Thoughts on Street Fighter V Arcade Edition

I’ve been a huge Street Fighter fan ever since the first time I played SF2 on my friend’s SNES. Despite playing many early versions, my love for the game truly came to fruition during the Street Fighter Alpha run on the original Playstation console. I played the hell out of SFA3… to the point where anyone that had come to my house and played against me for a while ended up not wanting to play the next time they came around. Honestly, I probably wasn’t that good at the game, but I think I just played it more often than my opponents. With newer iterations of the game though, gone are the days that you actually need to know people who want to play, no you don’t even have to get someone to come over to your house. The Internet truly is a magically thing.

So it’s been a couple of years since the release of Street Fighter V, which is the newest entry in the main series and though I pre-ordered the title, it didn’t release with a whole lot to do. It wasn’t a complete and total disappointment, but it wasn’t what fans were expecting. A couple of months after release, the Story mode was added and then throughout 2016 there was a “season” of characters that were added to the game. Another DLC package dubbed “season 2” added more characters to the game. Fast forward to this year, and we now have Street Fighter Arcade Edition. I recall something similar happening with Street Fighter IV, and though we live in the age of DLC and yearly game entries I’m glad that Capcom has charged minimally for these DLC packages and has avoided turning a title like this into a yearly affair.

This new packaging of the game includes the free updates that have dropped over the past couple of years and bundles in the first two season’s worth of characters at a lower entry rate than the original title. There is already the option to pick up the 3rd season of characters as well, but that will cost you. The Arcade edition patch was free for owners of the base game, which is a nice gesture except that I paid for both the other seasons not so long ago (both within the last year, but the 2nd season was over the holidays). From what I have read this was free for those who owned the base game, but in-game it kind of seems like you still have to pay for those characters, so I’m not really sure which is the case, but nonetheless I am current to this point.

Outside of the obvious logo change I posted above, the menus have changed around a bit as well, with some new game modes being added with this patch. Extra Battle is one of the new features, and in it you’ll receive a quest of sorts to finish a fight against a special character (currently there’s one to face off against Shin Akuma) or a round of fights that give special rewards. I have yet to beat one, but it’s a nice addition. These cost Fight Points (FP) to join though, and apparently these points can be used for other things but I haven’t figured that out yet.

Arcade mode is the other big addition. It gives you a number of different battles to fight though and you can choose the character you use from a predetermined list. Then each level you get to choose from two opponents who you want to face next.

These story lines are supposed to be reflective of the story that is congruous throughout the 5 main series titles, and only include characters from those games (as far as I can tell). I played through the Street Fighter storyline with Ken, but there were others I could have played and I suppose this gives you a similar experience as if you were playing said title, having only those characters involved. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the storyline though, nor should I imply that I care. It’s a fighting game, you’re only out to kick some ass.

And ass kicking will happen. Sometimes you do it, sometimes you receive it.

After checking out the new content in the game, I jumped online for some fights against random internet denizens. Let’s just say I got my ass handed to me by this little lady:

I rematched and lost again to boot. I did rectify my loss by twice pummeling a Ryu player shortly thereafter before calling it a night. I will agree with the critics here when I say that this is the game as it should have been upon release, and I’m glad it’s finally here despite being a now two year old title. Still, there’s something to be said about having plenty of modes to hone your skills before jumping online to be beaten by a kid living in his mother’s basement.

Quick Thoughts: Bloodborne, Destiny & Street Fighter V

One of the major reasons for picking up a PS4 were the exclusives that I was interested in. To this point in time the major one that was sticking out in my head was Bloodborne, as I’m a pretty big fan of the Souls games. I bought that the same day I got the system, along with the other games I’ve already mentioned that weren’t console-exclusive. I had contemplated buying Street Fighter V for the PC but I’ve always loved the Playstation controller for fighting games, so that was naturally something I was going to buy on the console. I wasn’t expecting to pre-order it, but with my recent upswing in income I didn’t feel so bad picking it up and having it pre-loaded for release day. I did get basically everything else on sale, so I was mostly being good. I did splurge again though, when I spotted a deal for Destiny’s Taken King Legendary Edition on Amazon. Signing up for Prime got me the game for $40 along with free next day shipping. In the words of the Godfather, they gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. That one is also console-exclusive, so it’s not like I could have waited for a Steam sale to get an even better deal. So mostly, I’ve purchased games that weren’t available on PC or that I could play with my friends who also own the PS4 in the short time I’ve owned the system. So in my usual fashion, I figured I could round up some of my initial impressions of these into a post.

