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What R. Mika does in the corner, Ibuki can do midscreen - Here's what we learned about her at E3 2016

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • June 17, 2016 at 7:52 p.m. PDT • Comments: 35

As some of you probably know by now, I was at E3 this year gathering intel on anything and everything I could find that related to fighting games. With Street Fighter 5's story mode expansion and next DLC character available on the show floor, you may not be surprised to hear that I spent a lot of my time at Capcom's booth.


Taking every opportunity I got to play as Ibuki, I was able to see what the newest combatant has to offer in real time. How does she compare to her Ultra Street Fighter 4 counterpart? Is she still the same ninja we know and love?

What I can say upfront is that the Street Fighter 3 ninja is back with a vengeance and is going to be lethal in the right hands.

So, allow me to share what I discovered after playing Ibuki at E3.
Right out of the gate Ibuki has some strong normals. Crouching medium punch is fast and has great range, plus it can be special cancelled.

This is her new go-to pressure normal, taking the place of the Street Fighter 4 series' standing medium kick which cancelled into the now absent spin kicks for combos and pressure.

Her arsenal is loaded with other strong normals as well, such as standing light kick, her quick, special cancellable poke, and back + medium punch for anti-air.

While Ibuki plays very differently than she did in the previous title, she does have a handful of useful normal attacks that feel familiar and that I found to be quite effective. Her forward + medium kick is the same overhead kick that we're all used to, and though it's still fairly slow, it seems to have more horizontal range this time around making it more useful.

Her forward + heavy kick is another great normal that sees Ibuki hopping off the ground for a quick forward-moving kick. It often sails over low poke attempts and leads to a crush counter that can be followed up with a sweep when the opponent is coming down from their airborne spiraling state.

Fast, fancy footwork and a high learning curve

Quick movement is everything for this character, and this is reflected in her speedy walk speed and quick command dashes. The light and medium kick versions of command dash work much like they did back in Ultra, but this time her medium takes on the longer distance and pass-through traits of her old heavy kick version.

Her heavy kick command dash in Street Fighter 5 is definitely my favorite, though. Using this allows Ibuki to fly into the air diagonally forward, much like Chun-Li does with her V-Skill.

At the end of her flight, Ibuki kind of slows down abruptly, not traveling quite as far as it seems she would with this maneuver. Once you get the distance down, this can be used for some really nasty cross up set ups after a knockdown, or even used to get out of dodge when cancelled from a blocked normal.

I spent a lot of time at the Capcom booth and clocked in dozens of matches as Ibuki. It became apparent to me pretty quickly that the entry level to play this character is fairly high.

Finding Ibuki's meterless bread and butter combos wasn't easy to do, and to be honest I'm still not sure what her main BnB is -- aside from confirms into target combos. Crouching medium punch really only goes into kunai for pressure and/or a short combo, but possibilities definitely emerge once you start adding meter into the mix.

When I did land a successful jump in or cross up, I used the LP-MP-HP target combo into up kicks for solid damage. Unfortunately, the target combo itself is unsafe on block, and also can't be cancelled on block. So, you'll need to make sure you're actually hitting before you commit to the full target combo.

Joining me at the booth were some of SoCal's strongest talent, and it seemed as though they hit the same walls that I did. Most of the Ibuki play I saw -- my own included -- focused on footsies and kunai throwing until V-Trigger was active. That's when the madness kicked in.

A midscreen Mika

Speaking to Street Fighter 5 Associate Producer, Peter "Combofiend" Rosas, on the side lines of the Capcom booth, it was explained to me that Ibuki is all about trickery. This character's lifeblood is resets and confusing the opponent.

Peter compared Street Fighter 5's next DLC character to R. Mika, saying that what the wrestler can do in the corner, Ibuki can do midscreen with command dashes and V-Trigger bombs. This strategy often relies on command dashes that can be stuffed with well-timed normals, so please understand that there are ways to beat her before you sound the "OP" alarm.

At the end of the day, Ibuki is extremely fun to play. She can move around the screen quickly, strike fear into the opponent, and end matches in the blink of an eye.

The crux of her tricky gameplan lies in her kunai and bomb throws, but we'll be discussing those in later Ibuki-related pieces.

Have you tried Street Fighter 5's Ibuki yet? If so, let us know what you think of her in the comments below.
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