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Combofiend: Fireballs are a casual killer in Street Fighter 5, but players like Choi or Bonchan will still beat you with them

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • December 23, 2015 at 7:48 p.m. PST • Comments: 69

In Street Fighter, the Shoto play style has traditionally revolved around fireballs, jump ins and uppercuts. Challenge your foe with Hadoukens, defeat their attempts to jump over fireballs with Shoryukens and score your highest-damaging combos by jumping over a foe's ill-timed fireball.

Specifically looking at V-Skills for many of the characters in SF5, we see something of an anti-fireball theme. Ryu, Nash, M. Bison, Karin, Cammy and Zangief all have V-Skills that can deal directly with projectiles.

Most other members of the cast have techniques that can punish or evade projectiles with relative ease. Over the game's development thus far, creators have increased the potential for punishment of poorly placed uppercuts.

With two central components of the Shoto play style seemingly nerfed in this game, we wondered if developers built the game with an intent to move the community away from the Shoto style.

We caught up with Street Fighter 5's Associate Producer, Peter "Combofiend" Rosas, and asked him if this was indeed the case. You'll see what he had to say after the jump below.


Rosas felt that we were going a bit too far in thinking that Capcom had it out for Shotos. He went on to give the development teams reasoning for approaching projectiles the way they did in SF5.

"Fireballs are a casual killer. What we're trying to do here is give people solutions around something that has been historically hard to stop," he explained.

"That said, players like John Choi, RB|Bonchan or others who are good with fireballs are still going to beat you with them. It doesn't matter what we put in the game, at the end of the day they've mastered the fireball game, and they're going to beat you with it."

This almost sounds like a bit of a challenge to players that prefer the zoning approach. It's really no secret that SF5 heavily favors a footsie-based approach, but the ability to shine with projectiles may grant a heightened sense of accomplishment.


Those that started with Street Fighter 4, which is likely a good portion of the SF5 community, are especially going to feel the sting in this department.

Street Fighter 4's Focus Attack Dash Cancel mechanic served as a bit of a safety net when it came to guessing one's way out of pressure via uppercuts.

Not only will we now be fully committed to our uppercuts, but now Shoryuken punishes are augmented with counter hit properties, thus granting even more damage potential.

Rosas' reply to our inquiries about Shoryukens was fairly straightforward.

"There aren't that many fully invincible moves in Street Fighter 5, and Shoryukens are. There should definitely be risk associated with them, since you're essentially getting a free reversal that can turn the tide of a match."

Perhaps it's not so much that Street Fighter 5 is looking to nerf the Shoto mentality, but rather that Street Fighter 4 babied it a bit too much?

We'd love to hear your opinions on the matter, and whether or not you feel fireballs and uppercuts are appropriately regulated in the latest Street Fighter. Please chime in in the comments below.

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