Prima's Street Fighter V guide is a permanent tribute to a temporary game


Do as the good book says

Brady’s Ultra Street Fighter IV Bible was a near-perfect send off for Street Fighter IV. It works as both an in-depth analysis of nearly every inch of the game’s systems, and a permanent record of what the final iteration of Street Fighter IV came to be. It was released at a moment when it was unlikely that Ultra would ever be patched or upgraded again, as Capcom was already full swing into development of Street Fighter V by that time.

Prima’s newStreet Fighter V Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide(headed up by the lead author of Brady’s Ultra Bible) is in the opposite position. Street Fighter V as we know it won’t be around for much longer. New characters will be added. Patches that may apply vast changes to how characters play are on the way. This wouldn’t have happened back in Street Fighter II‘s heyday. For better or worse, the games didn’t grow or change. They remained forever frozen in time on the cartridges and CD-ROMs they were burned on.

These days, the only media that is guaranteed to never be changed after the fact is fully analog work like the printed page. While today’s Street Fighter V will surely disappear, Prima’s 463-page essay on the game will always be there for future generations who want to see what the game was like in its infancy.

The guide follows a similar format as the Ultra Street Fighter IV Bible, starting off with a lengthy glossary of terms. If you’re new to the FGC, this section will likely be essential to you, but even old pros will likely have some fun chewing on relatively obscure terms like “Okizeme” (Japanese for mix-ups) and “Meaty” (to intentionally time a strike so it connects with later frames in the attack animation, often used in wake-ups). For the most part, these are all terms that didn’t appear in the Ultra Bible, which goes to show just how deep the language of Street Fighter goes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pros at Prima were able to put out a 500-page dictionary of Street Fighter terminology that was solely focused on the language that has sprouted up around the series over the years.

This ever-expanding passion for the source material is woven into every page of the Street Fighter V guide. It goes into even greater detail on both technical information and expert opinion on strategy than the Ultra Bible. Seeing as the Ultra Bible is 608 pages long, that’s saying a lot. Deep analysis of frame data, multiple perspectives on the best use of move sets and combos, an entire section dedicated to match-ups, and almost 20 pages dedicated to production art and unused character designs (like Yeti-F.A.N.G. and Man-Laura) make for an almost overwhelming amount of information.

While some of the details won’t apply to future updates of Street Fighter V, there is more than enough quality information and fighting game philosophy here to warrant a purchase for anyone interested in competitive play. Though the eGuide will be “patched” to reflect any changes to Street Fighter Vplanned for the coming months, I hope that Prima will also commit those changes to print as well. I’d be more than happy to pay full price for another 450-page guide dedicated to even more glossary terms, production art, changes to the engine, new modes, and details on upcoming additions to the Street Fighter V roster like Alex and Ibuki.

As someone who still whips out his Night Warriors guide to compare it’s contents to the book on Jedah’s Damnation every now and again, I’m more than confident Prima could keep churning out Street Fighter V bibles that would provide fun reading for years to come.