I am admittedly not a huge Street Fighter fan. The combos are a bit of a pain but I have enjoyed the few versions of the game I’ve played. I’ve like the anime I’ve watched. I even like the live-action movie (for what it is, since it’s not a good adaptation until the third act) and yes, I also enjoyed the US cartoon. Frankly I think it’s underrated because it plays off of the movie as Guile leads a team using street fights as a cover but gives the characters back their superpowers. Admittedly the anime movie is leagues better and I’ve only seen a handful of the TV episodes. Then there’s the few Udon comics from Free Comic Book Day that I rather enjoyed, even considering the one problem I had with the ending of this year’s offering.
So maybe I’m not the expert you come to on this game, but a trailer was recently released for the sixth main game in the series, not counting spin-offs like Street Fighter Alpha. Apparently the more die-hard fans are a bit divided. Personally I don’t think it’s that bad. Let’s look at the trailer and discuss the complaints…which is mostly the changes to Chun-Li’s design.
So far the only returning characters officially announced as of this writing are Guile, Ryu, and Chun-Li. Two new characters building up the ranks are Luke, a contractor with a military background and a love of video games, and Jaime, who mixes his martial arts with his dance moves if I’m understanding his bio right. The article that pointed me to this trailer is all about Chun-Li but I guess the new character models for the others aren’t sitting well and there are supposed leaks for Cammy and Ken I didn’t bother with because they could always end up in one of those Did You Know Gaming episodes on false rumors. Let me know when it’s official.
Personally I think all three are okay for one big reason: Capcom has apparently decided to continue the story, which is different for a fighting game. I think. Fighting games don’t typically have strong stories behind them because you’re just here to fight. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken are the only ones that even come to mind as having anything resembling a progressing plot between games, and in the first case that’s only now. Like I said, I’m not a huge follower of the game (my favorite fighting games are in the Virtual Fighter, Souledge/Soulcaliber, and Marvel Vs. Capcom franchises because I can actually play those and get at least a few victories) but according to the returning character bios Shadowloo is taken down. The three announced characters all have a history with that organization and it’s…dead?…leader, Bison. That means time is passing in this universe.
And so all three are older now. Guile avenged Charlie (who I thought was Blanka but I don’t know for sure that’s from the games), Ryu overcame Satusi no Hado, and I don’t know what that is but I’m assuming it’s tied to Akuma so maybe he beat him? And with Shadowloo gone Chun-Li can resume her life. It makes sense to me that their character models are now older. Ryu having facial hair admittedly seems odd since plenty of older martial artists still shave, but on Guile it actually looks good.
Of course it’s Chun-Li that Bounding Into Comics decided was worth talking about. There are two main issues. One is that she’s wearing pants now. I don’t see that as a big deal. Her thick thighs were also brought up but she always had muscular legs. Kicking is her specialty with her hands mostly used for her chi powers. She still has breast and butt physics so the theory that they’re trying to please the usual suspects doesn’t really work to me. She’s older, running her own martial arts academy now, so she wears pants. In the trailer she still asks her opponent to show her what they have and she has always considered herself “the strongest woman in the world”. It looks fine to me and I’d still be willing to give her a post-match rubdown. (Yeah, you “I’d like to have my skull cracked open by those thighs” types worry me. Living means getting to do certain things again.)
The other complaint brought up in the article and the comments holds a bit more water…I think. I know less about Han Chinese versus…all the other Chinese?…than I do Street Fighter lore but the issue is that she should have softer features even though she too is older than in prior versions. I mean, if that’s the case fine. They need to fix that if that’s part of her backstory heritage but otherwise I really don’t see anything wrong with her character model. This is one argument that seems to not be divided by sociopolitical perspectives so hurray for that I guess. It also does play into the group issue of having a more realistic edge to the character models and backgrounds and that one is really up to preference.
I probably won’t play this because as stated earlier I suck hard at it. I am curious to see how this affects the spin-off stories in comics, animation, and whatever else going forward though.