Thursday, June 11, 2015

#PocketChange: Triple Da G.O.D! X Street Fighter V: Dirty Little Veecrets!

I never thought I'd be here again. Actually caring about Street Fighter to analyze it but Street Fighter V has caught my attention in the best way and I just wanted to take some time to point out some things that nobody's cared to notice or will actually.

Street Fighter is throwing the V's up with the Variable System and while it does seem to do what I've wanted this series to do by shaking the norms is that because Dimps is on the case is you should know is everything you're seeing on display has been done already in The Rumble Fish and just like with 4 is that what V does are just refinements on already treaded ground.

The most prominent example of this is in 4 is the Focus Attack & its complimentary Dash Cancel are the Jolt & Advanced Attack respectively. This is my invite to you to compare and contrast those systems for yourself and see exactly the wave I'm surfing with the example.

Street Fighter V and the V-System are no different. For example, V-Skill & V-Trigger are 2 sides of the same coin to The Rumble Fish 2's Boost Dive. Boost Dive in RF2 allows characters to activate unique boosts such as Mito's Heart Barrier which is the precursor to Rose's Soul Satellite. Hikari's allows her to heal as long as Boost Dive is active. Orville's Boost Dive grants him technical Hyper Armor except he can be thrown during it. Every character's Boost Dive is different and the same seems to be present with both V-Skills & V-Triggers and I'm pretty interested to see how the rest of the cast takes advantage of both systems.

V-Reversals while not quite an extension of the Impact because of how V is shaping up is that I wouldn't be surprised to see a future character's V-Reversal work exactly like it even though Ryu's V-Skill Mind's Eye is a parry which is closer in nature to the Impact Break anyway,

Critical Arts in V do serve the same function as they do in both Rumble Fish games by being the strongest moves and costing everything you have. In V's defense is all you need is full EX gauge vs having both your Offensive & Defensive Art gauges full. For the record. RF1's Offensive & Defensive art gauges functioned like ST by having 1 long gauge for each and RF2 having 3 levels for both Offensive & Defensive Arts more like the Alpha series.

For now, we'll hang up the Rumble Fish comparisons and take a look at the 4 characters we do know about at this point!

Ryu, ever the stalwart. Nothing's changed about him much. His motions are the usual fare. The moves that come from said motions are the usual fare. It doesn't mean he's no less than he's ever been and with the V-System he'll continue on his path of being The World's Greatest Martial Artist!

Speaking of the V-System is his V-Skill, Mind's Eye as we mentioned earlier grants him a parry that's more like a Gatchi from Battle Fantasia because its a parry using buttons. Doesn't share all the cool things you can do after a successful Gatchi but it was worth the mention anyway. Successful uses of Mind's Eye does fill his V-Gauge so that alone will make Ryu's opponents think twice before just throwing out ways to fill it faster.

His V-Reversal, Hashogeki which looks like some Hadoken variant. The Hashogeki creates enough space afterward for his longest poke to be effective after the fact and stop his foe's momentum in its tracks.

His V-Trigger, Denjin Renki turns all his Hadokens into Denjin ones and grants additional power to his Shoryuken as well. Even with Denjin Renki being on a timer is that well timed activations can lead to humongous damage and insane pressure because of what Denjin Renki does to his best poking tool. That potential is something to really consider because this is probably the most dangerous I've seen Ryu in a long time that doesn't require the use of V-ISM.  I'm a fan!

The World's Strongest Woman with those legs and thighs that haven't taken a rest since 1991! Chun-Li, ever graceful and strong looks to continue to back up the title she was given long ago and V's looking to help her do just that and then some.

The one thing we should discuss before talking about what the V-System grants her is the Hyakuretsukyaku is not only a command motion this time around but is also usable in the air which is a first in the mainline series. Looks like Street Fighter X Tekken was giving us a glimpse into the future after all. The only change from there to V is that command is ↓→+K instead of ←↓→+K.

Maybe we should talk about how The World's Strongest Woman and the V-System because everybody wants to know about that!

Her V-Skill is the Rankyaku which is a command jump which in itself a rarity in fighters. Last time I saw one it belonged to Dante in MvC3. The Rankyaku hits going up and after the apex she's allowed to attack. Given all I've seen at the time my writing this is that I don't know if she can use this as a follow up after possible juggle opportunities which would probably be its safest use offensively as far as I can tell at the moment. This is going to be an awesome tool in her arsenal and seeing what players will do with it will be a treat to see.

Her V-Reversal is the Sohatsukei which looks just like the Sou Hakkei from the Alpha series. Unlike its counterpart this doesn't knock down or push the opponent very far. This very advantageous for her because she can use this to stop momentum and possibly swing it her way in exchange.

Her V-Trigger is the Renkiko. During Renkiko her Medium and Heavy normal attacks do 1 and 2 extra hits respectively. The offensive uses should be hit confirms into combos however I can also see this as a great pressure tool to bait V-Reversals to open up opponents that way as well.

I have the sneaking suspicion that one of Interpol's best and brightest will not only hold on to her title but she finally may get the revenge she's been longing for.

Charlie Nash. The character who hasn't had a playable appearance in a video game since Marvel vs Capcom 2 (or in the reality I live in Capcom Fighting All-Stars) is back in V and with him has brought the fact that the Shadow Program from the Versus Series is actually canon or what happened in the UDON comics is. Either or.

Nash as he's now referred to isn't the same Guile replacement we grew to love so long ago. With his new accouterments comes new ways to do old things and new things to come with those old things. So, what are things?

For starters, Nash isn't a charge character anymore. Not a hint of a single command like it in his move list at all.

His Sonic Boom is done with a ↓→+P motion now. Not as strange as it sounds actually. I remember a MUGEN character that was a hybrid of both Charlie & Shadow and that character had a Sonic Boom with the motion as well. Apples & Oranges but still worth the mention anyway.

The Somersault Shell has been replaced with a new move called the Sonic Scythe which is performed ↓←+K. The LK & MK versions both hit mid but MK knocks down on hit which is the only difference I've seen thus far. If you're looking for something similar to the classic Somersault Shell then the HK version of the Sonic Scythe is the LK version of the Somersault Shell for all intents and purposes. The EX version is the L1 Somersault Justice from the Alpha games. Either the HK or EX version of Sonic Scythe can function as Nash's anti-air if he so needs it.

Something he brought with him from the Versus Series is the Moonsault Slash performed with ↓→+K  It functions mostly the same as its counterpart except its only done on the ground now which makes it more like Chun-Li's Hazanshu in use and utility.

His other new move is the Tragedy Assault performed →↓↘+P is much like Iori's 212 Shiki: Kototsuki In except Nash leaps at his opponent instead of running at them. I don't have any clue on any type of invincibility during any version of the Tragedy Assault but if it does then using it to put a stop to longer range pokes and fireballs would be a great use for it if so.

His Critical Art the Judgment Saber which is performed ↓→↓→+K looks pretty awesome. He has to connect the initial dash to get the rest of the move but when you do Nash puts a show on. Looks extremely cool and brutal!

Nash & the V-System? Nash & the V-System!

Nash's V-Skill is Bullet Clear. Any projectile successfully negated by it will build up his V-Gauge. Also if he connects with it as a physical attack it will also fill the V-Gauge as well. Being on the other side of V-Skill like this is going to make you think before that next projectile leaves your hands or being near Nash during his rushdown.

Nash's V-Reversal is the Sonic Move - Avoid. Upon activation of this V-Reversal he teleports directly behind his opponent. From what I've seen is that he doesn't move very far afterward and he may not recover fast enough to be able to start any offense afterward.

Nash's V-Trigger is the Sonic Move. This allows Nash to appear away, behind or above the opponent and continue his assault after he appears. Because this is his V-Trigger is using it with no purpose wouldn't be the best way to take advantage of it. Having the Sonic Move ready to go is part will be heavy to Nash's mind games and mixups. It really does seem like a great reset tactic for neutral or a way to go completely wild on your foe and pile on the damage. We'll see how it susses out.

Regardless, it is so good to see Charlie Nash back in Street Fighter once again!

The Master of Yes & Tuesdays in his OG form! Whether you refer to the Master of Shadaloo as Mister Bison, Vega or Dictator is that he's ready to finally put the world in his grasp once and for all and Street Fighter V may be the stage in which he does it on!

How will he do it though? The V-System of course but before we get to that is there's some things you should know about OG Bison.

