic games. Actions such as going through loops and jumping on springs look and feel way more fluid with the added frames. It makes it even better that the game itself is 60 fps across the board with little to no frame drops. The levels themselves are stunning, with a lot of densely-packed detail in the backgrounds. Sonic Mania includes incredibly well-animated in-game story cut scenes as seen in Sonic 3, although they’re not as plentiful as I had hoped. They also included these transition animations that travel from zone-to-zone. However, surprisingly there are no transitions to some of the new stages and the screen just fades to the next scene. It’s a bit shocking when it happens, but it doesn’t detract from the overall quality of the game.

Sonic Mania’s game play is your standard 2D Sonic adventure. Scroll from left to right and occasionally jump on badniks and power-up monitors. The controls are incredibly tight just like the original games and they make for some satisfying platforming. Sonic has a new move called the drop-dash. Pressing and holding the jump button during a jump will charge a spin-dash and Sonic will release the spin-dash immediately when he touches the floor. This helps greatly when you want to instantly gain speed from platforming. Elemental shields from Sonic 3 also make a return. These include the lightning, fire, and bubble shield. Sonic can utilize the same shield benefits from Sonic 3 (such as the fire dash for the fire shield), however, they do contain new environmental abilities. For instance, the fire shield is able to burn the wooden bridges in Green Hill Zone to give you access to hidden rewards. This isn’t just some small polish thing as an afterthought, though. It is carefully crafted into the game’s level design.

The levels are what make 2D Sonic games so interesting, and the level designers really impress here. Some of the classic stages from past games make a return with an entire new feel to them. One of the acts from each classic stage keeps their respected layout while the other tends to introduce new and interesting level mechanics. For instance, Green Hill Zone’s act two introduces a zip-line mechanic. Sometimes these classic levels may incorporate mechanics from other levels in other Sonic games, so if your favorite level didn’t make the cut then you might be in luck. These new mechanics do help breathe new life into these levels. The new levels are also really fun. They’re built with the same design principals as the classic levels and perfectly fit in with the old levels. At the end of each act you have to fight a boss like in Sonic 3. The bosses are cleverly designed and it feels satisfying to take them out. The team designed the bosses so you can’t just wail on them like you could in the old games. The bosses may actually be my favorite part of the game.

Some people say the best thing about Sonic games is the music. While I don’t agree with that… exact sentiment, the music cannot be ignored. I was very surprised to hear that Tee Lopes was working on the music for Sonic Mania. For those that don’t know, Tee Lopes is a composer that often made remixes of Sonic music on Youtube, and I’m a big fan of his work. The music he made for Sonic Mania is awesome. The classic tracks sound as close to the originals as possible, while the new tracks are really catchy and fit each level perfectly. The soundtrack for this game is just incredible and I wish there was a way to purchase it on iTunes or something so I can listen to it whenever. The sound effects are amazing, too. Most of the sound effects are recreated exactly how they were in the genesis games, and if you listen closely there are even some callbacks to other genesis games in the sound effects.

A blue sphere bonus stage
One of the seven special stages

This game contains a plethora of content. Sonic Mania is boasting 12 stages with two acts and two bosses each, three different characters to play as, seven chaos emeralds to collect and 32 blue sphere levels to master. Completing these blue sphere stages will award you either a silver or a gold coin depending on how well you do. These coins will unlock extra modes you can play around with. Completionists will definitely get their fill here, as the PS4 and Xbox versions of the game have achievements. However, I played the Nintendo Switch version which doesn’t have achievements. If I had one gripe with the game (and this is very minor for me) it would be that there is no built-in achievement system for the one console without achievements. This game is a complete package well worth the asking price.

Sonic Mania is a game that takes the franchise back to its roots. Something that the series has tried to do in the past, yet falls flat on its face each time. I’m looking at you Sonic 4… However, this game has taken everything we have loved about the classic Sonic games, spiced things up and gave it a fresh coat of paint without deviating too far from the originals. It has a ton of content that will make fans happy and cry with nostalgic tears. If you are even remotely interested in Sonic and his early days, then this game should not be looked over. It is absolutely worth every penny of its price.

