Alex Enters The Ring As Capcom Tries to Improve Street Fighter V

Alex Enters The Ring As Capcom Tries to Improve Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V had a rough start, but the next character is on his way alongside a new patch.

Capcom has detailed the new fighter coming to Street Fighter V, alongside an upcoming patch. Street Fighter III grappler Alex is the first new character being added to SFV's roster. Alex is still a mid- to close-range grappler like he was before, with his all-new V-Skill (Overhaul) giving him a powerful charge attack and his V-Trigger (Rage Shift) being a clothesline that can parry and break guard on a full charge.

As promised, if players have been dutifully playing Street Fighter V and complete all of the existing Story content, they should be able to purchase Alex with Fight Money.

Alex will come in the update scheduled to go live later this month. That update lacks the full Cinematic Story Mode or the potential Arcade Mode single-player Street Fighter V fans are looking for, but does add a Challenge Mode to the title. The mode offers tutorials for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced players and character-specific tutorials focusing on attacks and combos. Challenge Mode also includes Trials, which will charge players with completing difficult combos with all 16 characters. Finishing the Trials will earn extra Fight Money.

Other improvements see the necessary addition of an online rematch options and kicking up of the Battle Lounge participant number to 8 people. The in-game Shop will also be added with this update, letting players purchase costumes they've already unlocked in Story Mode or DLC characters. Then there's the balance changes, which include increasing the vertical and back jump frames and changing the timing on Throw Escapes.

Capcom needs to improve and iterate on Street Fighter V very quickly, because the player reception wasn't the best. I assumed that SFV launched with a lack of content because Capcom was trying to release in time for the announcement of EVO 2016's lineup. The lack of Ultra Street Fighter IV in favor of Street Fighter V points to that being the right conclusion. Unfortunately, this handicapped the game's reception outside of the hardcore fighting game community.

That seems to be reflected in the sales. For the NPD Group's February 2016 report, Street Fighter V on PlayStation 4 was number 7 on the Top 10. Street Fighter V sold less than Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, the latest Naruto fighting game from Bandai Namco. There's caveats to that - Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, while the NPD doesn't count Steam sales - but it wasn't the best debut. It's first week Japanese sales came to 46,836, around half of the debut number for Street Fighter IV.

Street Fighter V has sold well for a fighting game, but below the expectations for Street Fighter. Those lack of sales can potentially be attributed to the lack of features in SFV, which led to poor word of mouth. Capcom is still a few updates away from things like the Cinematic Story Mode, which may help the game with dissatisfied players. Perhaps that addition, a few more characters, and EVO 2016 will push Capcom's Street Fighter-as-a-Service forward this Summer.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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