He's faded back a bit to how he was in Alpha (Except for Alpha 2 Gold EX Bison) due to not having a Psycho Crusher as a special move but at the same time having a projectile as the command instead with a move called the Psycho Blast. He just summons a huge orb of Psycho Power directly in front of himself. With the Knee Press not knocking down is that if you want one then the Psycho Blast is the move for the job. Also if you do this move as an EX it does become a Psycho Cannon.

His other new move is the Psycho Inferno done by charging ↓ then ↑+P which allows him to summon a spire of Psycho Energy right in front of him or to either side of him as an EX. This looks to be Bison's anti-air from the look of it so careful use with it in that manner should yield great results.

The Knee Press and Head Press haven't changed much from previous incarnations but the follow up to the EX Head Press does remind me of another final boss from another Capcom fighter which made me smile a bit.

His Critical Art the Ultimate Psycho Crusher isn't that at all. He has to hit with a close range attack for the move to actually activate but given how Bison seems to play here is that it works well in his arsenal.

Master of Yes? Yes! Master of Tuesdays? Definitely! Master of the V-System? We'll see about that.

OG Bison's V-Skill is the Psycho Reflect and it does what it says on the tin for the most part. If any attack connects with the Psycho Reflect he can absorb it and return a Psycho charged fireball in return. This does build V-Gauge every time he successfully performs the Psycho Reflect.

OG Bison's V-Reversal is the Psycho Burst. He surrounds himself in a ball of Psycho Energy which pushes his opponent far away. At mid screen it resets the battle to about the starting position so that's a whole lot of space given and taken away on both ends. Bison can quickly get back on pushing the attack so it isn't a detriment to getting back on offense as it might seem initially.

OG Bison's V-Trigger is Psycho Power. When activated he gets a Demitri like dash in which he's invincible until the recovery of the dash and he can chain these as well to get right back into rushdown range very quickly. Also he disappears during both the startups of both the Knee Press and Devil Reverse while Psycho Power is activated.

Even in his OG form is Bison's still a threat. For the master of Yes & Tuesdays is he has all the tools to once and for all make the world his personal playground!

Like I said at the outset is Street Fighter V for now has my undivided attention. This game is looking to innovate and not play it safe life 4 did. Street Fighter V may be the game to actually back up the claim of "The Best Fighting Game in the World" because 4 isn't that game for a country mile or 2. With E3 right around the corner is who's next to join the cast may be revealed and here's hoping that they as well bring more innovation and imagination to the battlefield of Street Fighter V!

That E3 corner was turned into nice and smooth and around that corner saw the return of Birdie who we haven't seen since Alpha 3 and Cammy White AKA Miss Delta Red! How has the V changed both of these fighters? Let's take a look.


Birdie. His return to the world of Street Fighter isn't as dramatic of a cosmetic change as it was from SF1 to Alpha but no longer being a Shadaloo Enforcer has taken a dramatic toll on Birdie in simply how he carries himself now. It could also be that canonically if I had to guess that this game takes place in 1996 which is 2 years before 2nd Impact is that a lot of time has passed and time changes people. The times changing has granted Birdie with an IDGAF attitude and it flows into his gameplay style and with what seems to be the thing in V is he as well got an overhaul to streamline him, make him unique and just more fun to play as from what I've seen. How streamline? How unique? How more fun to play? 2 of those are grammatically incorrect as all get out and I'm very aware of it but I'm trying to have fun so work with me here!

The Bull Head is no longer a charge and is now done ←↓→+P. The Bull Head in Alpha 3 was on his move list and you could use it but you had a better option in the Bull Horn. V makes this a go to move because of its huge damage output and the ability to combo into it and after it very easily. Making horrible stuff really, really good! The Street Fighter V way!

The Bull Horn has its input simplified to just holding down P instead of PP like it was in Alpha 3. In that game this was the move that was huge in his offensive pressure but what this move did for him there the Bull Head does for the most part in V. This move now serves the purpose of being an anti-air option for Birdie because its now an uppercut in the very non-traditional sense. This change just helps keep Birdie very versatile and that I like.

The Bull Revenger is back but as a normal move and not as a super as in the past. The move is done →↓←+K and it works very similarly as it did before except the 3 strengths combined don't cover what the K version of the super did in Alpha 3. A lot better for dealing with fireballs and just a better utility move overall for Birdie.

One of Birdie's new moves is the Hanging Chain performed ↓→+K and allows him to reach out and throw his opponents from a distance with a chain. Controls a bunch of space in front of him in all those same directions depending on which K strength you press to activate it.. You can delay it by holding K and pressing P to cancel at anytime before you release the chain. Having that option really gives this move power because your opponent has to guess where the chain is going and if you'll even throw it at all.

Killing Head which is performed →↓←+P is Birdie's command throw and it does massive damage for a move of this type. Opponents are going to fear this option once Birdie gets in because of the potential for losing a lot of life getting hit by it.

His Critical Art, Skip to My Chain ↓→↓→+P literally gives him the opportunity to get some exercise in by playing some jump rope with his chain and his opponent attached and when he's done he gracefully slams them into the ground! This is another example of how I enjoy this game going extra dumb!

Birdie & the V-System? Birdie & the V-System!

Just like Bison as of this writing is Birdie has 3 levels of V-Gauge just so you know.

His V-Skill Break Time allows Birdie the opportunity to scarf a snack down during battle which fills his V-Gauge. This V-Skill does come in 3 varieties.

The neutral version lets Birdie eat a donut which gives him the most V-Gauge charge.

The ← version grants him a more healthy snack in a banana. IDGAF Birdie discards the peel afterward on the ground and your opponent can slip on it and be comboed afterward.

The ↓ version gives Birdie the opportunity to down a drink of some sort. Of course, IDGAF Birdie just rolls the can away when he's done and the can is treated like a high priority low projectile. I haven't seen if Bison or Nash can do what they do with it via their V-Skills and unsure if they actually can.

Both the ← & ↓ versions fill the V-Gauge the same amount but the gain is way smaller than when he eats a donut.

His V-Reversal Pepper Pot is Birdie sneezing his opponent away from him. Does the job of making enough space for Birdie to stay on the attack afterward.

His V-Trigger Enjoy Time sees Birdie down a very hot pepper and for the duration gives him an overall damage increase and sees all his special moves powered up for additional hits. A fun throwback to Alpha 3 is his Bull Head during this activation turns it into a combination of the Bull Horn and his super The Birdie.

From what I've seen is that Birdie is not only a welcome edition but is now and will be a force to be reckoned with!

Miss Delta Red, Cammy White! From the perch I watched 4 evolve into is Cammy was a problem and it looks to the fact that V seems to be embracing this and focusing hard into making this her best outing yet! Question is, how do you make better even better? I guess you could follow these easy steps!

Step 1: Do mostly nothing to what we're familiar with. Only 1 of her commands have changed in V. The Hooligan Combination command isn't ↙↓→ ↗+P anymore. It is now performed ←↓→+P. The only other time the command was ever changed was in HD Remix just so you know. The follow ups as they were in Ultra haven't changed at all however.

Anybody with some Street Fighter knowledge may say the new Hooligan Combination command belongs currently to the Axel Spin Knuckle. Not in V it doesn't which flows into Step 2.

Step 2: Continue the trend of making characters more accessible. The Axle Spin Knuckle is now her V-Skill. This is great because one of her best tools is available to her by simply pressing MP+MK. With this simple change Cammy can deal with fireballs with very low execution. On top of that any successful hit builds up her V-Gauge. Also to note is most of her moves now including this one auto-track so no worrying about the move not hitting its mark.

Cammy's Cross Stinger Assault performed ↓→↓→+P is her Critical Art and its nothing more than a stylized version of her classic Super Move the Killer Bee Assault except for the fact its way better than that move ever was. No game other than Marvel 2 gave the move some actual utility in her offense but the Cross Stinger Assault is one of the best Critical Arts in the game for its utility as a combo ender and a huge unscaled punish as well.

Her V-Reversal, Strike Back has her switch sides with her foe after the move's finished. The positioning after the knockdown is nice at mid-screen but even better for a stock of V-Gauge she can eliminate corner pressure and turn the tide with proper timing and correct usage of the move. Perfect for her rushdown nature to quickly swing offense back in her favor after using it.