Cave Story+ Nintendo Switch Review

Cave Story+ releases June 20th, 2017 on Nintendo Switch.

I was first introduced to Cave Story in 2010 as a downloadable demo on the Wii.  Before I knew it I was sucked in and had played the demo multiple times over, but despite my love for the demo, it wasn’t until about a year later that I received my own copy of Cave Story on the Nintendo DSi.  I don’t think I set my DSi down for more than a moment to grab something to eat before I was staring back at the small 3 inch screen, completely immersed in the colorful world of Cave Story.  Years later I received a copy of Cave Story+ for the PC as a gift from my dad.  A few years after that, I found myself again purchasing Cave Story from the Nintendo 3DS eShop, boasting original pixel art with some added 3D depth.  Now, seven years after I had originally fallen in love with the game and 13 years after the original release, we find ourselves with another version of the game; Cave Story+ for the Nintendo Switch.

As the name would suggest, Cave Story is a story about rabbit-like creatures (Mimiga) who live in a cave.  You take on the role of a robot named Quote.  With no memories of how you ended up there, you attempt to discover not only your own purpose, but the story behind the Mimiga and the entire cave itself.  In some ways Cave Story feels like a lost NES classic, and having been inspired by games like Metroid and Castlevania, it’s not hard to see why.  The game rewards exploration, choice-making and mastery of its controls, allowing the player to change the outcome of the story by how they play.  The world of Cave Story is filled with lovable characters and clever dialogue.  The game oozes with charm and you can feel that the creator really put work into making something that was special to them.  Right off the bat, Cave Story feels like a beloved childhood classic while also mixing up the formula with some of its own ideas.

The first thing you’ll probably notice that is different in Cave Story is the unique weapon system.  Unlike other 2D shooters where you collect ammo and level up your characters stats to move forward, Cave Story features a dynamic weapon leveling system.  Weapons feature three levels of strength, usually with level 1 being the weakest and level 3 being the strongest.  The weapons you collect level up when you collect Weapon Experience from fallen enemies, but will level down as you take damage.  This way Cave Story rewards skilled players who don’t take damage with greater weapon levels, while others may find themselves struggling to keep their weapon levels up if they are not careful.  Every weapon collected has its own unique strengths and characteristics, while your initial weapon, the Polar Star, may not drastically change upon leveling up.  The Bubbline offers a very different experience at each of the three levels.  Every weapon offers advantages and disadvantages in different scenarios.  Where some might succeed wonderfully in one area, it may not in another.  So while you might have your favorite weapon, it’s always helpful to explore the strengths of others in the event you find yourself in a challenging situation.

Cave Story+ PC
Cave Story+ Switch
Cave Story+ PC
Cave Story+ Switch

Visually, the original Cave Story features some gorgeous pixel art.  This is only improved upon in Cave Story+ with the addition of remastered graphics.  Moreover, Cave Story+ on Nintendo Switch is more visually advanced than even the PC version.  The Switch version features an overhauled water system that reacts to the players movement through the water rather than the static image of the PC version.  Along with new water physics, a new lighting engine is also present.  Characters, shots from weapons and other items placed throughout the world will emit light that will slightly illuminate the background and other elements around them – a subtle but welcome change. Along with the new lighting engine, some of the excess foreground has been removed replacing it with black space and some shadows around the elements.

Alongside these features, the Switch version of Cave Story+ features a true 16:9 aspect ratio, unlike the 4:3 aspect ratio of the PC version.  As performance goes, the game runs at 1080p and 60fps while docked, and 720p, 60fps in handheld mode.  All make for a very pleasant experience with flawless performance all around.  Even in the most hectic scenarios, everything runs buttery smooth, with no hurt to performance whatsoever.  All of these changes make the Switch version by far the most visually appealing version of Cave Story we’ve ever received.  Halloween and Christmas visual changes are also present in this version if you are playing during their respective time-frames.  That being said, as of now, the Switch version Cave Story+ does not offer the option to switch between the original and remastered visuals like the PC version, something we’d welcome back in a possible future update.

