As of July 1st, Street Fighter V’s Story mode has finally become available! But was it worth the wait? The short answer is not quite.
The long answer? Street Fighter V has a long way to go before it begins to appease its casual fans. Sadly, the story mode does little to help in this area but having said that it is not a complete failure. There is a lot of fan service for those who follow the the series and it’s ridiculous story.
WARNING: SLIGHT SPOILERS FOR STREET FIGHTER V’S STORY MODE
For anyone who is insane enough to follow the lore of Street Fighter (me) they will certainly notice a lot of small nods. Characters like Sean from Street Fighter III and M. Bison’s army of “Dolls” make appearances with fully rendered character models. Many of the Dolls themselves appear during the fights and have unique attack animations, which is a nice treat. There are also some great nods to character relationships and cool connections between the various fighters. We get to hear Cammy, a former doll, lamenting about the fact that she does not understand the concept of family. She says this to Chun-Li, whose main reason for being a fighter is to avenge the death of her father at the hands of Vega. This all takes places while Ken plays with his son in the same scene.
The tone is incredibly cheesy, what with kidnapped hackers, Nash coming back from the dead, M. Bison’s vague plan to take over the world and whatever the hell Necalli’s deal is. The characters come in and out of each other’s narratives with the corniness of an 80’s B movie fused with a 90’s anime series. The voice acting is over the top, and the motivations of the characters are… fairly generic but easy to understand. It is actually quite a bit of fun to see fighters we have known for close to 30 years interact with each other and proclaim their views on justice or their intentions of world domination. There are even brief moments of flavor dialogue during fights to flesh out their relationships.
However the transitions from story to combat are incredibly jarring. Unlike the most recent Mortal Kombat games the action does not smoothly flow from cinematic to combat; the loading times between story and gameplay really break up the momentum built up during the cinematics. The fighter you control seems to be random as well. More than once I found myself struggling to perform Ryu’s Hadouken only to realize that I was flailing around ineffectively as Necalli. It would have been appreciated if there were a few fights as the same character so players can get used to them. It also would help the story feel a bit more cohesive as it seems to randomly jump from segment to segment with little reason. Much like the much maligned individual stories available on the game’s released the fights are painfully easy and last mere seconds. This is a real shame when players get a chance to play as not yet released fighter Juri and Urien.
So where does that leave this Street Fighter fan? The mode itself will take a couple hours to complete and the rewards of in-game currency are far too little considering the cost of items sold in the in-game shop. I enjoyed the story mode and will likely play it again but it still feels too-little-too-late for casual players. I still want to see a proper arcade mode with adjustable difficulty and a versus computer mode. Capcom plans to keep updating this game with new content, so I hope fans continue to have new modes and ideas to look forward to.
Nedu Ejeckam is a writer for AYBOnline. Many things were punched in the making of this article.