Street Fighter V Review – Capcom Reclaims the Title for Best Fighting Game of a Generation

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re giving away a PC copy and a PS4 copy of the game. Be sure to enter!


Street Fighter V is a tricky game to review. On the one hand, it is arguably the best fighting game of all-time, gameplay-wise. On the other hand it is extremely lite on features, but promises loads of content in the future. Should it be reviewed as an incomplete product, or an evolving one? This review is going to offer a score based on what will be included when Street Fighter V can be purchased for $70 on February 16th 2016. I will also highlight what is to come, and if need be, COGconnected will keep readers updated of changes to the product, and if necessary adjust review scores.

Remember in that first paragraph where I stated that Street Fighter V was arguably the best fighting game of all-time, gameplay-wise? Well, I wasn’t joking; V is the clear evolution of IV which it looks and plays like a slightly slicker version of. The 2D-plane of the last generation of fighters is back, and the traditional light, medium, and strong punches and kicks are back, along with back blocking, throws, combos, and all the other gameplay elements that have made the Street Fighter series what it is.

The Ex Meter returns from Street Fighter III, which builds as your character receives damage, and is used to power up special moves or Critical Arts (epic combos). New to the series is a meter called the V-Gauge, which fills as you take damage. This gauge leads to the addition of three new techniques: V-Skills, V-Reversals, and V-Triggers. V-Skills are special moves such as parrying or attack reflection. V-Reversals allow each character to perform a counter. V-Triggers use the entire gauge, and are special skills such as increased attack power, or extra hits.


“Street Fighter V is the clear evolution of IV.”

There are 16 fighters to be found right off the bat. Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Zangief, Dhalsim, M. Bison, Vega, and Cammy all return from the Street Fighter II generation, and Nash (Charlie), Birdie, R. Mika, and Karin all return from the Alpha generation. There are 4 new characters: Necalli, Rashid, Laura, and F.A.N.G and I really liked using all of them. I was extremely underwhelmed by all of the characters that were new to Street Fighter IV, when it first came out, and Capcom really upped their game in terms of new character design. I also love the updated character designs for classic fighters! Some have mild tweaks, such as Bison with his long coat, or Vega with his puffy shirt, and others are more extreme, like Ken’s half-pony/wetsuit shirt, or Nash’s Franken-face. I was skeptical about some of them going in, but seriously, every character looks great!

Unfortunately, 16 fighters is all you get out of the box. I’m a fan of lots of characters, coming from the Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 school of “lots of choices of who to fight with make for a more fun experience”. After loving the selection of fighters in Super Smash Bros. Wii U, and feeling like Mortal Kombat X spent too much time “tournament balancing” which meant less fighters, I found Street Fighter V to be too far in the Mortal Kombat X direction of less fighters.

Street fighter V screen

There are 6 fighters which will be released over the course of 2016: Alex, Guile, Balrog, Ibuki, Juri, and Urien, which only leaves out Honda, Blanka, and Sagat from the classic roster  which are likely to be found in some yet to be disclosed DLC, you can count on it. Some of the Story Mode cutscenes use other characters from the franchise, so hopefully we will get to see more of the classic fighters become useable over time, which is apparently Capcom’s intention.

In terms of gameplay options, the meat of what you get with Street Fighter V is online play. It’s possible to compete in matches that increase your online ranking, as well as casual matches, which do not. There is also a Battle Lounge for players to compete in invite-only matches against their friends. There is a Story Mode in the game, but it is very simplistic and brief; each character’s story is only around 3 fights long, with about 5 minutes of cutscenes. The cutscenes are made up of static art panels, and while I appreciate the attempt at adding a richer story, Street Fighter V is a AAA title, and the cutscenes make it feel more like an indie title. The Story Mode we have promises to be a prologue to a yet-to-be-introduced game feature, which I will cover in the “upcoming content” paragraph of this review.


“…Capcom promises that players will have access to all future content for free, including characters, balancing, and gameplay updates.”

Capcom’s Street Fighter IV model was to release massive updates to the game every couple of years, which included new characters, fighter balancing, new features, etc. Capcom has introduced a new model in Street Fighter V, where updates will never need to be bought. Instead, purchases can be made by using Fight Money, which is earned in-game by levelling up characters and competing in Daily Challenges (which do not start until March), or by using Zenny (real world money). We’ve seen this model used and abused before, but Capcom promises that players will have access to all future content for free, including characters, balancing, and gameplay updates. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot tell if how much fight money will be needed to unlock content. Hopefully Capcom is using the Zenny option only as a bonus, and not to make Street Fighter V a $70 freemium game.

