Great normals, lots of combo potential, one of the coolest Critical Arts in the game; check out our early Sakura breakdown

Sakura is looking to be everything we were hoping she'd be in Street Fighter 5

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • January 10, 2018 at 6:19 a.m. PST

Street Fighter 5 fans are now six days away from finally getting our hands on Arcade Edition. Perhaps even more exciting, one of the most anticipated characters, Sakura, will also be joining the roster on the 16th.

Yesterday's Winner Stays On stream gave us our first glimpse of Sakura gameplay as Matt Edwards and Logan Sama showcased her specials, V-System and more to give us a general idea of how she plays.

Sakura's buttons appear exceptional as they're relatively far reaching. Her roundhouse is a Crush Counter, which she can follow with a dash into crouching light punch, or walk forward standing fierce (which cancels into specials).

Players will probably want to try to end sequences with heavy DP, as it leaves her plus 22 frames, and seeing as she has a 16 frame dash, she'll ultimately be able put herself in decent position as her opponent wakes up.

Similar to some previous iterations, Sakura will use her Tatsus (spinning kick moves) to pressure and continue combos. Light Tatsu is plus one on hit, but medium is plus three and allows for a crouching light punch follow up.

Sakura's Critical Art has a pretty satisfying animation, especially because of the slick Matrix slowdown she does right before connecting with the final part of it. Here Matt Edwards shows off a heavy hitting combo and caps it off with a CA:

Click images for animated versions

Sak's V-Skill sees her leap up into the air to perform one of three follow up actions. She can do a dive kick, a series of double-fisted smashes or a grab from the air:

Next up we have Sakura's V-Reversal, which is done with kicks. It sees her perform one of her traditional movements as she spins close to the ground to sweep at foes, and though she's aiming for ankles, this move is not a low:

Sakura's V-Trigger 1 buffs her fireballs (she gets to throw three fireballs per gauge) so that they have juggle properties, ultimately allowing her to follow up fireball hits with other attacks. It also gives her access to an additional fireball flash move that leaves her plus six on hit, doesn't use the Trigger bar, and can absorb one projectile hit:

Her second V-Trigger buffs her Tatsu and Dragon Punch specials, (think Akuma or Cammy's first V-Triggers) allowing her to further combo after landing them. We'd also like to note that she cannot V-Trigger cancel off special attacks, only normals.

Finally, TS|Alex Myers (a big time Sakura player from back in Street Fighter 4) took a few quick notes of his own having watched the stream as well. Here's what he came up with:

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