It's somewhat lazy to say that this is what Capcom should've released back in 2016 - implying that many players haven't found a lot to love in Street Fighter V already - but for anyone who's been on the fence or left the game early on, Arcade Edition represents a flawless fresh start, and for those who've spent the past two years playing online, practicing combos and learning matchups, the new V-Triggers and rebalancing of the characters freshen things up.
There are new trials introduced that give you some basic combo frameworks to utilise, and a built-in tool in the training mode that gives you a clear visual indicator of whether a move you are doing can be combo'd or whether it is safe or not, giving even less-skilled a players a simple aid in understanding the - whisper it - frame data that you hear all the top players talking about. It's actually a six-in-one deal, with different paths for each of Street Fighter's six generations. It uses the characters that would have been available in that title (or in some cases, appropriate stand-ins), with obvious spots to slot in fights from the third wave of DLC characters (like Sagat as the penultimate boss of Street Fighter 2). When Street Fighter V first launched, every character had a single V-Trigger, which are extra attack or movement options via the additional V-Gauge.
Thankfully, you don't have to be connected to the Internet to experience the bulk of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. For instance, Ken now gets a badass powered-up Shoryuken and Chun-Li can fry opponents with a huge Ki energy ball, where both fighters had relatively unexciting passive buff V-Triggers before. For purchasers of the disc version of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, this content will be redeemable via a download code token. After every battle, you'll have a choice of who to fight next, allowing you to boost your score by challenging tougher opponents or perhaps uncover a few secrets.
The new content is not the only thing offered by the Arcade Edition. Team Battle is a fun 5-on-5 clash that gives the game a much-needed local multiplayer boost. At the time, I found a game that had a solid foundation, especially for tournament play, but lacked the bells-and-whistles players expect from AAA fighting games.
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Even if you don't love some of the ancillary modes, you should find plenty to keep you busy.
And more - The game will also include an all new Gallery to view the unlockable Arcade Mode illustrations, Sound option (to listen to stage background music, character themes, and more tunes), redesigned UI, and 3D Costume Previews. It'll be available as a free update for existing owners (although they won't get DLC they don't own) or can be purchased for $39.99 once it's out January 16, 2018. It wasn't the big mainstream success Capcom had hoped to create, but it had its diehard fans. Since the general gameplay of Street Fighter V was never bad in the first place, the lack of content was the only thing holding it back. Capcom's solution was to fully embrace eSports and the game's competitive element, which is obvious not only in terms of the emphasis on online play and your online reputation, but also the more complex gameplay elements that Street Fighter IV largely eschewed. This truly feels like the fresh start Street Fighter V has been needing.
Should you buy Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition? If you've been holding out until now, it's time to step up to the streets.