Why no arcade mode in Street Fighter V is bad

As many of us are aware of, Capcom’s most recent flagship fighting title, Street Fighter V, was released this past week. However, that release wasn’t met with the expectations that Capcom and perhaps Sony were looking for, as the game was met with a lot of mixed reactions. Reactions from both fans of the Street Fighter line-up, members of the fighting game community and even casual gamers, all of which have valid concerns and it just makes one wonder…. why?

And while you’re at it, check out our Street Fighter V review here.

Capcom has been advocating for Street Fighter V for quite some time, between the various events where they either showed off the game or exhibitions where they hands on and even countless beta’s on both the PlayStation 4 and PC. So with the amount of time that was spent towards Street Fighter V, it’s leaving many scratching their heads to what exactly happened, but more importantly, what needs to happen to get this game back on track. What happened? What’s broken? And where does it leave Street Fighter V‘s status?

First and foremost, the biggest issue with the title is the omission of an arcade mode. This has been a staple for just about any fighting game, that lets you mix it up with the CPU and progress through several characters as well as a mini-boss or a final bad guy who is running the show. I can’t remember any fighting game that didn’t include this mode, which leaves a major hole within Street Fighter V.  How this happened is beyond me, as it simply doesn’t make much sense, especially since the majority of gamers probably would have spent a huge amount of time within the arcade mode.


Even Necalli is upset over this.

No folks, I’m not making this up. It’s not hidden, it’s not an unlockable feature, it’s just not there. And this is the single most glaring issue I have with the title. I fully understand what Capcom was going for with Street Fighter V and that’s a driven focus to promote this as their major force in the E-Sports arena, I get it. However I feel that this focus is, for a lack of a better word, unnecessary. Sure, I love the concept of Street Fighter V being mentioned along other games such as League of Legends, DOTA 2 and Call of Duty, however I also feel that this also serves to alienate many fans of Street Fighter. Not all of us are focused on E-sports, some of us don’t even know what it means completely and yet, when you have a title that is pretty much living entirely on that notion, it dilutes the offering. I know many people who play fighting games, but simply stink at them, not for a lack of not trying, mind you. They just want to load the game up, pick their favorite or an interesting character and start smashing buttons as they eventually waste their time away. However with no arcade mode, that simply isn’t possible. And sure, they could just access the training mode and set the CPU to a level and start to pummel it, if it doesn’t pummel them first, but that’s no fun. 

Yes, there’s the Capcom Fighting Network or CFN, however, that is very daunting for many first time or casual gamers. Both the ranked and casual options are full of better than average or veteran players who are ready to lay the smack down on unsuspecting gamers. Now if I was already worried about playing online in the beginning and then I suffer loss after loss, I’d imagine I’d be very cautious or even scared to try it again. And just imagine if they get on later, after some time has gone by and better and better players surface.

No arcade mode is bad news for Street Fighter V.

And if Street Fighter V was indeed made to be more “casual” friendly, as compared to it’s predecessor, Street Fighter IV, it doesn’t seem like it at times. Sure, there’s no more complex functions or mechanics such as FADC or Red Focus (which I actually miss), so it definitely seems like Capcom wanted everyone to get their feet wet with this one. Yes, that means even little Johnny can get in on the fun.

However, the new features, V-Trigger and V-Skill, which are character specific were added to the game. What are they? What do they do? When should you use them? Well, unless you’re paying attention to the internet, your favorite gaming community or that new Street Fighter V game guide, you’re not going to have any idea as to the answers of those questions. If this is for getting more people into the game, then there needs to be more in-depth training or an explanation system, to help ease gamers in to the game. Even the ranking is confusing, there’s no mention on how it works or how many points you need to jump to the next bracket. Maybe adding a wizard that walks you through the process or even a video that breaks it all down for you would be helpful in the long run. However as it stands now, it’s up the gamer to go figure this stuff out. FGC’ers need not apply, as I’m sure by now that this is all hardwired into their DNA.

Sure there are other issues that have made the release of Street Fighter V not quite the event that it should have been, that it was hyped up to be. Yet, I also want to stress that I feel that the game does have potential, assuming Capcom can address the issues and complaints from it’s fans and those who have purchased Street Fighter V. Add that arcade mode alongside the upcoming story mode that’s coming later on, introduce a more in-depth tutorial mode that eases newcomers into the fold with more than just Ryu and remember that not everyone who plays Street Fighter is interested in E-sports, please. 

As it stands now, Street Fighter V feels like an early access title. It’s simply not complete and it’s up to Capcom to right this ship before it becomes another Titanic and gamers flock back to the old faithful, Ultra Street Fighter IV. Thankfully Capcom has acknowledged this and has already patched the game once since it was released and I’m sure there are many others coming, it just begs the question of how much Street Fighter V would have benefited from another month of development and testing. Only time will tell if it blossoms and becomes the fighting game we all want it to be or if it falls from it’s high and lofty expectations.

Expect to see our full Street Fighter V review very shortly!

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.