The framerate is slick, and the game plays wonderfully, but because of the art style, Street Fighter V doesn’t look much different or much better than Street Fighter IV. The music, however, is incredible! There are several tracks that mix classical score with electronic and dubstep to excellent effect, and the menu has a great djenty prog metal track that I got excited to hear every time it came on! It felt like playing Street Fighter II again, where I would choose Ken’s level just to hear the great music!

street fighter v

And this one gets its own paragraph: Capcom has promised that PS3 fight sticks are fully compatible with this PS4 version!

The Story Mode that can be played upon launch is leading up to a “Cinematic Story Mode” coming June 2016. Capcom also promises that the Battle Lounge will be expanded after launch. There will also be a Spectator Mode added, as well as a Challenge Mode, which will open with “Tips” and “Trials”, and more challenges to be added later. There will also be Daily Challenges beginning in March, to encourage players to fire up their consoles every day.

So much is being added after launch, that I feel like in a lot of ways, I’m reviewing an incomplete game. I cannot review what is yet to arrive. In the same breath I can clearly tell that what we’re seeing now is the base for an absolutely stellar overall experience. Trust that Capcom will be following through on their promises and only making better what is already technically fantastic. COGconnected will keep you updated as more features are added. If you are a Street Fighter fan, and are looking forward to seriously competing in this console generation’s great fighting game franchise, then your time has arrived.

*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***

The Good

  • Tight, balanced 2D-plane Street Fighter-perfect gameplay
  • Fantastic music
  • Lots of extra content on the way

The Bad

  • Only available modes are online, versus, and a brief story mode
  • Looks like Street Fight IV
  • ZenTzen

    i dare you to put SFV side by side with SFIV, and then honestly say that SFV looks like SFIV

    • JoinTheRest

      Looks the exact same

  • Since you wrote that SFV is “the best game of a generation” you can answer the question what exactly is making it better than Mortal Kombat X or Guilty Gear Xrd or?

    • Or Killer Instinct for that matter.

    • DontEatSmurfs

      for real ?
      how many people plays MKX online today ? with that crappy netcode imo MKX is right in the botton of fighting games

      • In this moment where I wrote around 1,503 players are online on PS4.

        Also, a fighting game is not bad if its netcode is bad. I play the tower challenges almost every week, have a couple of friends to play it with LOCAL.

        Gameplay but also content is what matters the most.

        • DontEatSmurfs

          dude…come on…internet match is what makes the FGC goes on, if the game has a nasty netcode guess what ? people are going to leave, guilty gear suffered a lot with that and lets not even talk about MKX because omg…i have nightmares until today from that netcode, the minority of players play offline, mostly casuals…offline game modes create lots of bad habits that online players laugh at, you cant compare the experience, the netcode alone is enought to drive people away from the game if the netcode is not good that means the game is terrible

          • Did you even read that they are currently adding a new netcode to the game?

          • DontEatSmurfs

            i know, but the crap netcode is still on…
            i had like 100 hours trying to play that game, the lag was so intense that most of my battles was who could lend one hit and win…combos ? what are those ?
            MKX has some terrible conection, dont know why you are defending it tho

          • I am defending it because I bought MKX at launch and had like 150 hours of fun playtime with it, both offline and online, both with friends offline and in the single player modes as well as online, and my experience was not so laggy. Sometimes, yes but the majority of the fights were without problems. It can be that YOU and also many others had many bad online experiences but that does not mean that everybody had them, and thats why I defend MKX of course. My experience with it were great.

            Btw read some discussions on shoryuken or gamefaqs or neogaf or..everywhere. Seems SFV has a fair share of netcode problems, seems their beta tests did not really help.

          • DontEatSmurfs

            well…you must be a especial piece of snowflake, i think its ok to not be into fighting games and all, i dont even care about casuals, just dont defend the piece of garbage that MKX is online, please, now i dont really know if its sad for the game or not…i spent 100 hours hating every single minute of the online mode, trying to lend one single combo with kitana but failing badly because of that piece of garbage kept teleporting and rolling back my dmg it was an experience i might add…and you come here and tell me that you spent wonders about your 150 hours of AWESOME BEST FIGHTING GAME EVER ?
            dude get out…stop…if the game was that fun at least 1000 hours hell fuck me make it 500 hours, thats the ammount of hours a fighting game player takes to apreciate the game, 150 ? you are just confirming to everyone that is reading this that you got so bored ( as much as i did ) and droped from the game, its cool to like the game…just dont act as you love fighting games and understand why online mode is so important for them…and that is fine

          • John

            Are you retarded?