Her V-Trigger, Delta Drive boosts her overall speed so she recovers faster on hit or block. The Spiral Arrow, Cannon Spike & Cannon Strike do more hits and the Spiral Arrow & Cannon Strike both go through enemies on block which allows her to stay on offense.while Delta Drive is active.

Step 3: Enjoy this version of Cammy! Again, this is another example of how V is making its best attempt to even the playing field for the cast as much as possible and could be THAT GAME when it drops next year.

Then came San Diego Comic-Con and with it the reveal of Player Numero Dos AKA Mister Masters but you know him better as Big Poppa Ken. Having his reveal be at one of the biggest cultural events of the year wasn't an accident at all.

For the Pan-American Champion the good ole USA is Home, Sweet Home and there was no better place to see how Mister Masters does the things in V! But how does he do it? Let's find out!

Seeing the Ken trailer and showing how different his style is from Ryu's is the event that instilled that truth that this game truly wants to be diverse in what it does and by really making Ken stand out from Ryu in this manner is what I want this game to do and continue doing.

Since Championship Edition is Ken & Ryu have been on different sides of the Shoto map slowly drifting apart but this is the most drastic a change has ever been and its for the very best and keeping with V's continued practice of being inventive and diverse. BUT HOW DIVERSE IS HE?! Glad you asked.

When it comes to what you know is the only major change is how his Tatsumaki Senpukyaku works now. The HK version is an actual working version Tetsu Yatogi's Combo Kick 2 from Kakuge Yaro seeing as that move is treated like an anti-air of sorts and only combos in those situations.

For the record, Kakuge Yaro is a pretty fun experience even with it being kind of busted but creating your own fighting game with the tools given is pretty fun though.

Back to the subject at hand because you might also want to know that Ken's EX version of that move is a Dive Kick which in situations I've seen does allow for follow up opportunities after the fact. RIP to the legend himself Reuben Kee and that Evil Ken he created for MUGEN. As soon as I saw the move that was the first thing that popped into my head. Strange the things that jog your memory.

Everything else is the usual Ken standard fare. Hadokens and Shoryukens because that what Ken do. EX Shoryuken is the Shoryureppa and I just needed to mention that for sake's sake.

His Critical Art, Guren Enjinkyaku as with most Critical Arts is not only very showy but very versatile in combos. You'll probably want to hit confirm from small chains into it so you're doing max damage because otherwise you're wasting all that EX meter that could serve Ken better in other ways.

When it comes to Ken and the V-System is that it really shows what Ken is about this time around.

Ken's game is literally rushdown in every sense of the word.

His V-Skill, Funjinkyaku is proof of the fact seeing as it is a command dash. From what I've seen its a more offensive version of Violent Ken's Rasetsu Kyaku in the fact that Ken can cancel into anything available on the ground and can even cancel out of normals into it to keep up the pressure. The Rasetsu Kyaku in Chaos when it came to offense in general was very situational because you only could take advantage of it in an offensive sense during MAX Mode but in trade Ken doesn't teleport during the Funjinkyaku so he doesn't get the good that comes with that.

His V-Reversal the Senpu Nata Otoshi is simply a flaming overhead kick. From what it looks like is in certain situations you may be able to follow up with some offense after it seeing as not only they aren't sent very far but also have to recover from being set aflame as well.

His V-Trigger, Heat Rush is like Cammy's Delta Drive where his moveset is altered and powered up during the duration. This means that during it your combo opportunities expand even further so don't waste a moment while you're in Heat Rush.

As someone who's played Ken in every iteration of this series where it mattered to do so is that even without playing the character is this has to be easily Top 3 Ken iterations ever. Those other 2 belong to the aforementioned Violent Ken from SVC Chaos and of course from EX2Plus because swag Ken combos are swag!

Enjoy your rushdown Ken Masters! Know I will!

Following up San Diego Comic-Con was news from EVO 2015. The panel about the game really revealed a lot about the mentality of what V will do right be by learning from rights and wrongs of the past. One the big things that came out of that panel is that you're only buying 1 copy of Street Fighter V. While I enjoyed collecting every iteration of 4 for scientific purposes is knowing that Capcom's learning and adapting to the needs of the fanbase makes me very happy. Also is that every single thing the game will ever provide you will be unlockable in the game via DAT FIGHT MONEY!!! You can still buy things out right by turning real life money into Capcom's monetary value of choice in Zenny if that's how you get down as well. This was a missed opportunity to have Bison Dollars be what you use for these kinds of purchases. Not too late to make that change. Even with that news given how digital things tend to work is I wouldn't mind a disc at the end V's life cycle so all of that content will be physically available no matter what happens. The only question is will Capcom stay this course?

Even given that is Capcom wasn't quite done with showing off Street Fighter V on the big stage of EVO in the slightest. Before the Top 8 of Ultra SF4 the world was treated to the next playable character in Street Fighter V.

Let me now introduce to you Street Fighter V's first new character! The Soul-Slaying Darkness, Necalli!

As far as story goes is I've got nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if he's not under the influence of the Satsui no Hado or some counter to it given what we've seen at this point but anything is possible.

When it comes to his gameplay style he's pretty standard with all the tools he needs to get the job done.

His unique attacks are the Opening Dagger  performed which →+P which is an overhead which has some combo potential and mixup ability during rushdown. This is also one of his Crush Counters so Opening Dagger should always be something Necalli should be doing in pressure situations.

Road to the Sun which is performed During a Forward Jump ↓+HK is his Dive Kick. Can combo after it in some situations but very punishable on block.

Necalli's Target Combo is MK, HK, MP+MK. Great string for pressure and because this string ends in his V-Skill is that you're building V-Gauge on hit. There are some other reasons why his V-Skill is very good but that comes later.

The Disc's Guidance performed ↓→+P is his rushing slash move. Great for pressure and combo strings and if you miss Wolverine then on EX the move is the Berzerker Barrage for all intents and purposes.

Raging Light performed →↓↘+P is his anti-air. How far and what purpose the move serves in what situation depends on the button press. HP & EX have some invincibility on startup so keep that in mind too.

Mask of Tlalli performed ←↓→+P is Necalli's command grab. Great during pressure and EX does a wallbounce so you're free to combo afterward so please do so.

Valiant Rebellion performed ↓→+K is a stomp directly in front of Necalli. The streets are very correct in saying that it is like Evil Ryu's Ryusokyaku and you can use it in the same manner with Necalli so do that too.

Ceremony of Honor performed ↓→↓→+P which is pretty much Wolverine's Weapon X with the style and flair that Necalli brings to the table.

The V-System does wonders for Necalli's game as it does for every single character on the roster. Let us delve into those wonders now.

Culminated Power is Necalli's V-Skill and it allows him to a degree to have pressure where he needs it. It's Viper's Seismic Hammer for the most part because he's able to control where it comes out with → or ← before using it. It does work great at controlling space but only if its thought out because of the startup associated with the move but it is a meterless way for him to deal with fireballs so keep that in mind. He builds V-Gauge if the move hits no matter the situation in which it does connect. In other words, he even builds meter when you block it.

The Calling is Necalli's V-Reversal and with a powerful roar makes the opponent give him some room. Because of Necalli's speed is he can use this to make space and shift momentum if done strategically.

Torrent of Power is Necalli's V-Trigger and completely changes everything about what he does to a drastic degree even more so than Delta Drive or Heat Rush including powering up to Super Saiyan God Mode. He completely changes as a character in every way a character can change including frame data for everything he does. In trade, he loses access to all other V-Gauge skills for the rest of the round so be sure you want to give that up in exchange for what you get.

Also when Torrent of Power is activated it changes his Critical Art into the Soul Offering. Allegedly this move can instant kill somehow but I've yet to see anybody use it to prove that's what it actually does. This does make him even more dangerous if this is the case in later rounds when he has a full EX Gauge and can build his V-Gauge quickly to put an end to you which is what Necalli's all about. This was also the move that made me consider that his power may be attributed to the Satsui no Hado. Whether there's some truth in such a hypothesis will be known soon enough.

Necalli is a great addition to not only this cast but the world of Street Fighter! Can't wait to see what's next from him!

UPDATE: During TGS, The Disc's Guidance & Raging Light were both changed to charge commands (← Charge → + P & ↓ Charge ↑ + P) respectively but have since been reverted to their previous commands.

Then came a trip to Germany to see what Gamescom had in store for the cast of Street Fighter V. What it brought back was the visage of deadly beauty if you'd let him tell it. It was of course the Spanish Ninja, Vega!