Bloodborne-Logo-PS4

Despite being a game that doesn’t have the name “Souls” in it, Bloodborne was still designed by From Software, so it’s still a Souls game through and through. It does have some distinct differences however, in that the controls are tighter, there isn’t a block function and everything is faster paced. You are rewarded for being more aggressive, whereas I feel you needed to be a bit more passive in the other Souls games I’ve played. To be clear, I’ve only beaten Demon’s Souls back on PS3. I own Dark Souls on PC, but I only played it a little bit. Beating that, and Dark Souls II is still on my list, along with completing Bloodborne itself and eventually picking up Dark Souls III which releases in April. I definitely have my work cut out for me. Graphics and sound are top notch, the setting is decidedly victorian, van helsing and gothic. I’ve loved what I’ve played so far, and I’ve only beaten one boss at this point. I did happen to record the video of the first boss battle, which I will share shortly. Overall, I really enjoy the game and can’t wait to see more of it. Highly recommended if you own a PS4.

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I’m as surprised as you are that I now own Destiny. As I mentioned I got a pretty sweet deal on all of the available content to date, and I already know several people that have or are still playing it. I dragged some friends into playing it with me when I first got it all installed and patched up. One thing I can definitely say is that this is not an MMO. It surely has some elements that will make it feel MMO-like, but it’s more shooter than anything. A loot based shooter. At times I felt like I was playing Borderlands. At other times, it felt more like Halo. I’m not the biggest Halo fan but I have played enough of it to find some parts enjoyable. The same goes for this title, in that I really enjoy the gun play, but I could really care less about the story. That tends to be how I feel about most MMOs though, so maybe Destiny is more MMO-like than I want to give it credit for. Either way, it’s something I don’t expect to sink a ton of time into, but it’s still a game that looks to be fun for a while with friends. I don’t have any video or pictures to share from this title just yet, I only played through a handful of missions and hit level 6 before I logged off the other night. I will definitely play some more of it and see if I can’t get some pictures and things to share later on.

Street-Fighter-V-logo

I was excited for Street Fighter V the moment I found out about it. I have always loved Street Fighter, and have played nearly every iteration since number two. I will probably always love Street Fighter, so buying this game was a no-brainer. In the age of the Internet, there are always people to play against as well, so until SF6, I don’t have to worry about finding opponents for a few years at least. It was disappointing though, when I already had the game pre-loaded and literally watched the unlock timer count down to zero so I could play right at release, only to find that I couldn’t connect to the servers. It was frustrating, but I played some single player in offline mode and saw the potential this game holds. I really wish devs would get their shit together for releases, especially considering Capcom is a huge company, but it is what it is. I was going to buy this game one way or the other, and I’m not disappointed. The following night I was able to play, and ran through some of the story mode before trying some casual matches against random players. I ended up losing my first match, but it was rather close. I did win my second match, and have the video to share:

Overall I really enjoy the smoothness of the animations, the art direction, the controls and the feel of the game. It’s going to be truly epic when they actually finish the damn thing. There’s probably another rant brewing there, but I’m just going to bask in the glory that is Street Fighter and pretend that it doesn’t have some issues facing it.

That’s all for today. Happy Gaming!

What I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

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The New Year is here, and now that the holiday festivities are over, we can get back to focusing on the next wave of great games that will be releasing. Over the past month the blogosphere (and Internet at large) has been listing off its favorite games, moments and stuff of 2015 but why stop now? Let’s kick off 2016 with a list of games I’m most looking forward to, and some titles that I’m hoping for more information about.

