Street Fighter V @ EB Games Expo 2015

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***WARNING! MEGA POST!***

Street Fighter V.

Pretty much what most fighting game players, or Capcom fighting game players at least, are waiting for – to take over from where the Street Fighter IV series currently stands.

Having moderate success in the recent online beta and getting some time with the “Vega” build at OzHadou Nationals, I thought I would go for gold after hearing a tournament would occur at EB Expo.

Not only will you find a recap of the tournament(s) but I’ve added my thoughts on the game further below!

Friday Daylight

Having already purchased the event passes for Saturday, as I may have mention in the earlier EB Expo posts, I bought a pass for the Friday Daylight session to go to “work” and check out win the tournament, only a day before, once word of a tournament got around.

Tournament Registration / Casual Play

I was pretty much the first person there, so I registered immediately upon arrival and followed up with close to an hour of casual play with Street Fighter V, before the tournament started. I almost exclusively played another person on the “tournament setup” for the majority of the time beforehand, and as nice as he was, he wasn’t really competition. :3

Casual stations for Street Fighter V
Casual stations for Street Fighter V

I managed to try out the majority of the cast available, but decided to stick with Ryu, being a “shoto” player at heart.

Shortly after, the first pair of players who would face each other, were called up, made aware of the tournament rules and played to start the tournament.

The Tournament

Rules:

16 player tournament
Single elimination – once you lose, you are eliminated from the tournament
Rounds 1 to 2 – Best of 3 games – First to 2 games wins the match
Rounds 3 to 4 – Best of 5 games – First to 3 games wins the match

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The weapons provided for use with SFV – Madcatz Arcade Fight Stick Tournament Edition 2.

***Before continuing, I apologize in advance, as I didn’t capture any tournament footage to compliment what you might continue to read!***

For my first match, I was called to face a player by the name of “Dantastic”.

From what I remember, he played Cammy. He wasn’t too bad, but he had trouble hit confirming into damage. As the set progressed, he made it too obvious and got too greedy attempting to punish my fireball attempts and was made quick work of. 2-0. He was not happy… but I was! :3

On to the second match – “Spiritcaller”. Nothing worth mentioning. A very quick 2-0 for me.

The tournament organisers announced that there would be an hour break before moving on to the final rounds of the tournament, so I used the time to roam around the venue as you might have found in a previous post.

Interesting PDP booth. Ubisoft, Logitech and more in the background.
A glimpse of the EB Expo venue.

Eventually, the final rounds would be played in the final hour of the EB Expo session.

Semi Final Match vs “Rorke”. Knowing the match would be changed to best of 5, I felt more comfortable here. The rounds were close if I’m not mistaken, but I managed to clutch them out. Lots of well placed low forwards into fireball, and the occasional super hit confirm would be the difference to win the Ryu mirror. 3-0.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I was on a pretty good run, not even dropping a game to my previous opponents. 🙂

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Where the tournament matches were being played.

Grand Finals would be played soon after, and another Ryu mirror match would be played. Registered as “Hickz”, he would be my last obstacle before claiming first place at the first Street Fighter V, EB Expo tournament.

As you would expect for a finalist, he definitely put up a fight, taking the second game of the best of 5 set. I remember losing the game and telling myself to take a breather, kill whatever momentum he might have, before attempting to kill him off to win.

I had the idea that I had lost because I was too eager to jump over his fireball attempts – eating crush counter anti-airs, before I decided to flip the script on him and approach him on the ground. I got the better of him, as he forgot to protect his legs, eating plenty of low forwards and sweeps, before he eventually cracked making the rest of the set available for the taking.

Friday Daylight Tournament Conclusion

I did it – I rocked the competition as I had hoped and went home with a Turtle Beach Stealth 400 Gaming Headset plus a copy of Street Fighter V to be delivered on release.

Not exactly a lot of competition to be completely honest, but I did have a bit of a scare after dropping a game… heh.

For all of the competitors results, visit the official Challonge bracket linked HERE!

Saturday Twilight

Our arrival.
Our arrival.

After taking out the Friday Daylight tournament, and with the intention of being at the event with my friends on Saturday, I thought, why not try and first place honours once again…

Worst case scenario, I’d be denied entry and my brother would take home the gold, right?…

Tournament Registration & Casual Play

As you may have read earlier, same drill – rock up to the event and register at the Playstation booth. Unfortunately, I was denied entry after the staff had realized I won on Friday, but I had faith that Dave (my brother) would clean up.