Cave Story has a wonderful and addictive soundtrack that feels right at home in the world that’s been created.  In the Switch version of Cave Story+ instead of being greeted with three different options like the PC version we’re greeted with four! “Famitracks” is a new audio option only present in the Switch version, and like the name suggests, sounds like the original tunes using the Famicon soundfont.  Everyone seems to have a different opinion on which Cave Story soundtrack is the best, but with all four different music options to choose from, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to decide for yourself.  Unlike previous versions of the game, the “Jukebox” is also unlocked in the menu right from the start, so if you want to sample music you’ve heard from the game from all of the different soundtracks, just select the option from the menu and listen to your hearts desire.

With a tight control scheme, every button press counts in Cave Story, and luckily all control options are present in the Nintendo Switch version (apart from touch screen functionality). Single Joy-con support will be especially helpful when a free multiplayer co-op update* is released this summer.  If you want to test your mastery of the controls even further, a challenge mode will be unlocked after you progress to a certain point in the game.  Modes like Boss Rush, Sanctuary Time Attack and Wind Fortress, as well Sand Pit, (a new challenge mode exclusive to Switch version) will push your skills to the limit. Online ranking support is also present so you can see how your skills compare to players all across the world.

*This review will be updated when the multiplayer update to Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch is released.

So even after thirteen years is Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch still the Cave Story game that’s been lauded for years? It’s that and more. With even further enhancements, a multiplayer update just around the corner and possibly even more, Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch is a wonderful addition to the Cave Story family and the best version we have to date.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Review

Around 14 years ago I still remember pushing a new game into my metallic red Gameboy SP, not knowing what to expect. The game was called “The Blazing Blade”, not a story about a swordsman with now increasingly legal pastimes, but the 7th installment in a franchise that at the time I had never heard of. Immediately I was hooked. The casual tactics franchise with hidden depths instantly became one of the my favorites. Since I have played every Fire Emblem game I could find. Despite this however, I was still unfamiliar with the entry titled “Fire Emblem Gaiden”, understandable given it never reached western shores. That was until recently, with the announcement of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a modern day remake.

I must confess I went into Echoes with fairly low expectations. Everything I had heard about Gaiden has implied it was considered somewhat the black sheep of the Fire Emblem franchise. A heavily criticized collection of gameplay experimentation that had long since been exorcised from the games that followed it. That mistake you made one time when you were young and dumb and have been trying to forget ever since. Therefore, after spending a good deal of time beating Echoes’ campaign on the default difficulty, and staring at the game case smugly laying back in my quivering hands, a single bead of sweat rolling down my brow, I was taken off guard by the realisation that one of the best handheld experiences of the year so far was staring back at me.

The game follows characters Alm and Celica, two friends forced apart at childhood who later reunite only to find themselves at odds over increasing tension between the two surrounding regions. The story is fairly common faire, particularly to anyone with existing interests in Fire Emblem or just fantasy storytelling in general, but it suffices to drive the player forwards. This divide between the two central characters does open the door to one of the biggest differences in the Echoes campaign. After a few short introductory acts, players will be presented with the choice to act as either Alm or Celica and their respective forces interchangeably however they see fit, each character taking a different path on the game’s world map.

This divide of campaign works particularly well, not just as each army has a natural difference in composition and seems fairly differentiated from one another in play style, but also as it feels like an improvement over the traditional formula. When playing an entry like Fire Emblem: Awakening, over the course of the game you will end up with a sizable force, only a fraction of which you can take into battle with you. While the series has always been picking and choosing your favorite units, it has always left me with the feeling that I am missing out on content in a single play though, having to leave it behind for a second play through should I even get around to starting one. Fire Emblem: Fates provided players with both the Birthright and Conquest campaigns, allowing them a more focused look at each factions characters before heading into Revelations, but this came at a very real price to consumers. By the time I had finished Echoes, I felt like no character had gone to waste, a refreshing change.