Coming This Year:

Street Fighter V (February)

I’m a Street Fighter fan boy. Always have been, always will be. The mechanics required to play the game are superior to that of any other fighting game in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to the next title in the series, as I enjoyed Street Fighter IV, but I think there are some better characters in this iteration. I also love the fact that you don’t need a bunch of friends to be able to have people to play against (like we used to back in the day), you can just hook up with people online. Many fighting games die out over time, but Street Fighter tends to have staying power in that department. I hope to get this one on release.

XCOM 2 (February)

I loved XCOM back when it was a 2-D pixellated mess, and I especially loved the reboot of the series. I played the game on both console and PC, and look forward to seeing how the battles and grand strategy will play out this time. Apparently the aliens run Earth in the sequel, so you’re in charge of reforming the XCOM program and taking back earth. It’s not a huge twist, but it should be interesting enough.

Uncharted 4 (April)

I’ve talked about Uncharted 4 a few times over the past couple of years. It was announced at E3 year before last, and was on the last two of my E3: Most Anticipated lists, but it deserves a slot here as well because it’s actually coming out. The multiplayer beta was running a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed that as well. It took the best elements of the multiplayer from 2 and 3 and ditched some of the stuff I didn’t really care for. The addition of the grappling hook adds a new element to an already vertically-minded game. I can’t wait to see how the story shakes up as well, in what will likely be the last entry into the series. I’m also hoping that we hear what Naughty Dog has up their sleeves in the way of a new series. Or perhaps we’ll be hearing about The Last of Us 2? One can only hope.

Doom (Spring)

DOOM, as it’s being called (but was at one point referenced as “Doom 4”) is sort of a reboot of the series. It’s taken the fast-paced, hip-firing action of the originals and paired that with today’s graphical capabilities. The campaign looks to be solid, carnage-filled fun, and the multiplayer reminds me of Quake III Arena. I managed to play some of the multiplayer Alpha on PS4 and it ran beautifully. I had technical hiccups when trying to play it on my PC though, so hopefully that won’t be the case once it releases. Either way it had an old school feel that was very welcoming and I look forward to it!

No Man’s Sky (June)

Provided this game goes off without a hitch, and is as grand as the vision I have of it, this will likely be my GOTY for 2016. I’ve spoken about it many times on the podcast and on this blog (it too made the last 2 of my E3 Most Anticipated lists), but it’s supposed to be out this summer. Originally I was under the impression that it was a Playstation exclusive, but it appears to be launching on PS4 and PC simultaneously. Either way it still looks fantastic and I can’t wait to go exploring. I’m torn as to which platform I should buy it on, because I’m hoping to have a PS4 with my tax return this year. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what the multiplayer situation is going to look like. I have far more friends on Steam than on Playstation Network.

Mass Effect Andromeda (Q4)

This is slated for a quarter 4 launch but it’s a possibility that the game gets delayed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. That doesn’t stop me from being very intrigued. I loved the Mass Effect games, though I still need to get ahold of the first title, as it wasn’t ported until much later (originally an Xbox exclusive). I’m sure Bioware is going to have a whole new world with familiar ideas prepared for us, and I can’t wait to dive into another worthy Sci-Fi RPG.

Divinity Original Sin 2 (December)

I’ve honestly not played enough of the Original game, but I know that I rather enjoyed what I did play of it. Since this isn’t launching until December, I have the year to beat the original and be prepared for the sequel. I’m sure that it will be just as good. I’m a bit of a fan of the isometric RPGs of old, so I might be biased. Here’s hoping it doesn’t suck.

