Gamers everywhere, listen up: Street Fighter 5 is here…and We. Cannot. Wait. Anyone who has spent some quality time with a game console in hand knows what we are talking about and shares our enthusiasm. Everyone else is probably confused and uninterested. But wait: allow us to enlighten you, because the video game industry is a big deal, and you should know what’s up. According to a recent article by The Consumerist, the video game industry is a $21 billion dollar business (yes that’s billion with a B). So where is all that money coming from? Well, recent reports from the ESA show that as of 2013 “59% of Americans play video games…in a country of about 315 million, that’s just shy of 186 million players.” And when games retail for approximately $50 a pop it adds up. All of those people who are spending a lot of time and money playing video games can’t be wrong.
And the Street Fighter game franchise is by far one of the most successful video games of all time. This fighting game franchise, which was first developed in 1987, has had major success worldwide. It began in arcades across the globe and then shortly after was made available for home use on computer systems. Over the year new generations of this game have been introduced to the gaming world, and while each version has been updated, enhanced and offers new and improved actions, features and characters, what remains consistent is that it is one of the most popular fighting games to date. The game is so popular that it has been launched into a comic series, a life action film, an anime film and animated TV series and more.
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So what happens when you play Street Fighter? When you play this game you are taking control of a main character who is a martial artist competing in a martial arts tournament, and you use a series of moves (think kicks, punches, hits) to win each fight. With each generation of the game new moves were added and new characters were introduced, and more recently 3D graphics were included as well as new storylines and attack techniques.
So what’s so exciting about the latest and greatest addition to the Street Fighter world? A lot, actually. Street Fighter V:5 arrived in February 2016 and there has been a lot of buzz about this game since its launch. The first major change to come with Street Fighter 5 is that, according to Capcom, it is “the first and last version of the game that will ever be released. It will still change through patches and downloadable content, but you will never have to buy a new copy of the game. Where Street Fighter II saw six arcade iterations, Street Fighter III three, and Street Fighter IV another five, Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono has promised that the version of Street Fighter V that releases in February 2016 will be “the only version you need.” That’s pretty awesome news for the diehard, loyal and long-term fans who are sick and tired of having to purchase a new game every few years when an updated version is released.
Next, the characters in this latest iteration of Street Fighter might seem familiar, but they’ll also seem new. According to reviews there are fewer characters to choose from in this version of SF, but each one offers more depth, more detail and more interesting personality traits that play out on screen. The sets of moves used by each character differ, making each character feel fresh, unique and exciting both in their actions and their looks.
Let’s assume you are just a casual gamer who likes to play SF once in a while when you have time to kill. You might be a little disappointed with the single-player options with the game. Some argue it is lacking excitement and support when played in single player mode, but on the flip side, there is a lot more content and opportunity if you are looking for competitive play. Perhaps it is because the online gaming world has changed drastically since 2008, when the last Street Fighter came out, but according to Capcom’s Matt Dahlgren, “there is more opportunity now for competitive players than we’ve ever had in the history of the genre, and we are constantly sharing the excitement of fighting games with the Capcom Pro Tour to new audiences. With Street Fighter 5, the game is more accessible and more intuitive than ever before in the series, so this is the perfect time for anyone to jump in and have fun.” In fact, there is an entire online network of gamers looking to compete, and there are even local events, tournaments and boot camps where people face off and flaunt their best Street Fighter skills.
And arguably the most exciting part about Street Fighter 5 is that there is more to come. While this might be the last and only version of the game itself that you’ll ever need, there is still more content to come. More downloadable content is promised to become available this summer, as well as a more expanded cinematic story mode (which will play out like a movie or slideshow from the perspective of a specific character). The creators of the game urge users to think of Street Fighter as less of a basic game and more as a game service that will improve and evolve over time. You might have to wait a little bit for this new content, but it’s coming, and word on the street is that it will be worth the wait.