Vega's had his ups and downs during his time but Street Fighter V ever vigilant in the work of best even better has done so in Vega. What you know is mostly the same but what has changed has completely changed how Vega works. Time to explain how its done!

When alleged perfection is in front you is you never really think how can it be improved on. Street Fighter V isn't afraid to ask the question and tell you the answer.

It would seem the answer was in front of us all along. Take what we've become accustomed to and make that the point where change is made.

You not only continue the trend of easing use by giving Vega motion commands, which allegedly isn't final at moment. You more importantly also make him a stance character which doesn't buck what you're used to and it adds some diversity to a character who doesn't change too often.

Vega can switch between having his claw on or off as a stance change with Switch Claw performed ↓→+P. This isn't like its been in past games where its just a command which attaches a new claw or throws it away. This changes not only what your options are but what it is you can actually do during either stance. He can actually switch stances during combos which makes this option even more versatile. However, if the claw should break is you lose it for the remainder of the round. Also you lose out on Vega's best poking tools and some of his more damaging options but as you'll see you aren't completely dead in the water if this should happen.

For the record, Vega has been able to a degree remove his claw at will for awhile now. The game that introduced this mechanic was of course Street Fighter EX2 where he could attach a new claw at will even before his current one broke. The move also had some combo swag as well if that's what you're into.

Street Fighter 4 took this to the next level with him being able to remove his mask for a level of EX gauge as well which increased his damage output but also lowered his defense when you did so.

Depending on what stance he's in he has one of two attacks available.

When he has the claw on he has access to the Aurora Spin Edge performed ↓←+P and depending on what version is used gives Vega additional options depending on the situation including a powerful and versatile combo ender.

When the claw is off he gains a command grab in the Grand Izuna Drop performed →↓←+P. It's just an Izuna Drop from the ground but it is a powerful pressure tool because your opponent has to respect when the claw is off during rushdown is that getting thrown can happen so it keeps them on their toes during such pressure.

In V, knowing the when and where of the Switch Claw is going to be key in everything Vega does. You and your opponent need to know at all times what stance you're in and what your options are. So important I had to repeat myself. From what I've seen of Vega is that he's more dynamic than ever and is still proving the point that Street Fighter is doing diversity better than its peers at the moment.

Because Vega isn't a charge character anymore is the Flying Barcelona Attack is now done ←↓↙+K or →↓↘+K for which wall you wish for Vega to start the attack from. The various followups and how they're done in 4 haven't changed at all.

Vega however no longer has the Rolling Crystal Flash or the Scarlet Terror. In its place he has a new move called the Crimson Terror performed ↓→+K. It works like a combination of both moves where he rolls toward the opponent and then hits them with an overhead heel kick. Great for not only pressure because its really safe at the moment but also for extending combos with a well timed link and also finishing them with the EX version for big damage as well. I am surprised Vega doesn't get a floor bounce after the EX version but even I think that may be a little too good if that was an option at his disposal.

Vega's Critical Art. Bloody Rain performed ↓→↓→+P is great for a big damage combo ender or as a huge unscaled punish for a mistake very similarly to Cammy's Cross Stinger Assault.

Vega and the V-System! What everybody wants to know about. I won't disappoint.

Vega's V-Skill is the Matador Turn. It's an standing dodge that gives him upper body invincibility and if you hold the buttons you get a followup attack. I'll assume for now just like Ryu's Mind Eye is you don't get to act so quickly afterward if you don't do the followup so you wouldn't be able to do whatever you wish on a successful Matador Turn.

Vega's V-Reversal is the Backslash performed with →+PPP and the Short Backslash performed →+KKK. He's had these moves forever and they haven't changed much at all. Just a way for him to have them and be useful in the land of Street Fighter V.

Vega's V-Trigger is the Bloody Kiss which has Vega throw a rose that tracks and if it hits he does a slashing combination which can be followed up depending on the situation in question. Just know that he can use Bloody Kiss from any position so be on your toes so you don't get tagged by it and eat some heavy damage for your folly.

If there's something to be learned here is that it doesn't take much to make something classic feel new and exciting again. Street Fighter V continues to do it like nobody else does!

With the greatest night and moment in the history of all the sports looming around PAX Prime with the PAX Rumble coming to culminate the weekend is Street Fighter V wouldn't be outdone. Street Fighter V said, "You want wrestling?! We got your wrestling right here!" With that our world changed forever. Well at least the influx on fan art on Tumblr would lead you to believe such.

Not seen since Street Fighter Alpha 3! The most requested character to return to Street Fighter that isn't Karin Kanzuki! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! NOW APPROACHING THE RING! THE BRUISING SEVEN COLORED BEAUTY...RAINBOW MIKA NANAKAWA!!!!!! (INSERT LOUD CHEERS, APPLE-DOOUGH AND JOHN CENA SUCKS CHANTS HERE!)

You wanted it and you got what you wished for. And yes, this was always best for business! Mika's back and better than ever! She's been heavily streamlined. So much in fact that she only retains 3 special moves from Alpha 3.

The Daydream Headlock which is her → & Neutral Throw which in Alpha 3 was a 360+K command throw which was actually a headlock which you could mash for damage and then she'd perform a running bulldog to finish the move. In V, she doesn't mash the move out but otherwise its the same.

The Shooting Peach performed ↓→+P depending on the button pressed is either the Flying.Peach with LP/MP without the turing startup the move had in Alpha 3 performed ↓←+P while retaining the property where the move doesn't knockdown. The HP version is the Shooting Peach from Alpha 3 performed ↓←+K with the knockdown property, the recoil and even the part where she rubs her cute butt on hit or miss so be careful with it or get punished for it.. The EX version is the L1 Rainbow Hip Rush from Alpha 3 performed ↓→↓→+P  and is awesome for combo enders. She only does the Shooting Peach finish if the 2nd hit lands and is very punishable if the move's blocked as well.

The Wingless Airplane performed ↓→+K has been dramatically altered into a ground command throw/anti-air instead of the air command throw it used to be in Alpha 3 performed →↓←+K. This is another move great for combo enders no matter the version used. If you have meter you should go for the EX version just for the damage.

I've also noticed some of her command normals from Alpha 3 are present as well.

So what's new with Mika?!

Her other normal throw the Sell Down which is her ← throw. This throw is very similar to the Paradise Hold from Alpha 3 performed 360+P.

If Mika should connect a normal throw on a crouching opponent she'll get the Dream Driver. This is special because this is the first move of its type in the game and if may be something exclusive to Mika or something future characters will have as well.

One of her new command normals the Passion Press performed →+MP. The move by itself isn't much but if you press MP or ←+MP during it becomes the Passion Rope Throw. It's an Irish Whip and if you do this at the wall Mika gets a wall bounce and you're free to combo as you will afterward. MP and ←+MP controls which direction Mika whips them in. I'm enjoying the fact that a wrestler in Street Fighter has an Irish Whip as a command. +1 to Street Fighter V!

Her other command normal Lady Mika performed →+HP is an uppercut that puts you into a juggle state for jiggly, jiggly fun.

One of her command throws the Rainbow Typhoon performed →↓←+P is a Giant Swing that puts a bit of space between her and her opponent. Brimstone performed →↓←+K is the opposite where Mika does a flip over her opponent, picks them up and slams them down not too far away so she can stay close. The EX versions of both moves have an additional property but we'll talk about that in a minute.

We're going to jump straight into Mika and her Tag Team Partner in more ways than one for Street Fighter V, the V-System!

Mika's interaction with V-System really drives home her Pro Wrestling roots and I appreciate the game wished to diversify in this type of way.

Mika's V-Skill, Mic Performance is exactly what it says it is. Mika picks up the mic and begins shooting on her super awesome believe it workout regimen! This moves gives a powerup to all her throw moves and also has one hit of armor. I don't know if the buff is permanent or is it more like Sagat's Angry Scar that in the fact it'll power up the next throw you do.

Every time Mika starts Mic Performance or hits opponents with the mic she gets a small bit of V-Gauge. If she absorbs a hit via her armor it raises the V-Gauge by a considerable amount. It might be just me but her V-Gauge seems to build up faster than normal for her when she's hit. I'll explain my hypothesis on why in a bit later.

If Mika so happens to finish her promo is that her throws are powered up significantly and in one example that has been seen is a normal Rainbow Typhoon did about 75~80% damage. There's no way that Mika should ever complete Mic Performance but knowing that this is the effect it has is that opponents need to be careful.

