When a little eight-year-old boy first put a chip in an arcade in 1992, little did he know that his life would change forever. In the company of his friends, he pressed the start button and entered the character selection screen of Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition. The chosen character was M. Bison and after just one round, the boy was in love.
For years, the boy’s trajectory in arcades followed the evolution of Capcom’s franchise. All this culminated on February 16, 2016, when the then-32-year-old boy-adult saw Street Fighter V be released.
Act one: street training
For much of his childhood and adolescence, Ryu and Chun Li’s fighting game series was a strong presence in the boy’s life. Playing different editions such as the Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, 3DO, the Nintendinho pirates and that not-so-excellent version of the Master System, the little fan grew up around hadoukens and spinning bird kicks.
Like many game-loving kids in the 1990s, the boy made sure he escaped from school to sneak into arcades, which were full of unreliable people, to spend his lunch money on some chips. When possible, I was able to pay for an hour or two at game stores to try out other titles.
Super Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter the Movie, the series VS, Street Fighter 3 e Street Fighter IV. Each of these games was active at some point in the player’s life, spanning the 90s, the 2000s until around 2010. The franchise was already part of his personality, materialized happiness.
So it was to be expected that the excitement would be huge with the imminent announcement of Street Fighter V. The player was no longer a boy, his nearly 30 years of age indicated experience, but a child’s joy in his eyes whenever the subject was video games. On December 6, 2014, the news that Capcom’s next venture would be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 made him make an obvious decision: buy the console.
Act Two: The Desolation
One month after purchasing the console, pre-purchasing Street Fighter V was guaranteed and, as a bonus, a beta version of the game would be released to enthusiasts. The marketing campaign was encouraging, with trailers that lit up the shoryuken of nostalgia for the veteran characters and sparkled eyes with new names like Necalli and FANG.
When the beta was released, the title turned out to be cute and fun. On the other hand, the connection of the matches left something to be desired, frustrating many fans around the world, including our player. His optimism remained alive despite that, he was sure he was still on the cusp of playing the best game the franchise had ever seen. Street Fighter could offer.
However, the official launch was not very grandiose.
Right away, it looked like SFV had been released hastily. The initial cast of 16 characters offered good options for different tastes, but without the online matches to bring salvation, all that was left was a tedious survival mode and a few shallow stories between each fighter.
Nothing like an arcade mode to face a boss at the end of the course or a more robust story like those presented in titles like Mortal KombatX Where Injustice: Gods Among Us. It was not uncommon to see other people complaining on social media. A fair claim, no doubt.
Instead of ruffling around the internet, our player-optimist, directed energy into confrontations with opponents — whether to test his skills or see how far he could reach in the online rankings. However, even saying that I didn’t think the presence of game modes like “Arcade” or “History” was so important, the disappointment in finding such an incomplete work was undeniable.
Focusing on training mode and online matches seemed like the best (if not the only) path for the player. Choosing a character (or puppet, depending on your taste) and learning their tricks and strategies is something that many fans of this genre enjoy doing. Even more so when it is possible to connect to the internet to face other competitors across the globe.
Unfortunately, another disappointment arose just as the first matches started. The connection just wasn’t good. Most of the matches suffered from lag, which could fall out of nowhere and penalize combatants. It was difficult to understand how such mastery by Capcom, in previous titles, was lost on the plane across the map.
In the end, Street Fighter V it was heartbreaking.
Act Three: Perseverance
But he didn’t give up.
Over time, Capcom released new characters via DLC, added a more complete story mode, and introduced a more classic arcade mode. All to please both casual adventurers and determined competitive ones.
Therefore, our player remained active in Street Fighter V in their endeavors”Arcade Edition” e “Champion Edition“. Experiencing the varied cast of characters and learning against other fans.
On the other hand, connecting online matches never delivered what fans expected. Few improvements have occurred, but nothing from a more competent server, for example. Criticism continued. In an act of desperation, the player even more than doubled his internet bandwidth and created tethers between the PS4 and the router with a network cable.
Three seasons (or three years) later, a feeling of tiredness came over the player. The fights, against Capcom servers or other competitors, didn’t make him feel that the training paid off. The interest was already evading for other works, the blow was only right when a new fighter was announced. As a game as a service, the developer always found a way to pull the fan back, so it was from Balrog to Luke in DLCs.
Championships took place and new seasons followed, totaling five. Even as the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, Alex and Juri’s love for the franchise continued in online tournaments. Like many people, it’s not enough to just play, watching tournaments among the best in the world is also important within this community.
With the last season in 2021, the lifespan of Street Fighter V is nearing the end.
Ato quatro: o deja vu
There were more than 600 hours during the years in which the Capcom game was present on our protagonist’s PS4. It is true that the amount of matches has decreased recently, but the excitement for the fighting franchise is still high.
Being able to perform incredible combos with Sakura or maintaining the psychological game with Vega were unforgettable moments in the countless fights held. The player faced friends in meetings, faced powerful opponents online, got frustrated with problems and even followed each EVO, TRETA, Capcom Cup and several other championships. He’s seen idols like Daigo Umehara and PR Balrog win and lose, but he’s always had fun.
The feeling that each player is more than ready to face an unprecedented challenge is alive in everyone’s heart. Well, even with the ups and downs of SFV, it is undeniable that hundreds of hours of fun were achieved by those who dared to stay active.
An announcement of a new game in the series is closer than it seems. Like many other fans of Street Fighter, the kid who grew up with the franchise eagerly awaits the next chapter to insert a chip, pick a fighter, and fall in love all over again.
Nothing is set. Will Ricardo need to buy a PlayStation 5 to continue in street fights?