Street Fighter V – July Update

Street Fighter V has finally received its long-awaited cinematic story expansion, entitled “A Shadow Falls,” available as a free download.  Do those of us who once griped that we were sold an incomplete game for $60 finally feel like we got what we paid for?

At least it’s free!

This had better be worth it.

Street Fighter V’s cinematic story expansion has finally arrived!

Any addition that would have expanded the single-player experience in Street Fighter V would have been a welcome one.  A Shadow Falls is decently satisfying, however. It lacks the interactive button commands and mini games of NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat and Injustice Story Modes, but it does a fine job of giving each of the game’s initial 16 characters equal time in the spotlight. They even give us the opportunity to play as each of the game’s six post-release DLC characters.  Two of these characters haven’t seen an official release yet, but now we have an opportunity to take them for a test drive, whether we’ve planned to purchase any of them or not!

Preview these two yet-to-be-released characters, Urien and Juri, in the new Story Mode!

Preview two currently unreleased characters, Urien and Juri, in Street Fighter V: A Shadow Falls!

Furthermore, the story pits our characters against most of M. Bison’s “Dolls,” which consist of a dozen international female assassins.  Most of them wield unique weapons and have never appeared in a Street Fighter game before.  I embrace these battles against NPC’s as a fun bonus.  However, I’m not personally happy that A Shadow Falls also offers several alternate stages that are not accessible in other game modes.

M. Bison's 12 female assassins, about eight of which you will fight against in Story Mode!

M. Bison’s 12 female assassins, about eight of whom you will fight against in Street Fighter V: A Shadow Falls!

A Shadow Falls offers players a nice chunk of Fight Money for completion.

Street Fighter V – A Shadow Falls should take up to about three hours of your time on the first play-through. Completing it once earns you 30,000 Fight Money (FM) and unlocks “Extra” difficulty, in which all the fights become far more challenging, but never impossible. Completing Extra also earns you an additional 50,000 FM. Nice, right? But let’s not forget that each new character costs 100,000 FM and new stages cost 70,000 FM. Alternate (night/day variant) Stages cost 40,000, and so do many character costumes.  Capcom’s official site breaks it down here.

…But where are the “Daily Challenges?”

Street Fighter V promised us a steady stream of new content available for purchase either with real currency or with in-game Fight Money earned by completing DAILY CHALLENGES. Remember when they told us, “If you log in on a daily basis, or every other day, and complete the (daily) challenges, you should be able to get the new characters as they come out?” Two characters were available as a free trial for months.  Now they drop this heavy load on us all at once and the only chance most of us have to see this content is to purchase it with real currency.  We have received all this content, but still no access to any Daily Challenges.

Guile and Alex, who were available as a free trial for months, must now be purchased at the same price as the other two new characters who were released with Street Fighter V's most recent update.

The free trial on Guile and Alex in Street Fighter V has ended.  Now Capcom is asking us to purchase them at the same price as the other new characters.

You can earn some easy Fight Money by completing individual character stories.  These usually consist of only two or three single-round fights on an insultingly easy difficulty setting.  You can also earn a little by watching their demonstration tutorials. Another way you can earn fight money by completing each character’s Combo Trials, but ONLY if you complete ALL TEN.  Many of these are excruciatingly difficult, but I’ve been able to complete all of them so far.

Still don’t have enough Fight Money to buy all the new content? I didn’t, either. So all that’s left is to sink an embarrassing amount of time into Street Fighter V’s tedious Survival Mode.  The battles in Survival Mode are not randomized, either.  You will fight the same enemies in the same stages every time you attempt Survival with a new character.  Furthermore, as Street Fighter V releases new characters and stages, you’ll never see them in Survival Mode, either.

I should be spending my time playing Street Fighter V in online matches against other people.

At a rate of only 50 FM per Ranked Match VICTORY, I’d have to win 2,000 Ranked Matches to unlock a character! I get 500 FM just for watching a 3-minute character demo.  I also get another like 5,000 for winning 30 fights in Survival with a character on Normal!  The trend in most modern fighting games has been to make all content (excluding purchasable content) available from release get people online as soon as possible.  However, I’m sure many of us are spending more time offline than we’d like just to try and keep up with the new DLC.

Capcom has not lived up to its promise that those of us who did not purchase Street Fighter V’s $30 Season Pass would be able to keep up with its new character releases.

The Season Pass seems like a decent value, considering that it gets you 6 characters which would normally cost you like $6 apiece.  You also get an alternate costume for each that normally costs another $2 apiece. That’s a $48 value right there.  Early adopters also received Guile’s Air Force Base stage, which is another $4 value.  This brings the $30 Season Pass to a $52 value! But is it, really? $30 on top of a $60 price tag is still a lot of money to spend on a game that already offers so few characters and game modes.  It still doesn’t cover any of the other new stages, or other characters’ costumes, for that matter, either.

Ibuki + Balrog + cool new Beach Stage all being released for purchase simultaneously means players need to make some tough decisions on how to spend their Fight Money. Like many players, I cannot afford to recreate this scene.

Ibuki, Balrog, or cool new beach stage?  Street Fighter V players need to make some tough decisions on how to spend their Fight Money.

Hopefully Capcom will make these “Daily Challenges” available within the next month or whenever the next update is.  But until they are, I refuse to spend any real currency on Street Fighter V.