Street Fighter 5’s latest major update adds a beautifully crisp new graphics mode

street fighter 5 just saw its last big update – and it’s awesome. While SF5 has certainly had its ups and downs – particularly deep down at release and mostly after – Capcom is determined to end things on a happy note. This new “final update,” as the company calls it, appears to be the publisher trying to take the best of SF5’s years and blend it together for maximum impact.

That means nerfed combos are back, brand new techniques are being implemented, and game balance in general has been messed up a lot; the patch notes are 79 pages long. But among the adjustments made by this so-called final patch, there’s a surprising addition – an additional graphics mode toggle.

In particular, two new graphics modes have been added. First off, there’s a “pixel filter” that helps make SF5’s 3D graphics vaguely resemble those of Street Fighter 2 and 3 using it – particularly in Arcade mode, where you’ll find remastered versions of the arcade ladder progression from the 2D-era SF titles.

The more interesting of the two, however, is a new “cel shading” feature. And…I think that looks better than the game normally does? Everything just pops. At first I thought it looked a little rough on the character select screen where they are very up close and personal. But in the game, in motion? Whoa, it works. Here’s a picture of it I took while noodling around in training mode:


To be clear, I’m one of those people who’s always loved Street Fighter 5’s visual style. The stages have always let it down, running at a reduced frame rate with a sometimes noticeably poorer level of detail, but the character models, animations and attack effects are generally wonderful.

It’s also a bit uneven; There are a couple of characters in the launch cast that look significantly cheaper (shout out to the bananahead Ken), but a lot of those first few character models are great, and virtually every character that’s been added in the DLC – that’s now two-thirds of the die Overall cast of the game – are all great and overflowing with attention.

There’s loads of nice visual flair that many people won’t even notice, such as: People who say SF4 looks better than SF5 really baffle me, although Ultra Street Fighter 4 is undoubtedly a better game than Street Fighter 5 Champion Edition. Now both games are finished, we can confidently announce that as a fact – but SF5 is also the prettier of the two.


Anyhow, the crispness of the cel shading mode improves the look of SF5 in gameplay moment by moment and I definitely think I will play this game like this in the future. I’m going to spend today’s lunch break installing this update and switching the settings on my arcade cabinets running SF5 to cel-shaded.

The only shame is that these modes are only available in offline mode for some reason. I understand this for pixel mode, which can seriously obscure the player’s view in some ways, but I don’t get it for cel shading, which feels functionally identical to normal art, just with some subtle differences. Loving cel shading is a matter of taste – but if you prefer it, you can’t use it online.

That doesn’t bother me too much. My SF5 online days are behind me; I will return to online battlefield in SF6. But I’m a runaway; Not many people have the same arcade cabinet that SF5 has in the Japanese arcades in their office. So maybe Capcom should consider releasing another mini-patch to enable cel shading offline.


Regardless, though, here’s what I do know: the final update for SF5 is a great last word from Capcom. SF5 is a great game. It took too long to get there and had some nasty bumps in the road. But if the attitude this game has shown over the past few years is indicative of what the company will be trying to do with Street Fighter 6, I couldn’t be more excited — even if its art will never, ever fit cel-shaded.

Perhaps that’s coolest of all – in its most recent update, SF5 did something the next iteration can’t, which is with its more realistic RE Engine visuals. SF5 stands out and ends up being a worthy entry into the series. It also looks better now than ever. A worthy conclusion. Street Fighter 5’s latest major update adds a beautifully crisp new graphics mode

Fry Electronics Team

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