Originally slated for late July, the first Street Fighter V Beta test had several issues that made it difficult for a majority of users to log into the server. Many users spent hours trying to get in during that time to no avail. Capcom realizing that they were in over their head, decided to postpone the beta to a later date to fix the connectivity issues being experienced.
After about a month of internal testing, Capcom announced that the global Beta test would now take place over a five day period from August 28th to September 2nd. The Beta went live at 7pm Trinidad time and I hopped on immediately to see what changes were made from the past attempt. Logging into the beta brings the user to a simple menu as seen below. Only online play is enabled so users are not permitted to play offline battles against the CPU or versus other players.
When Network Battle is selected, the user is taken to the select screen to choose one of the six available characters. The characters available are Ryu, Nash, Chun-Li, Bison, Cammy and Birdie. While waiting to be matched up with an online opponent, you will be taken to training mode where you can practice your combos on a dummy while you wait. When an opponent is found you are notified on screen while the match loads.
During the first Beta test attempt in July, I found the netcode to be really good, everything ran smoothly even on wireless. Subsequent tests proved to be hit or miss for me at times with some matches being excellent and others having gameplay roll back on a few occasions after decisive moments in the match. Nevertheless the netplay was improved over the Street Fighter 4 series on Playstation (Xbox and PC had superior network support)
Getting back to the main menu, the only other option outside of Settings was the Fighter Profile. This contained several tabs, with all but two being unavailable for viewing. One of these tabs contained an interesting option that some people may have missed, the replay functionality. As it turns out going to the last tab on your Fighter Profile will show your battle log which also contains the replays of the last 20 matches or so. I almost missed this completely and only noticed it by accident.
What makes this great is that you can even view your past opponent’s battle log and view his replays but that’s not all. You can then do the same for his opponents and his opponent’s opponents, creating a potential six degrees of Street Fighter separation. I decided to test this theory to try and find a notable player and came across everyone’s favorite FGC streamer, Spooky. You can see his profile below.
This is functionality that I was not expecting for the beta test so it came as a pleasant surprise when I accidentally discovered it. With Capcom investing heavily in Street Fighter V and its future in the e-Sports scene, it’s great to see this feature included early on in development. The next beta test is scheduled for sometime later on this year and will also be available on PC via Steam.