Final Fantasy IX PC (TBA)

Final Fantasy IX released back in 2000 on the original Playstation. One of three main-series Final Fantasy games to debut on the system, for some reason this one isn’t available on PC yet, despite pretty much every other title being on Steam already. Besides VII, this is my favorite in the series but I never got to finish it because my Playstation was stolen when my apartment got broken into. I’ve though about buying the downloadable classic version on my PS3 a few times, but now that it’s coming to PC I’ll likely just pick it up via Steam. I’m starting to toy with the idea of playing through them all, but I’d have to start collecting them from the beginning, as I currently only own Final Fantasy Tactics, and that’s it.

Dark Souls III (TBA)

Another fantastic game series that I’m too far behind on. I played through and completed Demon’s Souls, the first of the Souls games to come out as a Playstation exclusive on PS3. Dark Souls soon followed, and I own that one on PC, but haven’t beaten it just yet. I have Dark Souls II on my Steam wish list, and Bloodborne is a title I can’t wait to pick up once I grab my PS4. Dark Souls III will likely be a PC purchase just to keep that series all on one platform. As this one is still “to be announced” it’s possible it won’t release this year, but I think it will pop up. I’ll just have to dig into the older titles or it’ll end up in the backlog.

Allison Road (TBA)

This is one of those under-the-radar titles. Remember PT, the Silent Hills demo-thing? That whole deal got nixed when Konami and Kojima parted ways, but apparently the PT demo got some fan attention. Enough so, that a fan-created full-fledged game is coming, and it’s called Allison Road. Honestly, it looks equal amounts of creepy and awesome, and definitely has the same feeling to it that PT had. I just hope that they manage to keep things compelling. It’s supposed to release this year, but we’ll see.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead (TBA)

I didn’t hear about this game at all somehow. I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, including the show and the comics, but the only game that’s really hit the mark when it comes to that IP was TellTale’s two seasons that were mostly based on the comics. There have been other titles, but they were pretty meh. This one is also supposed to be based on the comics and looks more like The Last of Us, in that it’s a mixture of survival horror and gunplay. If I hadn’t been doing research for this article I wouldn’t have heard of this game at all (yet) so I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

Want More Information:

Final Fantasy VII Remake

This is the second trailer to have come out since E3 last summer, and it shows more in-game footage, but we still don’t have a total picture for the game. I feel like it’s going to be fantastic, but I’m not sure that it will make it out this year. As my favorite of the series, I can’t wait to see this in action and I hope that it holds true to the nostalgia while eliminating some of the dated annoyances coming from old-school mechanics.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Another great classic title that is being remade. Capcom has gone pretty crazy with Resident Evil remakes lately, as many of the older titles have received HD upgrades. The original had a remake from top to bottom though, and it looks a hell of a lot better than it did back in ’95. This looks to be something of the same, where it’s not just an HD (resolution) upgrade, it’s supposed to be reworked from the ground up. If they preserve the storyline but give it a new coat of paint it should be pretty good. Time will tell, but it’s likely we won’t see this one release in 2016.

Crowfall

The game that still remains my MMO of the future, the next MMO I plan to play, the only MMO I’m looking forward to. Crowfall. There has already been some pre-alpha testing, and it’s likely they’ll be into either deep alpha or early beta testing by the end of the year. This latest video from the devs focuses on new systems added to the game, crows and vessels, which is a brand new concept in an MMO world, and looks to tackle some of the issues present in the current crop of titles on the market. Honestly I’ve been hating on MMOs for a long time, but I still love them. I just don’t love what’s on offer (even if I dip my toes in them once in a while). Crowfall is the only game I’ve ever backed on Kickstarter, and there’s a good reason for that. They are trying new things and sound like they’re going to hit the nail on the head. I can’t wait to see what further developments occur and I hope that it meets expectations.

Indivisible

Finally, a game that came out of left field for me. I happened to get Skullgirls packed in with a Humble Bundle, and as a result caught word of that developer’s next project, called Indivisible. The Kickstarter page had a downloadable alpha demo that was surprisingly fun and unique. The game combines platforming and turn based RPG mechanics with some elements from 2-D fighting games like Street Fighter. It’s hard to describe, but cool to play with. They were successfully funded but the game isn’t due until 2018, so I’m just hoping for more information before year’s end.

