Review | Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
It’s been four years since the original release of Street Fighter V, a game where we once said it would be better when it was more complete. When it was originally announced, it was said that you would never have to buy another version of the game. Capcom has kept this promise, even after 2018’s release of the Arcade Edition. Now, after completing a third season, Capcom has released Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, making the definitive version of Street Fighter V. Available as a standalone game or as an upgrade, is it worth taking the plunge on this complete version?
Street Fighter V released with a pretty solid foundation, even if the game was originally lacking in content. Starting with just 16 characters, simple character stories and an online focused multiplayer, it left a lot to be desired. Now, after several updates, there’s a ton of content to check out. There are now 40 characters, 34 stages, a cinematic story mode, and an arcade mode that pays homage to older titles. It may have taken three seasons worth of content, but we finally got here.
Even with all the new content, it wasn’t enough to change the game. That’s where the balance and gameplay changes come in. The game introduced the V-System, which gave us V-Skills, V-Triggers, and V-Reversals. These abilities were at the very core of the game, and they were what set it apart from previous entries in the series. Eventually, we were given a second V-Trigger for each character, allowing for new spins on the existing roster. Now, with Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Capcom has added a second V-Skill for each fighter. This allows for more variety than ever before, which helps when going up against opponents online. Before, you were stuck with whatever character you chose with no options to change. Now, players can make last minute alterations to adapt to a situation. What’s great is that this part is actually free.
With deeper fighting mechanics, this opens the floodgate for a much richer experience. Though it’s not new to Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, the game has several popular modes. The cinematic story, “A Shadow Falls,” was added for free shortly after the original launch. While it’s a bit cheesy, it’s the first time a Street Fighter game has taken this approach to a narrative. Arcade Edition also added the long-awaited arcade mode, which gave fans the option to choose their arcade experience based on different Street Fighter titles. We even have Fighting Chance and Extra Battle to unlock new event costumes and other content. Street Fighter V is not the same game we once knew four years ago.
The World Warriors
As mentioned before, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition now boasts a 40 character roster. While there are some fighters still left out, this is perhaps the most diverse roster we’ve had in a Street Fighter game. We have the original eight world warriors from Street Fighter II, as well as multiple fighters from Street Fighter III, IV, and Alpha. There’s even a decent selection of Final Fight characters that have never appeared in a Street Fighter game before. We even have every major boss character in the series thanks to Seth’s inclusion.
Each fighter comes with their own unique V-Skills, V-Triggers, and V-Reversal. They also have a character specific story, that while simple, does delve more into their background a bit. Some of these stories create more questions than answers, and it’s unfortunate that we only get a small taste here. With characters of all types available, it’s easy for any Street Fighter fan to find a favorite. Perhaps you like the familiar feeling of Ryu, or maybe the mobility of Rashid? Maybe Abigail is more your style, taking his brutish style and delivering powerful blows to your opponents. Even the newly released Seth has a unique quality in taking his opponents moves.
As mentioned before, this roster is incredibly diverse. No fighters will play alike, even if they share some similarities. Even characters like Ryu and Ken are vastly different now, thanks to their V-Skills and V-Triggers. We even have a lot of newer fighters in the Street Fighter universe. Many are extensions of other fighters, like Sean’s sister Laura or Rose’s apprentice Menat. We even have Zeku, who Capcom fans will recognize the Strider Hiryu influence. While there can always be more room for new fighters, this roster does feel sufficient now.
Smoking Sexy Style
Another added bonus to Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is the inclusion of over 200 costumes. Each fighter comes with multiple costumes, some calling back to original appearances, and others set to various themes. There’s even some costumes based on characters from other Capcom franchises like Resident Evil or Devil May Cry. Sadly, this package doesn’t include the Fighting Chance costumes, which are earned by using Fight Money or Fortune Tickets. It also doesn’t include the CPT and promotional costumes for Red Bull. With this version available now, Fight Money sort of loses a lot of its use, as there isn’t much left to purchase with it.
While it’s great to have these costumes included, it does come with a drawback. Since a lot of these costumes were previously available, fans that may have had the game since launch may have already purchased one or more of these costumes. Unlike the characters, which are available for purchase with Fight Money, the costumes were only available for purchase with real money. For $25, a player can upgrade their copy of Street Fighter V to the Champion Edition and unlock all the content. Sadly, this doesn’t change the fact that a player may have already paid three times that for some of the content included here.
These costumes being included is great for newcomers, and it’s even fine for players that have bought the base game and nothing else. For anyone else who has invested in the game at any point, it sort of voids out all those previous transactions. At $30, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is a massive package that is well worth the price of admission. For only $5 less, anyone updating their base game might feel a little conned. It’s a tough call, but luckily, players would only have to use Fight Money to purchase characters like Seth.
The online multiplayer has been a big focus of Street Fighter V since the beginning. Players could play against others on PC or PlayStation 4 using crossplay, and now they can even train together. Unfortunately, lately fans have been complaining more and more about the netcode of the game. There has been a lingering issue where one player would have massive lag while the other would have a seamless experience. Luckily, the developers are addressing this in an update coming next week.
The online mode offers lobbies for casual matches, but the true competition lies in ranked mode. Players will climb up the ranks as they fight through various tiers of rankings. I myself haven’t gone any higher than Silver ranking, but I continue to try and never let it get me down. While not a new addition to Champion Edition, players can now also create their own dojo. When joining the Capcom Fighters Network, players can join a dojo and customize a community maintained stage. It’s a neat little feature, though it’s ultimately just for aesthetics.
As for all the other notable features in the game, Street Fighter V has finally become a complete package. Competitive players can go into the training mode, or even watch replays and monitor frame data. They can experiment with combos themselves, or even utilize various tutorials provided in the game. With 40 different characters to explore, and a lot of variety with the V-System, fans can fight the way they want. Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is truly the definitive Street Fighter V experience. After four years, the game is finally at the level that fans have come to expect from this series. As a package deal, the game is a great value. Buying it as an upgrade though may not be as rewarding.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10