Ranking the Street Fighter V Season 2 Characters

After season 1 of Street Fighter V‘s DLC offering brought back six familiar faces, season 2 made a bold move by only bringing back one legacy character. The remaining five slots went to newcomers. This ranking is based on how I feel they impact the game as a whole. Not just how cool they look or how often we see them in tournament play, but the entirety of what they bring to the experience. Let’s count them down!

6. Ed

Just a boy in Street Fighter IV and appearing as a skinny teenager in the Street Fighter V story mode, Ed has rapidly aged due to being in possession of the same Psycho Power that fuels M. Bison. His mix of pugilism and supernatural fighting styles make him an interesting design, but his execution undermines his potential.

Unique to Ed is that he doesn’t require traditional motions for his special moves. Everything in his arsenal is performed with simple joystick and button combinations. The problem is that the lack of motions gives him less control over his special moves. For example, his rising kick has only one trajectory, which ultimately limits its utility. Furthermore, his stubby normal attacks make it hard for him to land solid damage unless he’s at point blank range. I’m glad that Capcom did the simple inputs experiment with a DLC character, but in this situation, I think it highlighted the weaknesses of this approach just as much as it did its strengths.

5. Kolin

The ice queen is an unorthodox fighter that seems really good on paper. However, in practice, her tools don’t really allow her excel in any particular play style. In particular, the ice ball is hard to use to lock opponent’s down for pressure, while her launcher gives her minimal opportunities to create resets. It’s not impossible to make her work, as pro Street Fighter player Poongko has proven in the past, but I just don’t think she’s worth the effort. On top of a mechanical design that doesn’t quite come together, Kolin is quite possibly the blandest looking character on the roster.

4. Zeku

This placement is going to ruffle some feathers. Yes, it’s cool that he’s the forefather of the Strider ninja clan. And yYes, he’s basically two different characters in one, giving you a bit more flexibility in how you approach a fight. However, my problem with Zeku so far is that within the young and old stances, his play styles with each feel extremely limited.

Old Zeku primarily wants to zone his opponents out with his long-ranged kicks, while young Zeku wants to land his MP > HP target combo to open the door for maximum damage. Most disappointing is the fact that his mix-up tools, such as old Zeku’s flip and young Zeku’s run aren’t particularly strong in terms of how tricky they are to stop or how much damage they inflict. Zeku is technically two characters for the price of one, but it really feels like you’re only playing as half of a character at a time. He’s still new, so there’s time for someone to impress me. But so far, I think he’s probably the most overrated character in the set.

3. Abigail

I hate how Abigail looks. His visual design is horrid and comically out of place in a game full of fantastical characters. That said, he fills the Hugo archetype of the ultra-big body who has a really hard time getting in, but is absolutely devastating in close. His tool set gives him a lot of opportunities to score highly-damaging combos and crushing grabs if you have the patience to weave your way through projectiles. When a good Abigail gets cooking, it’s also really fun to watch as he pulverizes his competition in the blink of an eye.

2. Menat

Menat is a wonderful addition to the game. She has a visually-appealing design that fans went gaga for at first sight. From a gameplay perspective, she fills a number of different voids in the roster. For one, expert players who were looking for a challenge now have a character that is extremely difficult to master. In return, you get to use a character whose mechanics give her one of the most dynamic and creative play styles in the game. I love how the location of her big orb, as well as the number of small orbs she has in stock when in V-Trigger impact the fight, as it creates a level of openness to her offense that almost every other character in the game is sorely lacking. The only reason she isn’t number one is because her degree of difficulty makes it hard for most players to enjoy using her.

1. Akuma

Akuma is not in this spot because he’s a familiar face. He’s #1 on this list because his brand of shoto style is translated wonderfully into this gameplay engine. Many of the characters in the game feel overly rigid, as you’re kind of funneled into playing a very specific way while performing the same optimized combos repeatedly. With Akuma, his moves are designed in such a manner that you can get creative in your offensive approach. His low health keeps him out of the top tiers, but that hasn’t stopped players like Tokido from excelling with Akuma on the biggest stages.

Buy Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Now From Amazon.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.