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'We want to shy away from clones' - Combofiend on the developmental approach to Street Fighter 5: part deux

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • June 24, 2015 at 6:42 p.m. PDT • Comments: 180

Yesterday, we came out with part one of our "Developmental approach to Street Fighter 5" series. In these articles, we've combed through the E3 streams for Combofiend's hints about the developmental team's intentions for SF5.

Today's focus is on character selection as well as pacing. One of the more blatant tips from Combofiend: "Our goal is to make sure there's a character for everyone's style... We want to shy away from clones."

If you've played virtually any fighting game before, you've probably noticed very similar characters. Ryu is probably the most imitated character in fighting games, seeing similar caricatures within the Street Fighter franchise as well as in completely separate games.

While we can't be sure of what Capcom's specific definition of "clone" is in this instance, we're guessing this means that should two similar characters exist in SF5, like Ryu and Ken, they will play nothing like each other.

Hit the jump for more.
The addition of V-Skills and V-Triggers allow developers another level of depth for each character, which they can manipulate for the sake of diversifying similar fighters. Maybe Ryu and Ken both make it in and have similar moves on the surface, but Ken's V-Trigger makes him incredibly fast and Shoryuken-happy, while Ryu's enhances his fireball game.

Ease in Execution

With its heavy dosage of tight links, Street Fighter 4 has some of the longest, and most difficult combos in franchise history. Developers for SF5 are trying to veer away from longer, more technical combos, and make the game more about outwitting your opponent in the neutral.

During one of the streams Combofiend metnions, "We want everyone to be able to concentrate on being able to play against your opponent. We don't want people to be distracted with things that take you away from that, such as difficult combos involving one frame links."

We've already seen Street Fighter 5's heavy use of target combos, and it's no secret that plinking has been deemed unnecessary by many. The inclusion of the Counter Crush attests to this way of thinking as well.

Counter Crushes are heavy, and therefore slower, moves that are dangerous to simply toss out. To take advantage of this mechanic, you're going to have to observe and calculate your opponent's movements very closely.

This will surely direct players towards a more thoughtful approach. You likely won't see as many random special moves simply thrown out because of their overpowering strength as the cost of conducting oneself in such a way is going to be too high.


Those that have played Street Fighter 5 already know that this is a faster-paced game. We're not talking about walk speeds, air time from jumps or animation periods, we're talking about average round length and time between action sequences.

"Pace is faster than in SF4. Previously, hard knock downs meant characters would sit on the ground for a long time. Characters get up much faster, the action is more constant." This next part is paraphrased,

"...this also means a deeper sense of set-play. With more defensive options, there will be less blatant set ups where the aggressor can enter a vortex, so more thought is involved."

This also alludes to the idea that the fight is meant to center around footsies more than the wake up game. In SF4, footsies were often simply a means to enter the wake up game, where the real action began.

Compared to earlier iterations, it seems that Ultra Street Fighter 4, with its delayed wake up mechanic, points at the direction developers want to take things for SF5.

We feel it's important to add that these changes from SF4 to SF5 don't necessarily make either game better or worse, but different. It's change of pace like this that have made every iteration of Street Fighter unique.

Each era is defined in a different, yet fun, way. Really, it's hats off to Capcom for repeatedly coming up with brand new, yet still successful, approaches that have all garnered their own followings and developed their own legacies.

Sources: Capcom Fighters, Capcom Unity and IGN.
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