The split campaign is interesting in other ways as well. Through exploration of locations such as villages, castles and dungeons players will find consumables and equipment to take with them. Even unit recruitment, none of which occurs in battle here, involves finding and talking to the character in question and being prompted with a decision to accept the newcomer into your force or not. At first this confused me, what purpose would rejecting new blood ever serve? The answer soon became obvious when the game offered a limited opportunity to take any units or items left behind by one force for the other, offering a whole new level of tactical consideration.

Further adding to the spirit of team building is the game’s take on the villager class. Each force will gain access to one or more villager characters and players are free to choose which base class they should advance into. As an example, from the 4 villagers I was provided at the start of Alm’s side of the campaign, I gave myself a starting point of a mercenary, a mage, an archer, and a pegasus knight, choosing to forgo the option of a soldier or cavalier. I could have had any combination of the above of course, a nice touch that had me feeling more of a personal attachment to my army right from the get-go. This could just as easily be seen as a double-edged sword as each character’s stats still lend themselves to some classes over others, and inexperienced players who may not know what to look for could be left regretting their choices as their close-combat Tobin bites the dirt time and time again. Overall though, given the franchise’s tendency to lump you with characters whose classes might not best suit their stats, having some degree of choice is welcomed. The only real disappointment here is that Celica gets handed far fewer villagers than Alm, with Atlas joining her party only after progressing some distance into the game.

Unit promotions do not require seals as you may now be used to, rather they are carried out at altars dotted around the game world. Promotions in Echoes, beyond initially deciding how villagers will progress, is now completely linear. Once a unit is ready to be promoted, you will be given no choice what they become. Archers will always become snipers, followed by bow knights, just as mages will always end up as either sages or priestesses depending on the characters gender. Players of newer Fire Emblem games may find themselves missing the additional customisation here, though every promotion does still feel like a substantial improvement.

Throughout Echoes you will also be handed quests to complete, resulting in varying rewards from currency to spend on weapon upgrades, equipment, and renown. Across the entire campaign you will only find a handful of quests to embark on, and the game seems to provide no means of tracking them such a even a basic log making them incredibly easy to forget. This is a shame as some of the quests are genuinely quite enjoyable, such as taking on especially powerful creatures to recover lost heirlooms, but on the whole I was left feeling the feature was underdeveloped. Even upon completing the campaign, I do not recall ever being told what effect renown has, though after searching for an answer it apparently its only relevant for a Streetpass ranking.

The other major noticeable change for Fire Emblem regulars will no doubt be the battle mechanics. The thematically suspect, yet highly functional, weapons triangle is nowhere to be seen. Your lances will be just as effective against axes as they are against swords. Actually, I do not even recall seeing a single axe throughout my play through with only a single exception, but not one that could be used to slay anything except firewood. Archers can all of a sudden counter-attack at close quarters, which is handy considering they no longer effortlessly pluck fliers out of the sky, at least not right away. There is still a little rock-paper-scissors at work here, you will want magic users to put any kind of dent in powerful armoured units for example. Despite the absence of these mainline staple mechanics, the combat in Echoes surprisingly does not feel any less tactical. The game actually felt more punishing if anything, forcing me to really consider some of my turns more than I would have in titles like Awakening or Fates, which by comparison can occasionally seem overly simplistic.

