Here is a little known factoid: I wrote a piece about the characters I’d like to see in Mortal Kombat X. The resident Jedi Junkie saw it, liked it, and ultimately it was what got me this gig here at JoypadAndMe, along with my natural charisma and command over the written word (ED: we may need to widen the office doors if this ego continues to grow!). Narcissistic ego massaging not withstanding, E3 is on the horizon and I’m fully expecting to hear something about Street Fighter V, Capcom’s latest iteration of the world’s most unlikely and unrealistic street fights. Seriously, what drunken brawl have you seen where one fella pulls off a Psycho Crusher? None, because M.Bison stopped drinking at your local when he found out that Bison Dollars weren’t legal tender. Shadaloo now seeks to crush that particular boozer for such an iniquitous transgression.
However, a fighting game is nothing without a rogue’s gallery of pugilists to pummel into the pavement. Or get pummelled by, depending on your skill level. So in keeping with what brought me to the dance in the first place, here are a bunch of scrappers that I would like to see make an appearance in Street Fighter V. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, but it’ll be a journey nonetheless. Come join me, won’t you?
We’ll kick off this rollicking fun-ride with an actual pugilist, shall we? Dudley is the world’s manliest man and screw you if you say otherwise. A English boxer and a friendlier alternative to Balrog, Dudley is the man you wish you could be: he has nice cars, including a Jaguar that belonged to his father but has since been stolen, he rocks gaming’s greatest mustache (fight me on that), and he refers to his fallen opponents as “gutter-trash”, which is possibly the best ever PG-friendly insult I’ve heard. After outwitting. out-boxing and out-styling you, all that’s left for Dudley to do is to discard a single rose upon your battered, bleeding, broken body. With a stiff upper lip and a granite jaw, this noble prizefighter is needed to bring a touch of class to the proceedings.
Those retro gamers amongst you might remember Cody from Final Fight, but he’s had a bit of a fall from grace since defeating the Mad Gear. After being arrested in the events of Final Fight: Revenge, Cody has become a bit bitter, believing himself to be punished even though he saved Metro City. Still, the solitude of prison life bores Cody, so now he’s made a hobby of breaking out and entering martial arts tournaments, because why not? You might be surprised to learn that canonically, Cody is one of the strongest characters in the Street Fighter universe due to his previous experience of fighting multiple opponents at once. Cody sports some fashionable handcuffs which supposedly make fights tougher for him, but Ryu takes them off in the UDON comic series in order for him and Cody to have a fair fight. This unshackled Cody promptly knocks Ryu on his arse. The only reason why Cody would want to keep the cuffs on is to make things interesting for himself, similar to how Akuma and Oro don’t always fight at their full potential so that they can have greater battles. I’m intrigued by the prospect of a Cody that is forced to go “all out”. Bow down before your new God, Shin Cody.
Oh Danny-boy… When are you finally going to prove to the world the power of the Saikyō Arts? Widely regarded as the joke character throughout the series, Dan Hibiki actually started out with the most relatable of intentions; avenging the death of his father at the hands of Sagat. After gaining revenge, (see: Sagat lets him win after realising what KILLING SOMEONE’S DAD does to a person) he now seeks to attract more members to his Saikyō-ryū dojo, a fighting style consisting of a mixture of poorly executed Ansatsuken (Ryu and Ken, basically) and Muay Thai. A task which would be much easier if he were, you know, actually a competent fighter. Even his supposed “student” Sakura has bested him on a number of occasions. Still, that’ll never stop Dan in his pursuit of not being bottom of everybody’s tier listing (even though, canonically, Sean is a much worse fighter. Ask me and I’ll explain). I think Dan says it better than anyone else: “I hope you’re ready for a beating!”
After taking suggestions on Twitter, I was reminded of Street Fighter Ex3, a game I’d barely played and knew relatively little about, other than the characters were kinda strange. Characters like Shadowgeist, Skullomania and Doctrine Dark are a bit loopy even by Street Fighter standards, and this is a game franchise that gave us a red and blue man in a thong as a final boss. Daft by Street Fighter standards is grounds for sectioning the character designer by everyone else’s. However I did stumble upon something potentially interesting in a guy named Ace. Acting as the mimic of the Ex3 roster, players could assign moves to him that they unlocked by passing tests in the Edit Mode. Not only did he have access to all the moves available in Ex3, but also moves from other franchises too. Fighting game fans might find this familiar to a system we’ve seen in action recently with Tekken Tag 2 and it’s Combat Lab. My point here is, wouldn’t this kind of feature be awesome in Street Fighter V? Maybe they’d even go as far as making a fully fledged Character Creator… Nah, I’m dreaming too much now… OR AM I? #TheTruthIsOutThere
So I may have mentioned that characters have a tendency to look a little weird. Super Street Fighter IV decided to continue this trend by offering to us Hakan. A practitioner of “Yağlı güreş”, otherwise known as Turkish oil wrestling, Hakan seeks to prove to the world that his fighting style is the best in the world. He’s also the president of one of the world’s leading edible oil manufacturers, a distinction earned by being a president of an edible oil manufacturer. Hakan, you see, likes to be lubricated at all times, covering himself in oil not only before a match, but usually during too. Now, my dear reader, all that’s left for you to do is imagine the oil textures in glorious PS4-O-Vision, and you know that Hakan is going to slide his way into the Street Fighter V roster.
A young woman with big dreams, Nanakawa Mika graduates from her local junior high school and begins her path towards becoming the next great pro wrestler. After years of intense training, she finally makes her debut as Rainbow Mika. Or R. Mika, if you’d prefer. Idolising the Red Cyclone himself Zangief, R. Mika has only had one foray in a Street Fighter game proper, with that being Alpha 3. I don’t know about you, but I’d say she’s long past due a second chance at the big time. As a wrestler, she has the usual selection of command grabs to crush her opponents, but the key difference between her and most grappler characters is that she’s rather agile, completely opposite to the likes of Zangief, Hugo or even Alex to an extent. Street Fighter V seems to be adopting a much faster pace than the previous outing, so maybe R. Mika’s play style would be a good addition to a roster currently lacking a grappler of any kind.
*plays the X-Files theme* If Dudley is the manliest man, Cody is one of the strongest and Hakan is the… Most oiled(?), then the award for most mysterious must surely go to Q. Little is known about this tall, slender-framed man (not Slenderman), except that he is often spotted nearby unsolved murders throughout the world, yet his motives are still a mystery. Is he murdering people, or investigating them? What are his interests with the strongest fighters in the world? And why does he appear to be part man, part robot? There’s a lot of unanswered questions that I’d like to see tackled eventually, and maybe Street Fighter V is the time. As a primarily defensive, more nuanced character, he’d certainly make for a different dynamic to the combo-centric characters Capcom have demoed so far. Watch out, because Q might be investigating/killing again pretty soon.
Sheng Long – You must defeat him to stand a chance.
Hahahahahaha… Ahhhhhhhhhhh… Thought I’d end on a joke. April Fool’s, I guess. (ED: dude, its June! I think all this fighting talk has made you punch drunk!)