So there you have it. What games are you looking forward to the most in 2016?

#E32015: Most Anticipated

Somewhere along the lines I got my dates mixed up. I was under the impression that E3 didn’t start until Tuesday or Wednesday, and it actually started on Sunday, briefly. That was Bethesda’s day to throw out information and a myriad of titles. Today, it was all about Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony. Tomorrow is Nintendo, SquareEnix and the PC gala. Tomorrow there should be some information coming out of the PC show that will interest me, but the bulk of the games I was excited to learn more about have already come and gone, so I feel like I can already make this list without hesitation. I made a list just like this last year, and despite highly anticipating those titles, there’s only a portion of them I’ve actually played to this point, there’s some that aren’t out yet, and a couple will be repeated on today’s list. We talked about a number of games we were psyched about on a recent episode of Couch Podtatoes, and now there’s more information packed into these trailers that answered a lot of my questions from the show. I’m not going to rehash that same list because not all of those games were talked about at the Expo just yet, and because these are the games that I’m extremely excited for, right now. With the introduction out of the way, here’s my most anticipated games from #E32015 (in no particular order):

Doom 4

Why I’m excited: We’ve known about Doom 4 for a bit now. The fact that the game would be revealed at E3 this year was no secret, but seeing the game in action was more than I was expecting. Not only does it seem to have steered away from the survival horror of it’s most recent (recent? It’s been ten years!) predecessor, but it picked up the pace, replicating the action sequences I knew and loved as a kid. It’s gory too, but that’s something you’d come to expect from a game famous for chainsawing demons in half and utilizing “big fucking guns.” Now I need to go back and actually finish Doom 3. Like soon.

Fallout 4

Why I’m excited: I was hesitant about Fallout 4. Fallout 3 and Borderlands were the first two games I bought for my PS3 when I picked it up back in 2009. Fallout 3 was already on it’s collectors edition, and man I loved the look of it. I loved the interactive character creation that lead you through your early life into adulthood. I loved the atmosphere. I loved blowing up the town at the beginning of the game, setting off the nuke it was built over and watching from afar, cackling to myself maniacally. I didn’t enjoy the use of the VATS system though, and that feature alone made it to where I didn’t play the game very far. I remember being frustrated that when I chose not to use that system, and went at combat in a purely FPS fashion, it felt like I was just wasting bullets. Slowing down the game to target things just didn’t feel right. Watching this trailer eased some of my worry. You’ll see the player being able to quickly and flawlessly switch between the two modes, and both seem equally effective. I can see where VATS would be useful, but I can see where I wouldn’t want to use it all of the time. However, this does make me feel like I may have been too hard on the 3rd installment, and that I might also want to give New Vegas a whirl. Perhaps I’ll get that in before the release of #4. Time will tell.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Why I’m excited: This is a carry-over entry from last year’s list, but with good reason. My love for the Uncharted series hasn’t waned whatsoever in the past year, and with the announcement that the “Nathan Drake Collection” is coming for PS4 as well, you can get all of the Uncharted goodness in one place, and all up to current-gen standards. Also, there’s actual gameplay footage this time around, and despite the fact that it’s still the same old Uncharted, it looks fucking phenomenal. The only question it didn’t answer is “how is the multiplayer?” but that’s okay, as I’m sure that information is coming. I cannot wait for this title, it’s a console seller.