One feature I was convinced I would meet with disapproval is “Mila’s Turnwheel”, an item that allows a limited amount of rewinds per combat. I can myself, like many experienced Fire Emblem players I expect, be a little guilty of turning my nose up at anything that trivializes the challenge of keeping all of my units alive and kicking. However I now find myself convinced that this is a feature that needs to find it’s way into every future game form this moment on. You see when one of my units dies a most permanent death, what do I do? I restart, load back into my save file, re-enter the battle from the beginning, fight my way back to the point I reached and pray that a lucky critical doesn’t make me repeat the process again and/or through my console through a window. Mila’s Turnwheel doesn’t make it any easier to keep units alive, it just saves me an incredible amount of time when one dies!

Character skills, aside from spell casters, are not learnt after achieving set levels in Echoes. Rather the game employs a system whereby skills are eventually learnt through equipped weapons, shields, or accessories. Some skills are automatically bestowed simply through the act of equipping the parent item, others will be hidden and require you to unlock them through continually taking the item into combat. It is a system that I am particularly fond of, reminding me of days spent playing Final Fantasy 9, but its execution here is not as strong and left me feeling a little sour. Unlike for Zidane and friends, removing an equipped item renders the skills learnt from it unusable until another item with the same skill is held. This instantly devalues the use of a large number of the items found in Echoes. You will never need to bother using an iron sword for longer than you have to, regardless of skills learnt from it, safe in the knowledge that you will no doubt find something better with a completely different skill set anyway. All this said, I found myself using skills in the game very little, so their importance within the game as a whole seems of fairly minimal consequence, though this may change as players raise the difficulty level.

In the earlier Fire Emblem games I was exposed to, virtually every item had a limited number of uses. Every sword had a design flaw that would seem them crumble to dust after 40 or so swings. Later, thankfully, this was changed so that only healing staves expired. Echoes approaches this different still. No equipment, weapon, healing, or otherwise is restricted in how often you can use it per say. Instead, skills such as healing, offensive magic, or combat arts all carry a health point activation cost. While this may seem daunting at first, it adds a pleasant extra dimension to the tactics of the game, leading you to consider if and when you can afford to unleash a high powered attack. Where it really shines is in the knowledge that it effects enemy units just as much as it effects your own. Smacking down a mage to the point where they can no longer cast powerful spells, even if they wanted to, is an incredibly satisfying feeling.

Outside of the mechanics the combat animations, level design, range of enemies and music are all by and large exceptional. Some levels can be a bit tiresome, particularly ones that use cliff faces or similar terrain to extremely limit movement and arbitrarily increase the time it takes to move on. With specific regards to the combat animations, these are without question the finest ever seen in a Fire Emblem game. Attacks, counter-attacks, and dodges all flow into each other beautifully.

During your travels you will occasionally come across a dungeon. Entering one of these areas has you navigating either Alm or Celica through fully 3D environment, encountering enemies and looting chests. While visually one of the most unexpected shifts from traditional Fire Emblem games, this was also one of the features I found to have the most problems. Having to constantly readjust my view was a hassle and and getting a preemptive strike on enemies, rewarded with small bonuses in the resulting combat, often seemed hit-and-miss. None of the dungeons I traversed felt particularly interesting in design, and getting through some of the later ones felt like an outright chore. Furthermore, the fights you get into within dungeons feel heavily generic and at times identical when compared to the crafted combats you experience elsewhere. Fighting the same enemies, in the same formation, on the same map, tens of times in quick succession ends up having as much need for strategical thinking as deciding if you want ham or turkey in your lunchtime sandwich.

Then there is the stamina system. As you engage in combat, your units will tire through use. When their stamina depletes, they will become fatigued, and any combat they enter from that point on will be with penalties such as a rather large cut of their maximum hit points. To recover stamina, units must either be fed consumables found throughout the world, or one such consumable can be offered at an altar to restore energy to the entire party. Even as I write this review I cannot for the life of me understand what the intention of this system was. The obvious conclusion seems to be as a measure to restrict the level grinding possible in dungeons, but simply leaving and re-entering a dungeon seemed to fully restore stamina for me anything. I thought it might be a system designed exclusively to make the later, longer dungeons harder, but at this point I was carrying more oranges than the State of Florida and as such it was never an issue. It seems to me that the entire stamina system could just be dropped with no real negative impact on the game at all.

