Street Fighter V’s story mode is a little disappointing

3 min read
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Street Fighter V’s cinematic story update is out. It comes at two downloads totalling 16GB; one 8GB download for the content itself, and another 8GB patch that lets you use said content, and adds to fan favourite characters to the mix; the ninja Ibuki, and the boxer Balrog.

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The cinematic story helps flesh out the game a little, which was released largely void of any real single player features. It’s meant to be a little like the story modes you’d find in Netherealm’s fighting games; Injustice and Mortal Kombat. And it is. It’s just not nearly as good or engaging.

Mortal Kombat’s story mode’s biggest draw is how it seamlessly switches from its narrative to the fighting, something that just doesn’t happen with A Shadow Falls; there are far too many load times breaking up the action and the cut scenes, something I found really detracted from my enjoyment of it.

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And where those games give you a few rounds with each of the characters so that you’re start getting a feel for them, here you switch around with each very short, very easy fight, so you’re never really able to build up any sort of rhythm. The AI is laughable, so the fighting that does happen is really just there for you to do something in between the cut-scenes. An extra difficulty mode unlocks once you’ve punched and kicked your way through it, but that’s a few hours I probably won’t spend on this again.

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Worse was the odd, disjointed and largely nonsensical story itself. It’s yet another tale of some magical machine that’ll help Lord Bison become even more powerful, with some hacker-made moons controlled by odd chess piece like keys controlling them. It’s up to the world warriors and a few new characters to stop this, lest Bison become powerful enough to become unstoppable.

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The problem is its poorly written, filled to the brim with clichés and cheesy dialogue and just not fun to play through. Some of the new characters are introduced, and then disappear without rhyme or reason – showing how poorly they’ve been shoehorned in. Even Necalli, who we were promised would make a lot more sense following this story mode is confusingly introduced, and then just kicked to the curb. If he were removed altogether, it would make absolutely no difference to the story mode at all.

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If you’re a fan of the series and its convoluted canon, there are a number of fun cameos – particularly from just about every one of Bison’s Dolls. It’s also nice getting a little narrative context to the game’s levels, and the quips between characters who know each other are entertaining enough. It’s also nice getting to play as Juri and Urien a good while before they’re set to be released as DLC, and fans will likely get a good kick out of that.

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It’s cheesy, it’s badly written and it’s a mindless, mindlessly entertaining romp – but had this been included in the game at launch, Street Fighter V would have been better for it. There are hints that perhaps Street Fighter V may see more story modes attached to it in the future, and if Capcom learns from its mistakes with this one, and deliver something more entertaining next time.

If you’re not planning on playing through the story made, and just want to watch it all without any of the fleeting fights in between the cutscenes, you can do so here, courtesy of XusesGB.

Last Updated: July 4, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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