Mika's V-Reversal, the Peach Gator is a throwback to my youth and toe kicking somebody in the Smackdown games into a finisher. Peach Gator in this case is the Stone Cold Stunner and looks super awesome! OH HELL YEAH!! MIKA 3:16 SAYS I JUST V-REVERSED YOUR ASS!! NOW GIVE HER A HELL YEAH!! HELL YEAH!!

Mika's V-Trigger is something that needs some explanation from me. So because I do what I does the best is I'll now explain to you the historical significance and importance of Mika's V-Trigger.

See this picture. This is Issue 21 of Capcom Secret Files all about Street Fighter Zero/Alpha 3. You see the woman standing with Mika? She's Yamato Nadeshiko and up until this moment she was just the woman that stood alongside her on this cover. Now in Capcom actually recognizing her existence after all these years and to boot is now a part of Mika's moveset by being her V-Trigger.

Shouts to the Graaaaaaaaawr Games Tumblr for the picture!

When Mika calls upon Nadeshiko she can do so in 3 ways. Above (Neutral), in front of (→) and behind (←) Mika's opponent. To make the move even more tricky is you can hold the buttons to delay her assistance for some crazy mixup possibilities.

My hypothesis as to why at this time Mika's V-Gauge fills up faster than most when's she hit is to emphasise Nadeshiko's use or in this case "tagging her in" to swing the fight in Mika's favor. This as well simulates those hot tag situations in wresting where tagging can shift the momentum of the match. Just my #PocketChange on the matter but I just wanted to mention it because that's what I gleamed from that discovery.

Nadeshiko is even more integrated into Mika's move set. When you perform an EX version of either the Rainbow Typhoon or Brimstone is Nadeshiko will appear and give the move some extra oomph for some tag team pain! Just awesome stuff.

She's also a huge part of Mika's Critical Art the Peach Assault performed →↓←→↓←+P. Mika and Nadeshiko team up to bring the pain for real with this move that ends in a Double Shooting Peach into a Muscle Buster or if you want to be Kinnikuman technical about it the Buster Variation Part 5! I don't know if I'm happier that that the collision of DAT ASS SQUARED incapacities someone or that a Muscle Buster is being performed in Street Fighter. I know that King can do it in X Tekken bur this is mainline Street Fighter so be happy!

Rainbow Mika Nanakawa helps this game prove once again its ability to diversify and the maturity to know that diversification between characters is needed and makes the whole product better.

By the way, don't think I didn't notice that Junko Takeuchi's back as Mika and that her voice acting counterpart is Maile Flanagan in this game! There's no way that casting was an accident or coincidence. That was planned and as a fan I freaked when I put that together! Street Fighter V does it again!

The one small gripe I have is that I wish Mika had some chain grabs. In Alpha 3, Mika had a move called the Sardine's Beach Special performed ↓→↓→+P was a multi-part super where Mika could do different attacks depending on what buttons were pressed in what situation. Wasn't a real powerful move unless you knew the secret how to get the Level 3 to do more damage than normal. The thing is I would've loved to see the game expand on that but seeing what Mika has is its more than plenty and gives her the opportunity to compete. Thing is the game's ever changing so who knows what could happen in future updates.

Also, could the internet please calm down about the Mika thing please. The divide between loving and hating her inclusion in the game is just the internet being the internet on a day that ends in Y. Thing is I understand it from all sides but she's here and not going anywhere. So if you like it celebrate it and if you don't then grin and bear it because that's the reality you're in.



Talk about Rainbow Mika using the following hashtags on social media! #MikaWorldOrder #GiveMikaAChance #MikaRevolution /Vintage Michael Cole

UPDATE: Mika isn't being voiced by either Junko Takeuchi or Maile Flanagan as much as that would've been cool. Her voice is being provided by Hiromi Igarashi & Bonnie Gordon respectively.

Next stop on this World Tour Mode is the Dubai World Game Expo and with it another showcase of diversity in all facets. Representing the Middle East Side is New Character #2...Rashid of the Turbulent Wind or just Rashid if titles aren't your thing.

I've used the word diversity a lot and will continue to simply because V has earned the right for the word being used each and every time it proves that it's doing such. At this moment Rashid represents diversity in a different way. Everything I've read about how much work it took to put this character together and why the character exists in the first place is something to celebrated because of trying to bridge the gap so that everybody gets a chance.

However, let it be known that Rashid isn't the first character to represent the Middle East Side in Street Fighter. That accolade belongs to one Pullum Purna from the EX series and when you consider what she brought to the table in EX and what Rashid brings to V is they share an affinity for Wind based attacks but as you're about to see that's where the similarities begin and end. Rashid is his own character and V is doing what it has done best by diversifying this cast and making every character unique and viable. Let's take a look how.

Looking at Rashid's movelist and then seeing it in action confirmed for me that Rashid represents the ninja archetype you see in 2D fighters. Heavy emphasis on speed and mobility and no ninja character is complete without a Triangle Jump and Rashid has that too.

Rashid has some great buttons to compliment all he has to offer. Good pressure buttons on MP & HP which also are cancelable. Crush Counters on HP & HK and HK actually gives you a great juggle state to mostly anything that can be done.

Rashid's Unique Attacks are Flap Spin (→+MP) which is 2 hit attack which you can follow up with other things and pretty safe to boot and Beak Assault (→+HP) is Rashid's overhead but it is very unsafe if blocked but if used correctly will lead to big damage.

Spinning Mixer (↓→+P) is Rashid's almost everything. You can pressure with it, end combos with it and on special occasions anti-air with it. LP is grounded, MP is at a 45° angle, HP is straight up and EX is a faster & harder hitting MP. HP can be used as an anti-air but EX is better because of the startup speed and the space it covers. Don't forget you can mash the buttons for more hits and change the move's properties. See the fun you can have with that.

Eagle Spike (↓←+K) is a move who's utility I don't quite see outside of combo enders and extenders when used as an EX. The only difference in strength is startup and the bounceback on block. LK at the low end and HK at the high end of that spectrum. The EX actually goes through opponents instead of enacting a bounceback regardless of how it hits and when it does has some some juggle potential after the fact.

Airborne Eagle Spike (Forward Jump ↓←+K) is much the same as its grounded counterpart except it's a divekick instead. It is very important to remember that Airborne Eagle Spike can only be perfomed out of a Forward Jump which makes it different from other dive kicks you may have seen.

Whirlwind Shot (↓→+K) is Rashid's anti-air tool during mid-range footsies and zoning. The way the move works is the K button pressed determines the startup and horizontal range before the Whirlwind Shot rises vertically in the air. Mixing up the strengths when zoning and knowing the ranges that each Whirlwind Shot covers will be what makes this move truly dangerous.

Something that's unique to Rashid and reminds me of Guy and even El Fuerte is Rashid can perform both the Spinning Mixer and Eagle Spike from a run (Hold  → after a Dash) with →+P & →+K respectively. He is in full control of this run and can cancel it by pressing ← or by pressing a button to initiate an attack. This is an awesome tool because it truly allows Rashid to switch his offense at will and keep well needed pressure from wherever he is on the screen.

Rashid's Critical Art is Altair (↓→↓→+P) and is an amazing combo ender because Critical Arts work that way. You may be able to get it off raw as a punish however you should attempt to guarantee the damage from the many ways he can land Altair without the wonderment of guessing.

What does the scouter say about Rashid and the V-System? Let's take a look at the findings!

Rashid's V-Skill comes in 2 varieties.

MP+MK is the Front Flip and pressing any K afterward gives you an Airborne Eagle Spike.

↓+MP+MK activates the Rolling Assault and pressing any K afterward activates the Nail Assault which hits low but if it's blocked then pain will soon follow because of its long recovery.

The thing with his V-Skill is that it's very similar to Ken's in which he can cancel into either V-Skill in most situations so knowing when and what to use in each situation will be a determining factor in wins and losses with Rashid.

Also know that whether the Airborne Eagle Spike or Nail Assault hits or is blocked will fill Rashid's V-Gauge.

Rashid's V-Reversal is the Sliding Roll. It is what it says on the tin folks, a sliding roll. The roll puts you just outside of rushdown range so Rashid doesn't lose that much ground but his opponent is right there too so use with caution.

