Street Fighter V Beta Phase 2
I finally got my hands on Street Fighter V, I missed Beta 1 and been just watching other peoples streams and the odd video here and there, Now that I got to play It I understand what the next Street Fighter experience is going to offer us. It's going to be a different experience than Street Fighter IV and some are going to hate it, some are going to love it, I feel I might love this one. So without further ado, here is a very detailed breakdown of a normal gamer and Street Fighter fans experience with the Beta.
 
Street Fighter IV (Or Ultra Street Fighter IV as it's currently called) has evolved to a weird type of high level game play at tournaments and online. With all the balance changes the only thing left in the game to exploit was all its core mechanics, High priority low attacks that can combo into large combos, plinking, options selects and of course Vortex set ups. The most important part of a competitive match are set ups and keeping your opponent in the positions you want via Hard Knock Downs. This is the only part they tweaked by adding delayed wake ups. So the game is very heavy with lows and option selects. Option Selects are the one thing in fighting games I don’t agree with and I feel they need to remove this from all fighting games. If you take away rock from a rock, paper, scissors game it cheapens the experience IMO.
 
SFV appears to be taking the competitive fighting game a step backwards but for the good. Back to a simpler time like Super Turbo (SSFIIT). The changes are apparent and I am embracing them and can’t wait to see the new top players of the future because I have a very strong feeling it's going to be a lot different.
 
Some of the changes have already been posted and in current builds are even more different but I am going to go through just a few found in Beta #2 to layout what type of fighter this one is going to be.
 
This game is going back to its roots and keeping the game play simple yet not too simple. We still have cool combos in this game they just are very simple. So if you are reading so far I think you probably guessed that they no longer have Focus Attacks allowing for ridiculous combo extensions. The juggles are even more strict than they were in Street Fighter IV. Vega for instance has only 1 EX move that can combo a mid air falling opponent, V-Triggers and Supers Seem to have good enough priority to combo together but you will be using up all your resources. You can no longer build meter all by your lonesome, Special moves won’t build any meter if they don’t connect with the opponent, that means no more building up meter from far away, this game rewards a lot to players engaging. No more linking Lows to higher attacks, You can link lows into special moves though but no more cheap safe footsies, you're going to have to bring your big boy balls into this game. V-Trigger replaces the Revenge Meter in this game, Although it builds up as you take hits it's no more powerful than your Super or even less, in some cases its simply a special tool so it won’t give you as much of a free comeback as SFIV, again the game rewards more to players engaging.
 
In my opinion I feel this is going to be an even better street fighter in terms of the engine. The biggest complaint amongst the FGC is that the game appeals to noobs. I don’t see this as a bad thing. If you are good at this game you’re good, you shouldn’t have a problem fighting someone who isn’t. If you need the cheap insider Option Selects and plinking lows to beat people that's not the purpose of fighting games, that's just exploiting BS mechanics to get a cheap win. Street Fighter was always about Rock, Paper, Scissors, making good decisions and even getting lucky, sometimes that's fighting, there's never a sure thing and that's what makes fighting fun. All those exploits are equivalent to FPS with their No Scoping and drop shots, using things that were never intended to be used just to get a cheap advantage, it's dumb. Anyway that's the end of my rant on that matter… for now.
 
Sadly I only got in a bit of time with a couple characters, Vega, Rasid, Nash and Birdie. 
(All this stuff is in part of Beta 2 only and is subject to changes. Characters moves and inputs are being changed all the time.)
 
Vega Notes: 
Vega’s changes are drastic to other street fighter games so you must prepare for this if you are a Vega Player. He is now a full on command character and a lot of his crazy shenanigan moves are gone such are the flip kick and the invulnerable back flip...kinda, you can still do the backflip but it's now and Alpha Counter type move that takes a V-Trigger Bar. Its usefull if you block someones Super move that does multiple hits to set up your next attack.
 