Echoes overall is a very faithful remake of an older Fire Emblem game and as such I would be remiss not to highlight the absence of some of the series newer, more beloved features. Notably there is no marriage options in the game. This is not to say the game is devoid of romance however, there is still plenty to be found in the support conversations that are available. Children and inheritance naturally are also not featured in the game at all. The game does support Amiibo however. Both Alm and Celica unlock special dungeons, and can be used to save a snapshot of each respective hero. They each, along with a wide range of other Amiibo, can be used to summon temporary AI-controlled units into battle.

The game’s DLC offerings certainly raised a few eyebrows when they were first announced, the season pass costing as much as a new game by itself. I personally take a fairly lenient stance towards paid DLC, either the content is worth the price or you just simply ignore it and move on. The one notable exception to this comes when the DLC in question has clearly been developed alongside the main game, raising the risk that the content on offer is cut from the experience you have already paid to play. Thankfully I can report that Shadows of Valentia does not feel incomplete before downloading additional content, the main campaign clocking in upwards of the 30 hour mark. Unfortunately it may also be the case that the game could be seen as better without the DLC, which can end up throwing balance out the window and resulting in an extremely easy overall gameplay experience.

Shadows of Valentia is far from the failure that was Gaiden, or at least how that game had been described to me. New players to Fire Emblem will be treated to a solid and lightly challenging strategy RPG, while series veterans will receive a fascinating glimpse of the ways this treasured franchise could be different.

RyboReview: Street Fighter V (PS4, PC)

Man, what do I have to say about Street Fighter 5 that I haven’t already said before? It’s not a BAD game, but it’s definitely not a good game, either. Capcom, from what I hear, wanted to make this game more accessible to beginners, so that the game is easier to learn and makes it easier to play competitively. I FUCKING KNEW THIS WAS A SCHEME TO MAKE MORE MONEY OFF CAPCOM CUP. ahem. Let’s get to the review.

VISUALS: 3/5

Street Fighter 5, from an art style perspective, looks great. Capcom chose to ditch their in-house engine, and create Street Fighter 5 using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. I can’t complain. If your computer can run it, characters and environments can look amazing. Visuals do mean a lot when it comes to fighting games, and Street Fighter 5 does deliver.

However, there is a reason I’m only giving it 3 stars. Character models can range from “Gorgeous” to “GOODNESS WHAT IS THAT.” Early screenshots are prone to this, because they are of course taken when the game was still in development. But, even the PS4 version looks like Capcom could have honed the console’s power a bit better. I’ll close my case with a image of one of Ken’s alternate costumes. Trust me, the face looks like that with all of his costumes.

 

AUDIO: 5/5

Okay, this really depends on the person. Personally, I love Street Fighter 5’s soundtrack. The character themes are all well done, and the stage themes feel fresh. The game has mixes a lot of different music styles, and typically uses instruments from that specific thing’s heritage. Chun-Li uses a lot of chinese instruments, Vega has a more of a spanish vibe, and Ken has electric guitars, so would you call that american? The music uses these instruments, but also adds some dubstep into the mix with these. It mixes better with some songs than with others, but I can’t complain about a lot of them. Overall, I could easily rock out to this soundtrack.

STORY: 3/5

Now, let’s talk about single-player things. Street Fighter V has a story mode. Pretty awesome, right? Well, I’m no movie critic, but if this was a movie, I’d rather pirate the movie than watch it in the theater.

NOTE: RYBOROBO DOES NOT CONDONE PIRACY, AS IT IS ILLEGAL, AND I AM ALSO OBLIGED BY MY CONTRACT TO SAY THIS.