Rashid's V-Trigger is Yssar and with it he introduces a giant whirlwind to the battlefield which accentuates his mobility options even more. If Rashid should jump into Yssar is he'll be quickly shot into the direction he jumped into it. This can put Rashid wherever he needs to be to give him his best chance at anything he wants to do. Anything Rashid can do in the air is fair game after he jumps into Yssar so take advantage of that! Know that it is a 3 hit projectile so you have to be aware of this property while it's active because if you happen to forget the state of your giant fireball then you could be in a world of hurt.

Rashid is a wonderful addition to this cast as someone who brings some fresh air to something we already know. This cast is better with him in it and I hope others see that as well.

More of this here diversity!

Our next stop on this world tour brought us to the Tokyo Game Show and with it a trip a very special place!

Welcome back to the Queendom of the Kanzuki Zaibatsu!

It has been a long while since we've had the privilege of having her in a playable role in a game. For the record that game was Capcom Fighting Jam if we're keeping score. By the way, we are keeping score here.

Time has not dulled the skills of the Queen of the Kanzuki Zaibatsu and after some time away is she's ready to show her rival and the world the beauty, grace and ultimate dominating strength of Kanzuki-ryu Kakutojutsu!






As it was stated in that glorious introduction is a playable Karin was last available in Capcom Fighting Jam but for this analysis we'll be taking comparisons from Alpha 3 Double Upper.

There are some things about CFJ's Karin that don't warrant discussion here however knowing that pressing HP/HK repeatedly during a Custom Combo into a super does insane damage and that's why she's Top 5 at least in that game. Just so you know.

The major change that should be noted is her Guren Ken chains are now only usable during V-Trigger. There are even changes even within that and we'll discuss that more in length later.

Speaking of the V-System is the Meioken is a replacement for her Hou Shou (→↓↘+P) which has some additional properties we'll speak about later.

Also the Yasha Gaeshi (↓←+P/K) is now her V-Reversal instead of having its own command.

The Arakuma Inashi is no longer a command grab (360+K) but now is just her normal → grab now.

Tsumuji-gari is still performed with →+MK and retains the same properties as it does in Alpha 3.

The Ressen Ha has changed commands from ↓→↗+K to ↓←+K and now has 2 additional follow ups.

↓+K afterwards is the Senha Kusabi which should be familiar to anybody who's ever played Karin in previous outings. If you aren't familiar then the Senha Kusabi is just a low lunging sweep kick.

↑+K is the Senha Resshu which activates a throw when it connects. Know that this doesn't combo naturally from Ressen Ha so know this before using it.

Also know that EX Ressen Ha is the L1 Kanzuki-ryuu Kou'ou Ken. Seems to be a bit more useful in V than it was previously.

The Mujin Kyaku has also changed commands from →↓↘+K to ↓←+K and has in the process lost its juggle property. As you'll soon learn Karin has better. However know that instead each strength has a follow up and all are great after juggles started from elsewhere so be sure to find where each one goes in what situation for best results.

So I'd guess the next question on your brain is what's new with your Queen?

We'll start with the Kanzuki-Ryu Hokojutsu Seppo (↓→+K) which is a dash forward (strength determines distance traveled) which leads into other things that as of now are a major part of Karin's offense.

Mainly because of the 1st follow up in the Tenko which is activated by pressing P during the Seppo. Tenko puts your opponent in a juggle state. If however you press P with the proper timing you get a better version of Tenko which greatly expands what Karin can do. This is one hell of a move and learning the Just Frame version of Tenko will be the bridge that separates Karin players. Know that you can't throw Tenko and not think about it first. If Tenko's blocked expect to be punished severely for your mistake.

↓+P from Seppo will get you the Orochi which is a shoulder block similar to what you've seen from Yun and others throughout the history of the series. Also know that if done as an EX it will yield you a crumple stun on hit so please take advantage of it.

Karin's Critical Art the Kanzuki-Ryu Hadorokushiki Hasha No Kata (↓→↓→+P) is an amazing Critical Art because you have the option to combo into it or use it as high damage punish so your opponent needs to beware of Tenko combos that could end in it or an error in judgment that end with them being on the receiving end of it.

The Queen wishes to make the V-System hers! The Queen's request is heard and granted with the power vested in me to perform such acts!

Karin's V-Skill is the Meioken and as mentioned earlier it is the replacement for the Hou Shou. What makes this move an awesome replacement can be summarized with the following 2 reasons.

1. The Meioken can destroy fireballs. This gives Karin a meterless way to deal with the zone game while being able to keep pressure and build V-Gauge while doing so.

2. The Meioken can be charged giving the move better everything. The move normally is horrible on block however getting the move out there and switching up what version of the Meioken your opponent has to currently deal with will be key for mind games and counter hit damage.

Use the move with caution and care and you should be fine.

Karin's V-Reversal is the Yasha Gaeshi and it no longer needs the high or low inputs because it isn't much of a counter anymore. It still acts the same as it did in Alpha 3 so no change there. I have a feeling that this is something that will change over the lifespan of V. Whether that's reverting the move to how it was in Alpha 3 in either as a V-Reversal or as a special move or altering how this move works period by activating a juggle state instead of the knockdown or even something different than that.

Karin's V-Trigger is the Kanzuki-Ryu Guren No Kata which allows her access to Guren Ken and its various follow ups for the duration of the activation.

The Guren Ken (↓→+P) hasn't changed much except for the fact you no longer have the option to press P a 2nd time before continuing the string because it does it for you. The downside to this is you lose the mind games that doing one punch of the Guren Ken provided but it's a small price for what it provides now.

Pressing P after brings the Hou Shou back in all its glory. The thing with the Hou Shou in Alpha 3 was when you did it as a follow up to the Guren Ken is that HP did the least damage while LP the most and the standalone version was the reverse of this which meant juggles should end with standalone HP and the Guren Ken version with LP unless the situation during footsies called for a different strength.

Pressing ↑+P is the Guren Senha. Nothing's changed here except it was once done with ↑+K instead and after all this time still doesn't naturally combo.

Fun Fact: Did you know in Alpha 3 that Sakura is the only character that can avoid the initial hit of either the MK & HK versions of the Ressen Ha. I'm actually going to test this in Vanilla & Upper and see if that's really a thing in all versions of the game that matter.

Pressing ↓+P, gets you the Guren Chochu This move used to exist outside of Guren Ken followups as ←↓↙+P, P as the Ressen Chou with its follow up the Ressen Chuu and as Guren Ken followups as ↘+P, P as the Guren Chuu. Nothing has changed about this move except there's no 2nd elbow to do because it has been replaced with something else now.

Pressing ↓+P after the Guren Chochu gets you the Guren Hochu. This move is actually treated in game as a cross-up but it just switches sides with your opponent during the string. The thing you should know about the Guren Hochu is that it is very much included in high damage Just Frame Tenko combos. So know when things line up as they should that this should be your combo extender into a Critical Art or in most cases a high damage way to end Guren Ken strings.

Pressing ↓ or ↑ +K after either the Guren Ken or Chochu gets you the Guren Kusabi or Resshu. They both function as they do as follow ups to the Ressen Ha so you already know what's good here.

Pressing K after the Guren Ken gets you the Guren Kyoho. It's just a backdash. With the Guren Ken not being as safe as you'd want it to be is the Kyoho isn't a Get Out of Jail free card on block. Use it mind games if you can but be careful in how you use it.

From what I've seen thus far is Karin is a force to be reckoned with and will be early on as the game is being sorted out.

The question is, "Will the Queen stay the Queen?!"

Find out soon in Street Fighter V!

Regardless of such, welcome back to Street Fighter, my Queen!

Your presence was surely missed by all your subjects!

Our next stop on this World Tour is Moscow and with it the confirmation that The Red Cyclone is back and he's still in the mood to wrestle bears for fun, protect those Russian skies and show why Russian Wrestling is the absolute!

The cool thing is that he got to show his stuff first in front of his homeland fans at IgroMir which shows once again how much gaming has grown knowing Russia has a place where these things can happen!



Zangief is still Zangief for the most part but he has lost some of his toys from IV to V.

No Banishing Flat, Quick Double Lariat, Atomic Suplex or Flying Powerbomb. As you're about to find out, what those moves did for him are now done better with some new toys. Speaking of, let's get into that a bit.

Know you'll be holding HP for its one hit of armor. Make sure to remember that the armor doesn't start until later into the attack

You can combo into EX SPD which is amazing!

