With the release of Street Fighter 6 just months away now, Street Fighter 5 is going through its final days under the spotlight. It was a polarizing game that caused many gamers to rage quit the franchise (at least temporarily) but it also has a lot going for it. It has retained a relatively strong active player base, sold a respectable 7 million copies, and is arguably the most balanced Street Fighter game to date.
It’s safe to say that the game must be doing -something- right if it has been able to produce such interesting moments and stories over its years, but if I’m honest, I have to say that because of all its victories and the fact that it is. got such a relatively good balance, it’s still not as fun as it could be thanks to a particular thorn in its side.
If I were to try to categorize said thorn, I’d say it’s an imbalance of risk versus reward that puts the game just on the edge of what fans expect from a Street Fighter entry.
The balance of risk versus reward is a thread that permeates most all levels of all competition. Too little risk and the reward loses meaning, and so we get bored. Too much risk and the reward feels unattainable or impossibly difficult, and we become either hopeless or frustrated. A well-calibrated approach to risk versus reward, however, produces an interesting sense of potential satisfaction.
You could think of it like a guitar string that needs the right amount of tension on both sides to produce a satisfying sound when plucked or strummed. I will add here that I am not talking about reward in terms of a prize for winning a tournament or receiving recognition from peers, but rather the feeling of victory contained in the game (so winning a round, winning an interaction, scoring). success, etc.).
Another key part of this is a puzzle is fan expectation. Street Fighter has been around for over 35 years now, and a certain formula for what Street Fighter is has naturally emerged. Capcom evolves this every time they release a new franchise entry, but deviate too quickly and fans won’t recognize your game as “Street Fighter” anymore.
On that same note, those who remember the Street Fighter 4 era will remember how much backlash Capcom received for that game’s selectable vortex option, which basically made it so that once certain characters knocked you down, you probably wouldn’t received another chance to hit them because they could stay on top of you and knock you down repeatedly until your life bar is empty.
Where did Street Fighter 5 go wrong when it came to risk and reward, exactly? I think it has to do with a combination of the way feet flow, and in no small part thanks to the V-Trigger effect. Some of the subject was directly addressed, but some of it remains to this day. Watch the full video below and give us a like, subscribe and comment on our YouTube Channel if you enjoy what you’re watching.
00:00 – Introduction
01:21 – The core importance of Risk versus Reward
02:14 – Fan expectations
04:08 – The feet of Street Fighter 5 at launch
06:04 – The effect of V-Triggers on overall Risk versus Reward
07:51 – The effect of V-Triggers on little feet
09:39 – Others