I loved watching SFV during E3, but the gameplay felt a bit…simple. In SFIV, every player has the option to use a Focus Attack in the neutral, and this adds a lot to the mindgames that are available. FADC forward, back, or just let the Focus Attack go through after absorbing a hit…the neutral was extremely fluid in SFIV, and many of the game’s hypest moments are due to Focus Attacks.
In SFV, they are gone, and the game is likely better off for it. However, nothing is replacing Focus Attacks, and that is a very strange fact. V-Skills, while defensive in nature, do not replace Focus Attacks because they are often far more particular in their usage, and each character has a unique one. For example, Nash has his energy absorber, which works against projectiles, but it doesn’t give him any kind of defensive neutral option.
Basically, with Focus Attacks leaving, it seems like the gameplay just has less to it. Players were already putting some pretty cohesive gameplay together after a few days, so it isn’t hard to imagine that this game will get figured out in a year, leading to stagnation. A simpler neutral is cause for concern - does anyone else share my concern?