No Man’s Sky

Why I’m excited: Another carry-over from last year is No Man’s Sky. I was absolutely psyched to see the extra gameplay we were able to see this time around. It’s clear that the universe that has been procedurally generated by Hello Games’ ridiculous engine is by far the most ambitious video game feat I’ve ever seen. I think Eri hit the nail on the head when she said that this engine alone is going to make the company a shitload of money. We also get to see some space battling, more planetary exploration along with how the worlds are fully destructible. I’m impressed that they managed to cram voxel technology into their game as well. This is probably my most anticipated game out of them all, and it was said that the release date will be announced “soon.” I absolutely need to get a PS4 ASAP.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Why I’m excited: Yet another Playstation exclusive (til it’s eventually ported) that I can’t wait to see more of. This particular trailer didn’t give us anything except for a feel for the world and a taste of what Cloud and Barrett will look like. I’d really like to see what the combat and other in-game aspects will look like, but we’ll have to wait a bit to find out more. I do have to say that I will mirror Talarian’s sentiment, in that I’d prefer that the music, locations, characters and overall story stay in tact, but that they can take the old-school JRPG combat and shove it. I loved the Materia system, but the endless random battles to level up and the “mostly just holding down the Confirm button and letting your party auto-attack its way to victory” needs to go. Spice it up a little. The whole world wants this remake, let it be amazing. FFVII got me into the series as a whole, and will forever be my favorite, despite some of it’s archaic ways.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Why I’m excited: This one came out of left field. The developers for Kill Zone have created a whole new IP. When the trailer starts, I was thinking to myself that it looked like a Turok: Dinosaur Hunter remake, but this was not the case. The backstory is interesting enough, and the gameplay was fast, beautiful, and deadly. Huge Dinosaur robots? Yeah, I need this game in my life.

Star Wars: Battlefront

Why I’m excited: We’ve known about the new Battlefront game for a while now. It’s been on the Origin Launcher for some time, but seeing it in action makes me want it that much more. I’m not super big on Battlefield, and since DICE is making this game, you know there will be some similarities. However, it’s Star Wars and there’s so much awesome packed into this trailer there’s no way a fan of the IP couldn’t be excited for this. I probably won’t buy it day one, because of the shitty launch to Battlefield 4, but I’ll definitely get it at some point.

Street Fighter V

Why I’m excited: Street Fighter V was announced a while back as well, but seeing some more of it in action is never a bad thing. They are doing some stupid shit with “console exclusive characters” but it’s not the first time something like this has happened in a fighting game, and those characters tend to become DLC for other platforms eventually. The characters they showed as being exclusive to PS4 were Birdie and Cammie, two fighters I never really cared for anyway. One way or the other, as a huge fan of the Street Fighter series, I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Why I’m excited: Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are that I’m including this game in this list. But, as I’ve alluded to a couple of times prior to this, I’ve been a fan of Treyarch’s versions of Call of Duty since the first Black Ops, and this one feels like a huge jump for the series. My boycott may have officially ended, as I see multiple features that speak to me. First, in this trailer you’ll see that they finally added co-op to the campaign mode, and removed some of the on-rails aspects, allowing you to customize your kit before heading into battle. Secondly, they added in some of the features that Titanfall has, in that the acrobatics you can perform are very similar now. Third, there’s fucking Zombies mode, and that’s my shit right there. I’m actually really looking forward to this one.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Why I’m excited: Me and Eri pondered if there would be some sort of Mass Effect announcement, but we figured that it wouldn’t have anything to do with Sheppard. From what I can gather in this trailer, which really isn’t much except for a teaser, we were correct in believing that this game is part of that universe, but will be a completely different storyline. Or maybe it’s just a big mashup of their multiplayer from ME3? We won’t know until more information is released, but for now, I think it’s safe to say a new Mass effect is on it’s way, and that’s exciting.

The Walking Dead: Michonne

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Why I’m excited: No trailer here, but this mini-series from Telltale has been announced. It’s a three part game, which will require at least the first episode of The Walking Dead season two, meaning it’s more expansion than full game (think 400 Days from season 1). It’s supposed to cover Michonne’s activity where she goes missing during a story arc from the comics, and since I’m no where near that far along in reading them, I don’t really know what that means exactly. However, Telltale has been good about presenting you the needed information up to that point in the game, so I don’t think it will be an issue. Either way, I love Telltale games and The Walking Dead, so I’m looking forward to this one.

#E32015 #gaming #gametrailers