The Story Mode is short. It’s boring, full of clichés, and only takes around 2-3 hours to beat, depending on the difficulty setting. Honestly, if it was longer, I might have enjoyed it more. There is the possibility of Capcom releasing more episodes to the Story Mode in the future, but who knows. After the Story Mode, what can you play? There’s an Arcade mode, right? No. There isn’t.

 

GAMEPLAY: 4/5

Street Fighter V introduces a lot of new things to the series. The new V-Trigger and V-Skill system is very cool, because each character has a unique V-Skill and V-Trigger. Your V-Skill is activated with Medium Punch and Kick, and activates a cool little move. With Ryu, it lets you parry an opponent’s attacks, Chun-Li’s V-Skill lets you leap over your opponents and kick them in the back, and Ken has a little dash-kick thing that lets you cancel out of attacks, and make your combos longer. I’d say, if Blanka was in the game, his V-Skill would probably be him biting out your freakin’ jugular.

V-Triggers are not words that your opponent says to you to make you go ballistic, as you might of thought it was. V-Triggers are transformations, that you can activate by pressing Heavy Punch and Kick. They change certain properties of your character, mixing up strategies and possibly giving you the advantage.

Ryu’s “Denjin Renki” V-Trigger allows him greater strength, electric Shoryukens, chargeable Hadoukens, and access to the “Denjin Hadouken”, a Super Art that is you’re only able to use while in V-Trigger mode. The V System in Street Fighter 5 is truly unique, but I only have one issue with them. Ever since Street Fighter Alpha, every character has had access to more than one Super Art, and in the case of Street Fighter Alpha 3, -isms, which is a fairly similar system to the V System.  My issue is that Street Fighter V has nothing like that.

See what I mean?

Each character is locked down to one V-Skill, one V-Trigger, and one Super Art, two at most, if the Super Art changes with the V-Trigger like Ryu’s does. I want more choices in Street Fighter V. How about a V-Trigger where Ryu becomes Evil Ryu. It eliminates the need for Evil Ryu to be a separate character. Or, how about a V-Skill for Birdie where he chews some gum and spits it out at you. The longer you hold the gum, the more powerful it is.

 

OTHER THOUGHTS:

This is Street Fighter V’s main menu. You got your Story Mode, but also a mode called “Character Story”, where every character gets a little 5-minute thing where you fight 3 characters, which a (poorly drawn) cutscene in between each fight. After that, you get Survival Mode, which is just what it sounds like, a mode where you fight anywhere from 20-100 CPUs, where you buy powerups in exchange for points, and you get rewards depending on how many points you earn by the end. No continues, all in one sitting. Then there is Training, where you…train. And then Versus, where you can either fight another person, or a CPU. It gets boring fairly quick, which is probably why Capcom focus on the very laggy and unbalanced online mode. Are you a beginner in the “Rookie” rank with 0LP? Well, have fun facing a “Platinum” ranked expert with over 5000LP, in a very laggy fight before the fight exits because it’s so god damn LAGGY. btw that counts as a ragequit so now you can’t play online for a while.

Street Fighter 5 has flaws, and they can easily be fixed. The problem is that Capcom doesn’t BOTHER TO FIX THEM. They do server maintenance all the time, and they almost never fix these issues. So yeah, Capcom just totally voided what they said about this game being for beginners, because they don’t even get the chance to practice before being thrown at who seems to be fucking Diago Umehara.

(For those who don’t know, Diago Umehara is considered the “King of Street Fighter”.)

I’m not even touching on how you need to either play the hardest difficulty on Survival to get different color options for your character, or, y’know, buy ’em. Yeah, buy some FUCKING COLORS.

Street Fighter 5 has great gameplay, amazing music, and depending on what you are running the game on, fantastic graphics. What the game is lacking is proper support by Capcom. It needs updating, more single player content, and needs its netcode fixed so that you can get the best experience from it. It has potential, but a year after it’s release, Street Fighter 5 still feels a bit incomplete.

What do you think about Street Fighter V? Sound off in the comments. Thanks for reading!