Site co-founder Inferno and I have been going to great pains to regularly load up the Street Fighter V Beta on our respective PS4s in the hope of another beta going live ever since the latest update floated onto our consoles, only to be told it wasn’t up and running. Last night our patience paid off though, as a quick check heralded a newly functioning version of the beta, which is apparently the final version before it hits retail in a few weeks time.
The big difference for the latest version of the Street Fighter V Beta are the changes to the connectivity options and the expanded roster. As a (mediocre) Ken player, I’m chuffed to see he’s playable in this build, along with some of the new characters that have been unveiled during the game’s promotional runs and a few more stages than I remembered playing in the last beta.
To be honest I didn’t spend much time on the connection settings, but Event Hubs has a great piece going through what the options mean and how to set them up. These days I only play as a casual fanboy despite sinking enormous amounts of time into 2D fighters over the years so I’m happy to run with the defaults even if it means laggy gaming. To be honest though, due to having an Australian internet connection, there’s probably not much utility restricting my matches to high-speed connections locally or in a similar geographic region as it’s going to be a bit rubbish regardless. In 2017 my attitude may change if the NBN hits my area, but given the MTM model lacks any robust guarantees on minimum performance (especially on uploads), I’ll take it with an optimistic but measured grain of salt.
Whinging aside, I really enjoyed my time with the latest SFV beta. The tutorial served as a nice warmup as the remaining patch data was downloaded and installed even though I played through it before, and it wasn’t long until I had jumped into the training mode with Ken. Having spent some time with him in Street Fighter 4 he definitely feels a little different, but in a good way – it reminded me of the difference between playing with Ken in Street Fighter 2 vs Street Fighter Alpha, though not quite as dramatic. His Tatsumaki will change trajectory depending on the strength of the kick button (reminiscent of his Tatsumaki’s in Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter) and simple chaining into specials and EX specials was fun. I haven’t had enough time to get into using his V-Skill – to be honest I’m still in love with Ryu’s parry V-Skill – but after doing some reading, including this impressions piece from Polygon on some of the basics, it seems like it will be great with closing in and maintaining pressure on an opponent. His V-Trigger is a bit boring as it simply amplifies his attacks, but it looks great and helps make up for his usual trade-off of power for speed and maneuverability.
I only had a few online games last night, all of which were against Japanese players as I couldn’t connect to anyone locally (sorry Japan for being a gaijin scrub with a crappy connection!). The lag was chunky, but better than what I expected given the environmental factors. I initially forgot to set Ken as my default online player, but that wasn’t a bad thing for my ego as I managed to scrape in a comfortable win with Ryu, but once I set this up I had fun with a few online matches. For me though, it was just great to be able to spend time in the training room to get a feel for Ken’s SFV incarnation and the online fighting was a bonus.
The final Street Fighter V Beta will finish up tomorrow with the full retail release hitting the shelves on 16 February.