          • Manzor

            Probably he is. And if he is, why are you asking him?


      Or Smash Bros

      • But Smash Bros is not a fighting game!


        • Manzor

          Black eyed mario disagrees. Street fighter V has a great gameplay…when it works. And when you have internet to play. And when you don’t feel tired of the 14-16 characters. And when you have a powerful machine to play it without the blurr screen mode. And…

          Well… Sorry T.T

    • Phantasystar77

      Rise of the Robots was a much better game then this trash.

      • Serious comment is serious.

        But wow, 3 days and I got no reply of the reviewer. Guess he just can’t answer that question.

    • LordAdamus

      Hi R. Hoffmann. When I was playing Street Fighter V, the netcode was great, and I stand by that gameplay-wise, it’s perfect. I know the launch was shitty, but that happened after I wrote this review. I loved Mortal Kombat, and I really like Guilty Gear (haven’t played nearly as much as MKX), but SFV is perfect tweaking/ evolution of SFIV, and I liked Mortal Kombat more than I like X. I said SFV was tough to review because so many of the features aren’t out yet. I spoke to the site editors and we decided to give SFV a score based on how it plays. It’s currently waaay too light on features, but eventually the game’s gonna be loaded with free content that it should’ve had on launch. I started the review by saying it was gonna be tough to score this. But I 100% standby that when SFV is working, gameplay-wise it’s totally a 9.5. All I got paid was free copy of the game. I promise that this is my no bullshit opinion.

      • Thanks for the answer ^^

        I bought it Tuesday, but could exchange it yesterday. Explained the server situation in the shop. Will most likely buy it again in a year.

        A lot other reviewers gave the game 8 or 9 scores as well on Monday or Tuesday, other reviewers who got and played the game later gave more like 5-6 scores after experiencing the launch situation online.

        In this case, basically reviewers couldnt know what happens, but personally alone the very low content already in comparison with other fighting games of the last years should be included in a review score through taking 2 points. In this case it was maybe not the best decision to gave the score completely based on the (good) gameplay.

        • LordAdamus

          Fair enough. My thought was to rate it an 8. But I also felt weird giving a fighter, that played so well, a score that low. Hopefully in a year, SFV will undoubtedly be a 9.5 once everything’s been released…

  • KashIsKlay

    Of the generation? I think that goes to MKX it was more so finished than street fighter


    No Arcade mode
    No Costumes Unlockable
    No vs CPU
    No Trials
    No arcade mode
    No arcade mode
    No arcade mode

    Really 95/100 wow I guess capcom didnt pay you for this article did they?

    • Phantasystar77

      They paid him well. You also forgot to mention the online play is busted. All this and a 6GB day one patch.

  • JoinTheRest

    95? How much did they pay you for this mess?

  • Matty Monticello

    You are one dishonorable fucker, giving this lump of garbage a 95 when you know it’s a barely releasable product at $20. I hope Capcom paid you well for your soul, because this review is total bull and you’re human excrement for accepting the bribe

  • Guest

    you should be one will ever see u as a professionel journalist can you give this game a 95??
    unbelievable !

  • Manzor

    95/100. An empty game. Just… great. Anything goes.
    Press reviews =/= Reality

  • Wtf?

    How could you give this broken piece of shit a 95? Why not just rate it the number of $ you were paid to write this

  • Johnny Perez

    You sir are not a reviewer , for shame.

  • contnet

    This game is hot garbage and you’re doing a disservice to gamers by convincing them to spend their money on unplayable crap. Shame on you for writing this.

  • Kalibos

    95? 95?!!! Are you smoking crack? You must be smoking dick, cuz crack don’t make you that stupid!

    Most dishonest review rating I have ever read. Shame on you dick mouthed crackheads!

  • Roasty my Toasty

    How much did crapcom paid you to tell these lies?

  • whereismymind86

    You are a disgrace to journalism.

  • reppa

    Lol we don’t have played the same game … or maybe you have tested USF 4 and not SF5.

    This website is now in my “non objective gaming website, where i never go again” …

    Lots of extra content on the way < when the content will be here i'll they're a lot …

    If you put 95/100 to sf5… that mean all other test you made got a 100/100 !