I decided to let my friends get as much casual play as possible, as they had all registered for the tournament along with my brother.

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Staff member BurnoutFighter to the left – probably would have won the tournament if he was able to enter…

At first, there wasn’t too many people surrounding the stations, so I managed to get some time in trying most of the more recent additions to the cast, especially Rainbow Mika. I would eventually have to pass the stick on to the dozens of people surrounding the stations – nothing near as close to the amount I remember from the previous day, and hoping no one more tough than the players I had faced the previous day.

The Tournament

***Again, I apologize in advance, as I didn’t capture any tournament footage to compliment what you might continue to read!***

As you would imagine, the tournament would start and my friends would be called one by one to face their opponents in hope of advancing from the first round.

Not being able to enter, I decided to sit on the sidelines, and attempted to coach my friends if I felt they needed some help. Fortunately Unfortunately for me, my coaching didn’t help and I saw a few of them knocked out earlier than I had hoped.

At this point, it was all up to Dave.

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Some friendly competition going on here…

He ended up going with M. Bison for the tournament, after deciding that most of the competitors would have trouble dealing with both the pressure of Scissors Kick and “Psycho Inferno” – a point blank flame-like projectile, found useful for “okizeme” / when the opponent attempts to wake-up after being knockdown.

His first match was too close for comfort. His opponent, registered as “Spark”, from what I remember, got away with one too many sweeps. It seemed to have gotten the best of Dave for the first couple of games, but after telling him to calm down and stay aware of sweeps, he collected himself, punished the sweeps, and clutched it out after losing the first game. 2-1.

After being told that there would be close to an hour before Dave’s next round would start, we decided to use this time to enjoy whatever else showcased around the EB Expo venue.

Unfortunately, direct screen photos were prohibited, so here's the UDOORI 180SX displayed at the booth
“UDOORI” 180SX displayed at the NFS booth.

As time passed by, Dave decided to head back to the tournament early. Some of us were in the Need for Speed queue attempting to score another shirt, so I wasn’t able to spectate the 2nd round match. Again, I had faith… and mobile data, to follow the online bracket… :3

Thanks to my mobile data, I eventually found Dave defeating his second round opponent, “Mohtar”, in convincing fashion. 2-0.

Returning to the tournament, preparing for Semi Finals, Dave would await his challenger – “JuJu”… Funnily enough, he never arrived. DQ’d for the win…

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One of the few times I saw Ryu not on the screen…

Fast forward to the Grand Finals, Dave would actually see some game time against finalist “Adam”.

Amongst the sea of Ryu players of EB Expo, the staff felt refreshed to see a Bison player in the Grand Final match, and it was an interesting one at that. Thanks to the change in the set length, we were provided with a nice display of Bison’s new tricks. Maybe Dave was feeling himself, but we saw plenty of V Trigger shenanigans à la Devil’s Reverse teleports, and effective use of both Bison’s head-stomp and cr.HP (Crouching Heavy Punch) – think cr.HP similar to SF4’s Sakura/Guile/etc.

His opponent would eventually see defeat, choosing to continue jumping, and paying heavy for the risks he made being airborne. An easy 3-0 to take what would be the last Street Fighter V tournament at EB Expo.

Saturday Twilight Tournament Conclusion

At this point you’d think, cool, he won as I faithfully expected, taking home more Turtle Beach gear and another copy of Street Fighter V (which did happen) but…

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The brother’s combined winnings from EB Expo!

…HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER or A NEW FIGHT IS COMING YOUR WAY… or whatever the announcer says in SFV…

The winner of the Saturday Daylight Tournament was spectating, and eventually approached the stage shortly after the Grand Final match, requesting to challenge brother David. The staff fulfilled his request, even took photos of the two, before Dave decided why not?

He should have chose to save face because it was a similar scenario to the above Grand Finals match. Dave continued to showcase the new Bison, defeating his opponent, humiliating him in front of his group of friends. Us (my friends and I) were provided with much laughter. 3-0 – if you were wondering.

For all of the competitors results, visit the official Challonge bracket linked HERE!