Knee Hammer (→+K) which is Zangief's new Unique Attack and it's good for starting combos on counter hit.

Siberian Express (→↓←+K) which is your Atomic Suplex/Flying Powerbomb replacement and from what I've seen Gief's better for this particular change.

Borscht Dynamite (360 + P during a Neutral/Forward Jump) is a way for Gief to stay protecting those Russian Skies without having to lose 50% of his life for such an option. This doubles as a way to end juggle combos with style, flair and a whole lot of pain. For the record, the Aerial Russian Slam was always a decent anti-air in the games that Gief had it and even a good assist to choose in Marvel 2 as well because of the combos that could happen afterward.

Gief's Critical Art, the Bolshoi Russian Suplex (720 + P) is amazing because of the simplicity of a showcase of just raw power. Opponents need to be aware that this is a thing that can happen if Gief's in range so learn to respect it or it'll make you respect it. Mother Russia, baby!

The strength of Mother Russia! The strength of Zangief! The strength of the V-System! Indeed so!

Gief's V-Skill is Iron Muscle and this is just another callback to the VS Series, technically. When Gief activates Iron Muscle is he has Super Armor for the duration. The duration isn't very long but it starts up really quick and can be used similarly to Ryu's Mind Eye for dealing with multiple hit attacks. It also serves the purpose for dealing with fireballs like the Banishing Flat used to and great up close to cancel the 1 hit of armor into a SPD. He can also move forward during it for up to 2 hits of armor and a third that can be activated by releasing MP + MK and he can combo off of the attack it produces. Just nasty stuff.

Gief's V-Reversal is Muscle Explosion and there are muscles and there's an explosion. The thing that's good about this V-Reversal is that Gief doesn't push his opponent very far away so while he can't start offense afterward is he's in range to do something nasty if given the opportunity.

Gief's V-Trigger is Cyclone Lariat and this move does exactly what Gief needs it to brings the opponent close for a Russian hug of love! This move is also an attack so Gief has the option to to hold the Cyclone Lariat for max damage and then tack on a Borscht Dynamite afterward for even more damage. Also know that while Cyclone Lariat is active is Gief can hold Iron Muscle as long as he desires but you still take white life damage so it isn't truly free but something to consider when you activate.

All in all, it would seem that Zangief's ready to do Mother Russia proud once again on the Street Fighter stage!

Like there was any doubt he couldn't!

Our next stop on this World Tour is Brazil known for its beautiful everything! The Brazil Game Show or a more historically accurate description of said events, an accidental Famitsu leak showed us the spark of Street Fighter's newest shocking beauty!

Ladies and Gentlemen, New Challenger #3...Miss Laura Matsuda!

A couple of things before we get to the gritty.

1. You should recognize Laura's surname if you've ever interacted with Street Fighter 3 in any way. Laura is Sean's big sister and this alone for a canon buff like me reinforces a lot of Sean's reasoning to find Ken and asked to be trained by him which was something we never had prior to Laura's introduction into the series.

2. I really think Ono could've played the female Blanka troll to the limit if it wasn't for the Famitsu leak. Laura may get the costume down the line for funsies but given the history of this game and fanservice is I'll be surprised if it does happen.

3. How about we get to work and get you what you really need!

Just as Juri used Tae Kwon Do before her is Laura is a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or as the game refers to Laura's martial art of choice as Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu which is a way to let the hometown girl hold the hometown down and as we've talked a lot about diversity as we look at these characters is I can definitely appreciate that Street Fighter is giving that opportunity to another character. But how so? Glad you asked.

Because of Laura's use of Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu is this makes her a different kind of grappler. A lot of Laura's big damage will come from hit confirms from her Unique Attacks and mixups using Thunder Clap which is a fireball. First for a grappler in the series to have one but not unique to her in fighting games. Another grappler with the affinity for shocking his opponents is Iron Tager from Blazblue who uses Spark Bolt but that's used in his overall game for something way different that Laura uses Thunder Clap for but we'll get into how she can take advantage of Thunder Clap in a bit.

Speaking of those Unique Attacks is first up is Step Elbow (→+HP) and this is one of Laura's best tools because it's mostly safe. If Step Elbow hits then feel free to add another HP for the Twist Barrage and let the fun begin. You can follow Twist Barrage with mostly anything but beware of this because if you throw Twist Barrage out on block then that's a free punish and you don't want that.

Her other Unique Attack is the Dual Crash (MP, MK) and from what I've seen you can't do much from it unless you V-Trigger cancel it into something else. I have a feeling this will change over time however.

Bolt Charge (↓→+P) is Laura's go to for the damage she needs to deal.

LP is just a simple elbow which leaves your opponent reeling while you recover. Not enough to do something afterward however this option keeps her opponent grounded without knocking them down so she can keep pressure without giving her foe an opportunity to escape said pressure.

MP is similar to LP except for the 2 follow ups with P for Split River and K for Rodeo Break. Know that Split River switches sides while Rodeo Break doesn't so make sure you're using the right followup for each occasion.

HP is Laura's go to anti-air and it does remind me of another move in Street Fighter with some shocking properties. That move being Crimson Viper's HP Thunder Knuckle except this ends in a grounded throw and any juggle Laura does should end with this move.

The EX version is a 1 hit armor version of MP with quicker startup so be sure to punish with it and use it in combos where you can.

Thunder Clap (↓←+P) is that fireball I've been talking about and this move has a bunch of utility for Laura in most situations. She can to a degree zone with Thunder Clap and if you happen to catch somebody jumping then be sure to introduce them to a HP Bolt Charge for being so foolish. It also can be used as a combo extender into MP/HP Bolt Charge or her Critical Art if you so choose. Laura can also charge Thunder Clap to delay the release of it and also extends its range and damage output for use in combos and zoning as well.

Sunset Wheel (→↓←+K) is Laura's command grab which comes out very, very quickly. The EX version has a dash before it so if you happen to be outside of range and have some meter then EX Sunset Wheel is a safe way to get in without a lot of fuss and continue her rushdown from there.

Fun Fact: Sunset Wheel used to have a ↓←+K motion before being recently changed in the last beta.

Laura's Critical Art is the Inazuma Spin Hold (↓→↓→+P) and this move is good simply because it does what most Critical Arts do by simply being very combo friendly and a way to make your opponent regret making a mistake. Make use of it.

Laura X The V-System is muy bonita indeed! Let me show you how!

Laura V-Skill comes in a couple of flavors.

Volty Line (MP+MK) is just an overhead but since you can cancel most moves into Volty Line be sure to make your opponent pay for blocking low.

Linear Movement - Avante (→+MP+MK) is forward dash and should be your movement choice when wishing to advance on your opponent.

Linear Movement - Esquiva (←+MP+MK) is a backdash and you should use it in conjunction with Linear Movement - Finta (MP+MK after Esquiva) to dash forward and beautifully dance in the range where Laura can hurt you.

You can combo out of Linear Movement with most stuff including a Volty Line if you know you can get that overhead and a enact Crush Counter as well.

Laura's V-Reversal is Double Slap and it just about resets things to where a match would start so if you need the space then let it loose.

Laura's V-Trigger is Spark Show and this gives her buffs to everything. Enhanced movement options both normally and through Linear Movement. More damage on everything and a better Thunder Clap to boot. There's no reason for Laura not to use Spark Show as soon as the moment arises. If you want to be safe and fancy then be sure to V-Trigger cancel into some nastiness then after the knockdown give them a Thunder Clap to deal with on wakeup and proceed from there. Muy Bonita, baby!

From the looks of things, Laura seems to be one of the best characters on paper but can she bring that to life on the battlefield?

The results may shock you!

Our next stop on this World Tour is The City of Light and when you think about that way is what better character to reveal than the one character from Street Fighter who can light up a room with some Yoga Fire!

Dhalsim's back and more enlightened than he's ever been before. Still not one to rest on his laurels however is he continues to push his pursuit of perfection within the art of Yoga and it shows in more way than one!

That's a good enough segue as any to get to the business at hand I'd say!

As we talked about with Vega is over the past 25 years is Dhalsim has grown as a character but he's always played much the same with it just being best to zone and punish. Even with this being the gameplan is that he's had some standout moments in Super Turbo & EX2 that show that such a game plan can be dominant.

V however in its master plan to make great even greater has given Dhalsim a way to escape his comfort zone and bring the conflict up close and personal and for someone who despises such methods is this Dhalsim can bring them to a swift end showing that the art of Yoga is no joke.

