Capcom continues to make good on their promise to provide free (at least temporarily) monthly updates to its current gen magnum opus Street Fighter V, beefing up the game’s paltry initial feature set and hopefully garnering some mainstream attention for the beleaguered fighter all while continuing to preach to the joyous choir about it’s myriad of old school pleasures in both look and feel.
Though this update isn’t as significant as last month’s, several small changes have been made to the online system that have already cut down on the frustration factor of challenging virtual opponents, including anti-rage quitting measures that see offenders locked out of play and docked precious “league points”, and also improvements to the game’s matchmaking that cut the wait time between games nearly in half. The biggest addition though, is, of course, the new character: Guile.
The iconic American hero comes rocking a new Top Gun inspired outfit, complete with mirrored shades, to start but completing his story mode (which sees him team up with Street Fighter IV castaway Abel against FANG and Vega) grants his more traditional BDUs and tank top get up. Kudos to SFV’s designers for actually giving the big G cargo pockets this time out, rather than having him suffer in giant pajama pants or whatever the hell was going on in SFIV.
“Kick the tires and light the fires…”
The character that killed Van Damme’s career also brings along another first for SFV, a brand new DLC background. Well, not completely new, as this is a lovingly high def recreation of the G man’s classic Street Fighter II Air Force Base stage, with a hard rocking remix of his iconic theme music (sure to birth a million more “Guile’s theme goes with everything” memes) along with it.
On the gameplay front, the master of the flat top hasn’t felt this fun and fluid since Street Fighter Alpha 3, marrying this type of charge character with SFV’s SFIII inspired super cancelling system feels like an absolute dream. Guile’s V skill “sonic blade” is a fireball cancelling shield type sonic boom not unlike Laura’s electricity attack, and his V trigger “sonic puncher” wraps his wrists in a similar energy, able to be unleashed at will up to six times either by itself or as a barrage of both standard and EX sonic booms. His signature anti-air flash kick is as deadly to jump happy opponents as ever, especially effortlessly cancelled from his crouching medium punch, and his critical art “sonic hurricane” is a danger on its own and absolutely lethal when unleashed during V trigger a’la Ryu’s “denjin hadoken”.
As with Alex, Guile is currently free to all players until the still to-be-determined date when the game’s character shop officially opens. His stage is free to season pass holders or on sale in the game’s existing store for 70,000 fight money to the rest of us. Guile is another strong addition to a game that is very slowly but definitely surely growing into an absolute mammoth of an all-time classic fighting game.