Monday, April 11, 2016

Street Fighter V Hurts My Hands

I picked up Street Fighter V on a whim. Everything I'd heard about it said "Dave, don't pick up this game, it's not for filthy casuals". But it was in a Redbox and I thought, why not? So I grabbed the game and played it for a bit over three nights. Then I returned the Redbox and bought the digital copy. With the season pass.

Part of it is the fault of the Super Best Friends. They got me hyped for fighting games. It's like MMORPGs where you have to learn a different language to understand them. Footsies! Frame data! It's all beyond me but it's interesting.

The game itself is, charitably, a train wreck. The art style is okay, sometimes good, sometimes not good at all. The menu is shit. The story mode (prequel mode?) is shit, and the real story mode won't be out until June? July? Maybe August at this rate. Survival is a special hell for obsessives. I'd have returned the game on the first day if the actual fights weren't so good.

The fights are not just good. The fights are fantastic. It's Street Fighter! The fights have always been fantastic. It is the fighting game that all other fighters bow to, now and forever. I wish it didn't take five minutes to find each new fight. I guess it's to save gamers from getting arthritis in the first month of the game's release.

Oh God, the loading times. The network search times. It's still better than Mortal Kombat, where fights just lost connection or lagged for no damn reason. But them I stomp Ryu underneath Laura's electrified heel and all is good again.

But Survival. Survival is breaking me. Survival will give me the arthritis.

30 rounds, 50 rounds, 100 rounds, all in a row but the only ones that matter are the last three fights, the toughest fights. Lose here and you lose everything. No experience, no fight money, no matter how many rounds (25 rounds, 27 rounds, 29 rounds) you cleared, even if you just flat out dropped your network connection and the game shit out all your progress for no fucking reason.

But I have to remind myself what this game is. Because I have never seen a game so dedicated to the idea that people will be playing it for years. The trophies are all geared to that timetable, to months of play. The DLC (for the first year!) is spread out over six months. Everything points to a Killer Instinct style experience of frequent updates on and on, forever and ever, amen.

I'll be dropping Street Fighter V tomorrow for Dark Souls III. And then I'll pick it back up. And then I'll drop it for Persona 5. And I'll pick it back up after that, over and over, until my PlayStation finally dies.

Or my hands do. Cripes. Where's the ice?

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