Even given that most of what you know is still there. Those limbs. those drills, those bars of hot fire and that same mentality to keep the unwanted out. The thing is, this cast from what I've seen has various ways to deal with the zone which is why the change is definitely warranted to give Dhalsim the tools to bring the conflict close if need be so he isn't just out there waiting to see that zone game dissipate from up under him as it has in the past.

The only loss that's even worth mentioning is Yoga Tower but even then when you consider the flow of V and what Sim's picked up in trade for this loss is isn't that major in the scope of things.

What's new with the Master of Yoga you ask?

Every crouching K is a slide of various distances. Amazing for all the reasons you think.

Dhalsim has buttons for every occasion and in every direction. Just press buttons to see what they do and how they can best serve you.

Yoga Fire isn't the Yoga Fire you know and love except when done as an EX. Yoga Fire is an now an angled shot of fire with the P used to determine the height and distance covered. The zoning and combo capabilities are insane with the ways Dhalsim can get in out now. Craziness of the highest degree. This partly covers for the loss of Yoga Blast as well.

The other part of the loss of Yoga Blast is now taken care of with a new move called Yoga Gale (→↓←+P During a Neutral or Forward Jump) which allows Dhalsim to spit those hot, fiery bars in the air. Yes, you read that correctly. This is more of the Versus Series creeping into the mainline games and being able to breathe fire in the air will have the same use here as there as part of juggles.

For sake's sake is just know that EX Yoga Flame is a Yoga Inferno that's nuts for combo extensions.

Dhalsim's Critical Art Yoga Sunburst (↓→↓→+P) is a better Yoga Catastrophe seeing as it's Dormammu's Stalking Flare for conversation's sake. Great for combo damage or forcing the zone. The same tricks that made Yoga Catastrophe one of IV's best Ultras apply here and then some.

Let us sit and meditate on the synergy of Dhalsim and the V-System.

Dhalsim's V-Skill is the Yoga Float which allows him to float of course. He's free to control the direction and do it in the air as well. This alone does wonders for him by giving him the mobility he needs to be where the battle will suit him best. Combine this with stuff and watch things happen.

Dhalsim's V-Reversal Yoga Mala is another one in the line of creating the necessary space to reset the battle and given who we're talking about is this will do wonders for keeping the opponent where he wants them to be.

Dhalsim's V-Trigger Yoga Burner is Dormammu's Flame Carpet. This slowly does white life damage while your opponent is standing in it. This is best used in combos to guarantee that that the damage this does is permanent and Dhalsim can make life bars disappear with the correct setup.

All in all, this is a Dhalsim that lives up to his Street Fighter II win quote of simply "I'll meditate and then destroy you!"

Street Fighter V however will be a battle that will put this hardened Yoga Master and all the knowledge he's assimilated to the test.

We shall soon see if Dhalsim's mastery of Yoga will be enough for the master to endure this battle.

Our World Tour's next stop is Playstation Experience 2015 in San Francisco. A place that was once known for its air quality would be the perfect place to introduce the final character for the initial roster for Street Fighter V!

Ladies and Gentlemen, New Challenger #4...F.A.N.G!

F.A.N.G up front looks to bring something new to fighters with his ability to poison his opponents and give them a hard time but that my friend that's where you'd be wrong.

F.A.N.G actually has a lot in common with a character from The King of Fighters series by the name of Lin. Play a bit of Lin in 2000. 2001 & 2002 UM and see exactly what I mean about what I speak on. I could go into detail about it but this is the F.A.N.G show and I'll do my best to keep the spotlight where it belongs. I also expect the curious to do their own homework because you learn the best that way!

The other important thing to note is F.A.N.G is a member of The Four Kings of Shadaloo taking the place of Sagat after he's found peace with the way things should be. This for me is interesting canon wise seeing as it begs the question of how Vega & Balrog feel about this and how F.A.N.G rose to such a prominent position within Shadaloo. I have a feeling we'll get those answers and plenty more soon enough.

For now, the answers we all seek are in how F.A.N.G works so with that...TO WORK!

As I said, F.A.N.G's all about wanting you to "taste the poison" and he has a bunch of ways to do that and do the other things that F.A.N.G does too.

Depending on the move used is the poison lasts for various periods until the poison runs its course or F.A.N.G is hit. This will be the difference between a win and a loss so be sure your opponent stays gassed up as much as possible and take advantage of of the shift in your opponent's nature to rid themselves of it and finish the job.

Just a note, any move with a * is a move that inflicts poison just so you know.


Starting with his Unique Attacks we have Senpukuga (↓+PPP) which lets F.A.N.G hit the floor and duck whatever would hit him High or Mid. Afterward you're free to press K to follow up with an attack if you desire.

Renkiko (↘+HP) is a 2 hit attack that isn't much upfront other than it hitting High then Mid however because of its quickness be sure to V-Trigger cancel from it to give it a bit more utility. Also a nice poking tool for V-Reversal bait.

Nishikyu* (↓ Charge ↑+P) lets F.A.N.G shoot two fireballs in an arc with the P determining the distance traveled. The EX version shoots these fireballs in a figure 8 and they bounce once off the ground before dissipating. This is one of F.A.N.G's most important zoning tools and a is a fireball that your opponent must respect. So it becomes up to you to enforce that respect because without it things will go south quickly.

Sotoja* (← Charge →+P) is a lunge punch for all intents and purposes and this is your pressure and combo tool. F.A.N.G can makes things happen with Sotoja so you'll be either ending combos with it or comboing into his Critical Art from it.

Ryobenda* (← Charge →+K) is a poison cloud and just like Nishikyu this is something else your opponent has to respect especially when used as an EX because of how long Ryobenda stays out. Ryobenda also has great combo potential with every version but MK because it doesn't knockdown bit that has other practical applications however so use the normal versions for combo enders and EX to extend combos out a bit.

Nikankyaku  (→↓↘+K) is F.A.N.G's mobility tool with K determining distance traveled and he can attack from Nikankyaku as well. Treat it well and it shall do the same for you.

F.A.N.G's Critical Art Shishiruirui* (↓→↓→+P) is as well like most CA's except it can function to a degree as an anti-air, however stick to comboing it after Sotoja to guarantee that damage.

How does F.A.N.G cook up this work with V-System in the mix? Let's find out!

F.A.N.G's V-Skill is Nishodoku* which is just a single poison ball or so it would seem.until you realize it's a projectile that your opponent can just walk through it like it isn't even there. This makes Nishodoku great for the approach because it gives F.A.N.G a way to do such without a loss of momentum for when you decide to move in. Use it in conjunction with Sotoja or Ryobenda for maximum effect.

F.A.N.G's V-Reversal is Nikaiho and it just switches side with the opponent. Not sure of the safety of it because he doesn't move very far but since you have to press → as part of V-Reversal then it wouldn't hurt to use it as the start of a free charge for Sotoja if you like.

F.A.N.G's V-Trigger is Dokunomu* and as long as it's active is anytime F.A.N.G's close to his foe is they'll be poisoned. This is the cue to let F.A.N.G go nuts and rushdown because no matter what happens is the opponent is taking damage so this is prime time to put your foe away or do the complete opposite and reinforce your zone game. Either way, this puts F.A.N.G in the driver's seat as long as it's active.

F.A.N.G in the right hands will be a formidable force to be reckoned with when the time comes.

So comes the question, does F.A.N.G have the recipe to leave the competition high and dry?

The work's hitting the block so you'll have the answers soon enough!

So, if F.A.N.G makes 16 so what's the future like for V then?

Capcom trying its best to get ahead of the world of non-secrets confirmed what the streets already knew by confirming that Alex, Guile, Balrog, Ibuki, Juri & Urien will be coming to V soon? How soon you ask?

According to this picture, March soon.

March will bring us Alex, Challenges & Trials, improved lobby support and the shop where you can spend your Bison Dollars on stuff you want.

Every month thereafter will bring a new character except for June which will add the Cinematic Story Expansion which is like the end of Asura's Wrath except you don't have to pay for it. You still should pay for it because Asura's Wrath is a damn good game not enough people in streets played so do that, please!

The future is bright for V and I for one can't wait to get back in the fight and maybe get some answers about that canon only I care about. It does make me question how they'll get all of this together and not step on what's already been established in III?

These answers and more on February 16th!




-Triple Da G.O.D!

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