The 8 Ball 06.17.14: Top 8 Street Fighter Characters
Posted by Marc Morrison on 06.17.2014
From E. Honda and Ken to Cammy, Juri, and more, 411's Marc Morrison ranks his Top 8 Street Fighter Characters!
Welcome all to another edition of this week's The 8 Ball. Given last week's list of top MK characters, and the recent release of Ultra Street Fighter 4, I thought I'd do this list as well. Street Fighter, as a franchise, has had a long and storied career, full of characters. For simplification's sake, I wanted to pare some of that down, so I just did characters from "main" Street Fighter games, 2 through 4. No spin-offs, or "Vs." games allowed. Let's begin:
Rose is a very tricky character to play as. Her normal attacks aren't overtly damaging, her fireball is slow (but powerful), and her main power is fairly dependent on who you are actually fighting. Still, she can be fun to use. Against physical type characters like Zangief, Hakan or Balrog, she doesn't do too well against them. However, against characters that throw around projectiles, the Ryu-type characters, Sagat, etc., she can dominate them with her "Soul Reflect" move, that bounces the projectile back at the other player. Her Soul Spiral can also be used against your foes as a nice chip-heavy move. I'm not particularly great with her, but I do enjoy her appearance, and voice work (Gina Grad), so I do pick fighting with her, even though I end up losing eventually.
7. C. Viper
Original Street Fighter 4 introduced a handful of new characters to it: Abel, Rufus, El Fuerte, Seth and (somewhat) Gouken. However, the breakout character to me was Crimson Viper. She had a nice, easy to use moveset that was pretty powerful early on. Her Thunder Knuckle is a nice dash move that stuns an enemy nicely, while her Burning Kick can be used either in the ground or in air for some damage. The Seismic Fist can be used to juggle your enemies into the air, setting them up for future combos. Her design is a little too "on the nose", but is still good looking. She was a nice addition to the roster, for sure.
6. E. Honda
E. Honda is not someone I used to play as, prior to SF4. He was (and still is) a greater cornering character, with his Hundred-Hand Slap laying waste to whomever might get trapped within it. His other big moves, the Sumo Headbutt and Sumo Splash are charge type moves, but they can be used almost anytime, so it can be a good surprise to pull them out during unexpected moves. He has a general limited moveset, but these three moves let E. Honda be a powerhouse in good situations.
Cammy, above all other characters, is one that I pretty much explicitly like for her design and ideas behind her character. She looks cool, has a good accent, and her moves (Cannon Spike, Spiral Arrow, Quick Spin Knuckle) all look cool. However, I am extremely bad with her. Like, laughably bad. I tend to use characters who throw out projectiles like crazy, and that is not her in the slightest. Her Spiral Arrow (or Cannon Drill) is almost projectile-like with how quick and low it is, but it doesn't make up for it. I actually used her the most in the arcade/Dreamcast shooter Cannon Spike, that is how much I used her.
While the old style of Ken was a palette swap of Ryu, Capcom has made subtle differences as the games wore on. Ken basically had his fireball usefulness slightly nerfed but his Dragon Punch got buffed out, adding fire to the move. While his fireball did go back to somewhat normal in Street Fighter 4, his Dragon Punch remained as powerful as ever. He was one of the big characters to dominate the early era of Street Fighter 4 online play, along with Sagat. He's a little more close-ranged than Ryu or Akuma or most of the others, but Ken can be used masterfully if you know him right.
As the newest character on my list, being added in the "Super" expansion, Juri remains one of my favorite fighters in SF4. Her fireball (thrown by her foot) can be charged and held in reserve until you want to use it. Her Pinwheel Kick can be used as a great end to a combo, or just as a good general multi-hit attack to beat up the enemy or to build meter. Her Dive Kick move is cool because of the ease which you have to bust it out against enemies that are rushing or jumping towards you. It can give the other player a lot of hesitation with this move, and the Pinwheel Kick because you can counter moves effectively with her, even as she has a separate special move just for countering basic attacks on her own. Her design is also pretty good, especially with cosplayers like my friend HezaChan portraying her:
I love me some Akuma, pure and simple. While he has the same moves as Ken, Ryu, and some others, they tend to be more damaging than others. Plus, he has a few nifty moves of his own, namely the Air Fireball, the red Fireball, and teleporting around the arena some. The teleport is very situational, but if you get trapped in a corner, it can be a life saver. The red Fireball is just a more powered up version of the normal one, with a different button command. The Air Fireball is fun to use though as it can force the other player to be on the defensive, or just to harass them non-stop. His "Raging Demon" ultra-attack can be hard to pull off, but is always cool to witness. The only real problem with him is his health bar/stamina. He can't take a lot of attacks and a player who is just as aggressive as Akuma normally is can take him out fairly easily.
How could it not be Ryu? As "the face" of Street Fighter, he is probably the most popular character of the series, and still one of the best to use. He has decent speed, his fireball is very quick, his Dragon Punch isn't quite as powerful as Ken's but still useful, and his Hurricane Kick can be used against air/standing foes with relative ease. His ultra-moves reflect this with either a mega-Fireball that can be used at the tail end of a combo as a nice finisher, or his "Metsu Shoryuken" (basically Mega Dragon Punch) which can be very hard to hit, but if it does, the enemy is in a world of pain from it. He is the iconic Street Fighter character, and pretty much my "go to" character, whenever I play the Street Fighter games.
The Better Half with Liana K
No Liana list for this week also. She's just back from E3 and is trying to recover from that and getting sick on the plane home. Expect normal coverage to return next week.
Like with last week take your pick, really. I'd probably say that my 9th pick would be Chun-Li. I just never got good with her, and I'm not a huge fan of "charge" type of characters. But characters like Guile, M. Bison, Vega, Sagat, Zangief, Sakura, or Dhalsim I did consider for a little while.
The General Roundup
As per the usual, I'll try to respond to a few of the better comments from last week: Someone mentioned the MK game Shaolin Monks. I really enjoyed that game. From what I've read, there was a follow up game being worked on called "Fire & Ice", where it would have been that style of game, with Sub-Zero and Scorpion as the main characters. Unfortunately, they didn't have the time or budget to work on it, so it got crushed out. I kind of liked Raiden's story arc in MK 2011 (especially him killing Liu Kang), but I was never good with him. And those last few fights where you use him to take on three guys at once was NOT fun. Lastly, the criteria I have for these lists is just my own. See, I'm able to be both objective and subjective in a situation and go from there. If you don't like it, don't read it, or (as others have pointed out) make your own. Up to you, really.