Closing Thoughts on Street Fighter V (so far)

Having played a few iterations of Street Fighter V so far, from the first online beta, “Vega” build and now the “Rashid” build, I feel I’ve had some good time with the game, and feel pretty positive about it.

I’m not going to go very deep as I feel it’s best not to, knowing the game will continue to change come the final build in 2016. I’d bet that changes will be made between now and the 2nd online beta, so keep possible changes in mind!

I’ll try my best to keep things simple and categorize my thoughts and whatever else worth commenting listed below!

The System

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The basic system controls.
  • I’d like to see another wake-up option added to the game – preferably invincible back-dash.

Regardless of the option to quick/delay wake-up, at this point walk up throw seems like the best option on offense, while wake-up jab is the best option on defense. I can’t imagine invincible back-dash being hard to deal with, assuming you Option Select or read it. Maybe it’s Capcom’s idea of promoting use of V Reversal…

Plus, wake-up DP (Shoryuken) and the like aren’t as strong as they were in SFIV with no option to cancel if unsuccessful, but I think that’s for the better.

  • Meter management

I found myself building my Super/Critical Art meter almost every round. This might only apply to Ryu – EX Fireball is pretty much the only useful EX Special Move, as the others are almost only for extra damage. On the other hand, the V Meter does not build very fast. Similar to the Ultra meter of SF4, either you take damage or make frequent use of the relative “engine” to build meter.

Again, this may vary depending on the character, but I didn’t find myself using the V Meter for things situations other than when I’d think “Oh hey, I have a full bar of V Meter so I think I’ll activate my V Trigger” or “Sweet, I can try and land a cool combo that leads into V Trigger”. I did attempt to use the V Reversal in the Grand Final match I played, but was thrown out of it’s start-up…

  • Additional System Notes

I feel everything else about the game feels pretty smooth, pretty good.

Game speed was questioned by many people when Capcom provided early stages of gameplay, but so far so good. It doesn’t feel slow, and despite having less ways to hit-confirm into guaranteed damage, the rounds are played at a pretty good pace. This might be thanks to the higher volume of damage and stun dealt by attacks, the lack of defensive options that Focus engine of SF4 provided, faster wake-up recovery and other system unique factors…

For now, best to save the comments for when the general gameplay strategy is more fleshed out, but again – pretty smooth, pretty good.

Characters (unique to the available build)

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Rashid’s V-Trigger provides interesting mix-up potential.
  • R. Mika

In a nutshell, she a pretty straightforward character, no weird commands or unique movement options, but being a female “grappler” she has more than a few things that separates her from the others of her archetype. She’s not terribly slow, has a sliding normal, an anti-air throw, a command grab that leads to resets, a Marvel vs Capcom style “assist” and more.

Super fun and a candidate for my main chicken assuming we don’t see Sagat by release…

  • Rashid

Rashid wasn’t very interesting in my opinion. For starters he has a couple of things I’m not too happy with – an unsafe divekick and fireballs I found ineffective. I like divekick-oriented characters and fireball-oriented characters, so no bueno for me.

He does have the ability to run, in place of dashing, which can be ended with his moves similar to some of his special moves such as a spinning attack and horizontal divekick. He also has a V Trigger that releases a tornado of some sort, that travels slow across the screen. It does make for interesting okizeme in combination with the divekick, but found the tornado doesn’t provide much block-stun or hit-stun to provide a safe follow up.

  • Future Characters?

Having played Necalli, I get the idea that future cast members of the Street Fighter series will share simple commands and movement options, as opposed to say, the unique movement of both SF4’s C. Viper and El Fuerte, or the idea of “storing” fireballs like Juri. I understand that the game will be marketed towards those who have trouble or want to start playing fighting games, but I’m hoping this doesn’t limit the character design and instead have Capcom show us something even more creative.

Conclusion

I hope that readers have enjoyed the lengthy read, assuming you didn’t just scroll through expecting gameplay footage, which again, I apologize for…

Let’s look forward to how Street Fighter V progresses, with the online beta entering the second stage this week. I might have to cook up something interesting for the blog once the beta starts!

If you did not manage to access the first beta, I suggest you visit the Street Fighter V website for more details!

Let’s just hope I progress with the game, and hope this isn’t my last Street Fighter V tournament victory!

See you guys on the beta!

– Dustin

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