The changes to the system in Street Fighter 5 Season 2 are very technical in nature, but in a game like this a change as seemingly superfluous as dropping a single frame of animation can send shock waves through its entire world. Let’s get into it.
The most-discussed change and the only one with any genuine controversy; even top players like Infiltration have expressed their displeasure.
Fully invincible attacks (like the shoryuken) are all EX moves now: They require 1 bar of the critical meter. Regular shoryukens still exist, but they will not go through your opponent’s attacks like, for example, Ken’s medium punch shoryuken used to.
A few characters in this game (Ryu, Ken, Cammy, Necalli) had access to invincible moves at no cost. Though this wasn’t a dominating advantage, the psychological advantage of being able to pull out a shoryuken at any time, as many times as one wants, is formidable. Ask Daigo.
These characters still have their formerly invincible moves (shoryuken, cannon spike). Due to their speed, they do have some power to intercept other attacks, but they are no longer invincible.
The developers, for better and for worse, have attempted to even the field by making everybody pay for their invincible attacks. This change has been a subject of hot debate.
One really formidable Season 1 tactic of which we are quite fond is throwing an overly defensive opponent, then simply walking up and throwing them again. Then— and this is the best part— walk up to them one more time and … throw them. We chuckle to think about it.
This was such a great tactic (particularly up in the corner) that it’s been toned down a bit.
Though it varies by character, throws now generally put the opponent further away from you and have a bit of extra lag time so that you can’t walk back in quite so quickly. Stun damage for many forward direction throws is also down, decreasing the payoff for throwing the opponent into the corner.
Due in part to the input delay problem, players often resorted to the fastest possible moves to make their counters with, whether or not a bigger hit would do.
The humble standing light punch or kick turned out to be quite exceptional for many characters as an anti-air attack, beating many air approaches cleanly.
This was frustrating for players (who were jumping too much, just saying), and the attacks themselves happened to be a bit too strong for this purpose due to their wide hit areas. (typically called a hitbox.)
The hit area of many moves that were used as anti-air jabs have been adjusted. They still perform their function as anti-airs, but they are less likely to win cleanly.
Without explaining input lag as a phenomenon in its entirety, players found Street Fighter 5 a little unresponsive during Season 1. "Eight frames!" became a common refrain, with the joke making it as far as a cameo in Let It Die.
Street Fighter 5 is a 60-frames-per-second video game. In Season 1, the lag between your button presses and your action was eight frames, a little over a 10th of a second. Comparable games are at around 5-6 frames of delay. Lag of this degree is unfortunately inherent to HDTVs. This is why retro game players like the speedrunners you see in Awesome Games Done Quick insist on using old-style CRT monitors.
Eight versus six doesn’t seem like much, but it’s more a matter of the straw breaking the camel’s back. Players now strongly felt the delay. They were finding it significantly harder to make the same quick reactions and judgments that were easy in other games. When countering air attacks or making that last-moment block, a few frames of lag could lose you the match. The people affected the most were players with reactive, defensive styles who depended on quick reaction speed.
In Street Fighter 5 Season 2, input lag is down to about 6.5 frames on average, a bit closer to the game’s contemporaries.
As a general rule, find the Game Mode on your TV and enable it. This won’t do anything about Street Fighter 5’s base lag, but depending on your TV you’ll probably notice a difference across the board with your games.
- What am I trying to do in this game?
- Basic movement
- Basic attacks
- The poke game
- Special moves
- Control and execution
- Counter and crush counter
- Critical meter and critical arts
- Stun gauge
- Dealing damage and combos
- Character select
- Advanced techniques
- Good buttons
- What’s different in Street Fighter 5 Season 2?
- This is just the beginning