Justin Wong: Street Fighter 5 is an up close game, in SF4 you typically think about spacing and zoning; unique abilities will impact tiers

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • June 20, 2015 at 8:28 p.m. PDT | Comments: 80

Justin Wong: Street Fighter 5 is an up close game, in SF4 you typically think about spacing and zoning; unique abilities will impact tiers

We caught up with one of the best fighting game players on the planet, Evil Geniuses' Justin Wong, at E3 this year to get his thoughts on Street Fighter 5.

I asked Wong what he thought of SF5 so far, after playing it for the last few days.

"I am really having a blast with the game," said Wong. "I enjoy the close range combat. Usually with a game like Street Fighter, you think about a lot of spacing, zoning, fireball matches like in SF2 and SF4. But it's really an up close brawl like Street Fighter 3 and Capcom vs. SNK 2."

He said some of the previous Street Fighter titles typically take place at 3/4ths screen, or so, but in SF5, the action happens right next to each other.

"That is a really big thrill, and it gives me a big adrenal rush when I'm playing," said Wong.
I asked Justin if he felt like zoning would still be a valid option, considering where the action is taking place, currently.

"It's all [up close right now], but I think eventually when more grapplers come out, or someone like a Dhalsim is added, then the game will expand into further horizons," he said.

"But with the characters who are on display right now, it's all about close range combat."

Justin Wong's SF5 E3 2015 impressions image #1
A hodgepodge, but with unique elements

I wondered if Wong felt like this was a hodgepodge of previous titles, like they borrowed elements from other previous Capcom fighting games.

"In terms of basic mechanics, yes," said Wong. "But it has a very unique system, like the V-Trigger and V-Skills, since all of those are different between the characters.

"I think that aspect makes every character unique, compared to something like Street Fighter 4, where everyone had a focus attack, or in Street Fighter 3, where it was a universal overhead," said Wong.

He felt every character has its own unique abilities, and it's not just universal systems, and he found that to be the most interesting thing.

"These unique abilities will definitely play a part in the terms of tiers for characters," he expressed.

Justin added that Bison's whole problem back in the day was he got zoned out, but now he has something similar to Rose's reflect to deal with fireballs โ€” that's pretty big for him.

Justin Wong's SF5 E3 2015 impressions image #2
Thoughts on improvements

Querying Justin further, I wanted to know if he felt like anything should be changed at this stage of the game's development, even though it's still very early on.

"Right now, I think the only thing I would want to change is seeing more combos," said Wong.

Although he felt that Nash has a lot of combos, Bison is an up close fighter, and mainly uses pokes. "Sometimes, I just want to swag," said Wong.

"Right now, I just think the game is so fun," he added.

Justin Wong's SF5 E3 2015 impressions image #3
New twist on old characters

Finally, I asked Justin's thoughts on the returning characters, either people who had been seen in recent times, like Ryu and Chun-Li, or old school faces like Nash and Birdie.

"I think Birdie is the most interesting," said Wong. "Compare him to how he was in the Alpha series โ€” he was really bad. Now while he has the name Birdie, he's pretty much a brand new character, it's no where near where you'd think Birdie would be [if you played him in the Alpha games.]

"Usually when you think about Ryu, he's more of a zoning and control character, but with the way [Combofiend] plays him in SF5, he's very aggressive and rushdown oriented. Peter was telling me how he thinks Ryu has the best up close pressure in the game. So he's very different than how he used to play," noted Wong.

"Chun-Li isn't like SF4, it's more like SF3, where you want to poke with specific buttons, she's really reliable with her V-Trigger. Cammy is most like what we're used to in SF4, her combos are pretty much like what you'd see in that game, but the only difference is her normals are better in this version, and her spinning knuckle goes through fireballs a lot better, as the move is a lot faster.

"Bison is also completely different, brand new moves, teleport shenanigans. Charlie, and we haven't seen him in forever, and he's pretty much a brand new character, and he has Decapre teleport skills. And he's a motion character now, which is very big," said Wong.

"The game is very unique, they're not trying to make it the same old title with the same old moves โ€” now it's going to be a brand new character, but with the same name," he stated.

Justin closed out our interview by saying that he was going to go ham on SF5, and he's about to visit Six Flags to play it more. He added once again that it's a really fun game and he's excited for the future.

You can follow EG|Justin Wong on Twitter for additional updates about Street Fighter 5, and much more.

Photo of Justin by Jason24cf.

Impressions of Street Fighter 5 from E3 2015 build

EventHubs impressions
I initially thought Street Fighter 5 was sluggish, but I was wrong.
Chun-Li impressions.
Nash impressions.
M. Bison impressions.
Birdie impressions.
Ryu impressions.
Cammy impressions.
Street Fighter 5 overall impressions.

Top player impressions
EG|Justin Wong.
EG|PR Balrog.
DL|Four Wude.

Street Fighter 5 move listings
All six playable character moves.

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