Sunday, December 13, 2015

Street Fighter V - The starting grid is complete (and then some).

The last of the starting 16 Street Fighter V characters have been announced. The new second in command of Shadaloo, F.A.N.G (pronounced like "flan" without the l), appears to be very sneaky and able to keep opponents at a distance.

He's sneaky for being able to move quickly in a snake-like fashion under opponent's attacks. (0:30) He's also very sneaky for using poison projectiles, (0:33,0:36,0:39,0:45), turning into a big flappy bird (0:53), and for not having a fourth period in his name.

His poison attacks come in a few different flavors - both straight and arched projectiles like some of Dhalsim's fireballs, one that stays on the ground, and a cloud that surrounds him that does repeated damage to any opponent who gets too close.

In the last little part of the video (1:15), they also tease the first wave of unlockable/purchasable characters. They are:

  • Alex, who you've only seen in Street Fighter 3 and Tatsunoko vs Capcom. He splits the difference between being a grappler and a rushdown character by combining command throws with shoulder tackles, chops, and a flying grab.
  • Guile, a series regular, who appears in Street Fighter 2 and 4 and some of the versions of Alpha 3 series. He uses projectiles and a powerful somersault kick to keep opponents from coming at him.
  • Balrog, a powerful boxer who started as an unplayable boss in the first version of Street Fighter 2, who became a playable character in the second version of Street Fighter 2. Like Guile, he was also in 4 and some of the Alpha games. He is one of Shadaloo's top ranks - look for a giant statue of him in the background of the video above.
  • Ibuki, everybody's favorite schoolgirl kunoichi, who previously appeared in Street Fighter 3 and 4.
  • Juri, a relatively new fighter in Street Fighter 4 who has elements of taekwondo and strange projectiles that don't always do what you think they're going to do.
  • Urien, Street Fighter 3's most agressive rushdown character who also has large projectiles and a unique anti-projectile barrier. It will be interesting to see how they implement his special moves.

The way that I understand it at the moment is that these characters can be locked by completing challenges in the game, or by direct purchase. They are trying to encourage people that are playing the game on a regular basis to improve their skills, and they will unlock the characters as a bonus of being engaged with the game. It's not supposed to matter whether or not people are playing online against other people - the in-game currency that allows these unlocks can be accumulate offline as well. It will be some time before the new characters become available, since I think that the intent is to get the first sixteen characters correctly balanced before they start adding other characters.

Capcom is still continuing their beta program, so people that preorder the game for PS4 or on Steam will be granted access to early versions of the game, and Capcom will use the match data to try to determine what changes need to be made to balance the game. Due to the nature of how Street Fighter works, it may take some time for all of the possible techniques to be discovered. They are also using the beta to test the netcode, making sure that people are going to be able to play well online.


In other news, Ash vs. Evil Dead has really been fantastic, and the thing that Lucy Lawless did in the last episode (yesterday) was so unexpected and amazing that I can't really hint at what it was and I have to tell you to just go watch it already.

Now if you can't stand horror in your comedy, or comedy in your horror, or women kicking butt and still getting objectified by the protagonist once in a while, or dismembered hands crawling around on their own, or anything to do with the occult, then please don't watch it because I wouldn't want to be responsible for television destroying your moral fiber.

However, if you like Deep Purple or the Amboy Dukes, you like comedy and horror together to the point that you want to make a movie about The Three Stooges coming back as zombies, you know that a balanced weapon loadout includes a chainsaw and a shotgun, and you're well-versed enough in literature to know what's funny about "A Farewell to Arms" and who originally created the Necronomicon, then by all means get right on watching this show.

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