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‘Street Fighter V’ shows it’s ready for all challengers

‘Street Fighter V’ shows it’s ready for all challengers

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Street Fighter has come a long way since 1987. What started as a quick coin-op brawler has fought its way to the top to become one of the most popular and most recognised video games in the world. After nearly 30 years and appearances in almost 50 games, the legendary brawler is ready for the next round as it gears up for a new fight. Now fighters are preparing for the start of the next entry in the franchise: Street Fighter V. Gamespot reports that the game will be released in early 2016, probably around March. Since the announcement, the rumour mill has begun in earnest regarding who the latest roster of fighters will or won’t include along with any new characters the series could possibly introduce.

Few other fighting series were able to gracefully make the transition from the arcade to the living room. Street Fighter, however, did it with panache, especially with the introduction of the Street Fighter IV series starting in 2008. The game has been everywhere and done everything: it has battled across dimensions matching blows with superheroes in Marvel vs. Capcom; sparred with the roster from SNK in the Capcom vs. SNK; and it’s even taken on the tough competition from Tekken (with a new version in the works). The series has taken turns as a super-deformed Candy Crush-style puzzle game (Super Puzzle Fighter, which is awesome). That being said, perhaps the most interesting offshoot occurred when the world’s greatest warriors made Balrog’s Las Vegas stage a reality in a game at InterCasino, a platform that relies on other pop culture references to draw in users, including classic ’80s film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Of course, Mortal Kombat is still around but it’s a shell of what it once was and it’s a very, very long way from the series’ heyday in the 1990s. Tekken has also seen it’s cultural cache drop significantly in recent years with fewer and fewer people caring less and less about the struggle between Jin Kazama and the evil Heihachi. As first-person-shooter titles and massively multiplayer gaming became the norm, something didn’t feel right with audiences about the more intimate nature of fighting game battles. The genre that once dominated arcades and had people making lines at machines (sometimes 20, 30 people thick!) is now firmly within the realm of niche gaming, only pursued by the hardcore and the nostalgic.

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But there’s still only one king of fighters and that’s clearly Street Fighter. The game has even started to get things right when it comes to movies. After the disaster that was Legend of Chun-Li, it felt like we’d never see a half decent SF flick (no, the ’94 Van Damme movie does NOT count, as it is awesome for a completely different set of reasons). If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out 2014’s Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist it’s actually very much worth your time and will give you a great chance to catch up before the sequel drops in late 2015 or early 2016.