Rasid’s Notes:
Rashid seems like a very energetic character with some nice mixups. His damage output isn’t that great so you will have to find some very tricky stuff and keep moving, the idea with this character is to mess up your opponents angels of set up with your ability to hop over with you special ability which can be canceled into a dive kick or EX divekick at any point. His V-Trigger will best be used to give you space if you are being pressured as it creates a tornado wall that will hit 3 times and stay out for about 10 seconds. It's ok to use as anti air but it has a lot of start up. It can be followed up with a normal air dive kick or an ex one, or his EX helicopter spin move. He has his own projectile that moves on a weird angle it starts low and it moves forward and up, it will catch a lot of people out of the air but follow ups are tough so it's just good to throw at peoples face.
 
Nash Notes:
Nash has to be the one that appealed to me the most. He is a lot like he was in other games but he is now a full on Command character, no more charging. His V-Trigger will be used a lot of ways, it grants him with 3 styles of teleport that are combo and cancelable off other moves. It will take some practice to get the timing down but it could lead into some nice damage into Super. Nash has a lot of normal attacks and target combos to play around with, I feel he has all the tools you would need to deal with most fights.
 
Birdie Notes: 
Sadly I only got a few minutes in with this character so I had to use him like a noob. By this time of the beta I was getting a fight every minute so I only learned a few of his special moves. Birdie is a strong character due to his high life and damage output, you can catch up in a round just by landing a few blows, even just by landing his EX charging move that has armor, it's almost always near 300 damage guaranteed on a reaction hit. The only thing I would suggest be added for this character is a way to shift his chain swing. He has low, medium and high chain swing, the high one is an anti air, this is a great selection but it would be cool if we didn’t have to commit to one once activated and we could simply continue holding and hold the new button, like if I started with Low chain swing by holding it down while he's swinging it I Could hold HP, release and it does the high one instead. I need more time with him to see what he can do but he is a pretty strong character so far.
 
Online Netcode Notes:
I was a little surprised the servers held up as good as they did during the Beta. I heard horror stories of the first Beta (Both of them) and was expecting some more turbulence with the PS4/PC Cross play but it went pretty good. The first day, the servers were open but you couldn’t get in a match because matchmaking wasn’t working, the second day the matchmaking was working a little bit and I got like 4 matches in the whole day, but still I didn’t get kicked a whole lot. Day 3 match making was working better but there were points where I would play 3 minutes without a fight. Day 4 new characters arrived and I couldn’t learn how to use them too well because I was getting a fight a minute and it continued this pace throughout. The fights I had varied. I had to check the log every match to see if the dude was on PC or PS4. I didn’t see any patterns to tell me there is any connection issue with Cross play matches, it all comes down to the User's connection. The net code seems to be on point so far for a Beta at least. I don’t think they will ever solve lag in gaming but there was not one match that had Input Lag so even when lag was bad your moves came out when you pressed a button, some laggy matches where even playable, not fun, but playable. 1 or 2 I just let the dude beat me because I couldn’t see or hit him. Beta 2’s Netcode was not bad, they tested Crossplay and Character Delivery within the game, I feel that all went smooth, it's good that they have a means of apply in game stealth updates, hopefully this fixes day one glitches and exploits, it was brutal waiting months for updates in SFIV. I really hope they build on this.
 
On a side note for the overall performance, I hope this game releases with no issue because in the Beta just Training you had some random Frame Drops and the most disappointing of all was how long it took to get from the matchmaking into the actual game, the load times are about the same as SFIV which are wayyyyy too long for this generation. It's the one great thing about Mortal Kombat X, it makes getting in and out of a game super fast and seamless, there's just no excuse seeing how the visuals don’t even compare and MKX and uses an older Unreal Engine.
 
Overall Beta was quite good, I got to see what I am in for in terms of what Street Fighter V is going to be. I feel this will be a very fun Street Fighter and we will see a very different set of dudes on top in Tournaments. I really wish I got to play as Cammy and a few others but I got my fix and I am looking forward to SFV. I have recorded gameplay via Twitch and Uncompressed recordings below so check them out and you can use them as you would like for your blog or whatever. If you participated let me know in the Comments Below how you felt and what you feel needs to change in the new Street Fighter.