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From Focus Attacks to taunt cancels, Capcom explains how they updated and improved Dan's gameplay moving from Street Fighter 4 to Street Fighter 5

Their goal seems to be to make him much more viable this time around

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • October 7, 2020 at 7:47 a.m. PDT • Comments: 22

Dan Hibiki has pretty much been among the weakest characters in any Street Fighter game he's appeared in, outside of when he was a secret fighter in the first Alpha entry, though he's also consistently one of the most unique in the way the Saikyo master uses mechanics.

During the recent Dan showcase from Capcom, Street Fighter 5's director Takayuki Nakayama discussed how Dan was a bit special in SF4 and what the development team is looking at for his transition into the current game with Champion Edition in Season 5.

"Dan's EX Dankukyaku was a really strong attack, and his play style worked really well with the Focus Attack system from [SF4]," said Nakayama. "He really wasn't that great. He had middling capabilities overall, but he was an interesting character because of it."

One of the biggest reasons Dan could even function okay in SF4 was the fact that he worked extremely well within the Focus Attack system in ways that most other fighters couldn't.

Specifically, Hibiki could take advantage of the Focus Attack Dash Cancel to control space with his quick running back dash allowing him to get away from sticky situations easily or get up really close with forward running.

Transitioning into SF5, the dev team appears to be keeping that same sort of feeling alive with the upgrades to Dan's taunt system which at first glance appears kinda broken until you remember it's Dan.

"For Street Fighter 5, we've retrained the good points that made him particularly entertaining while making his taunts and other things that didn't have many uses viable. We think he's kinda got a new coat of paint and is a new, fun character to play as." - Takayuki Nakayama

"For Street Fighter 5, we've retrained the good points that made him particularly entertaining while making his taunts and other things that didn't have many uses viable," explained Nakayama. "We think he's kinda got a new coat of paint and is a new, fun character to play as."

Both of Dan's V-Skills revolve around canceling moves into taunts which look to have really good uses in Champion Edition.

One allows Hibiki to cancel out of any of his special attacks with a forwards or backwards roll that can be used both offensively and on defense.

Rolling forward, Dan can follow with another special for extra damage or likely get put in the perfect position for Oki pressure while back roll will probably be used like FADC backdash in SF4 to try and remain as safe as possible.

While we haven't seen it in action, the other skill let's Dan cancel normals, so imagine what he could possibly do by taunt canceling after landing an overhead or low forward.

Capcom has also finally upgraded Hibiki's fireball technique by allowing him to charge down the attack to make it go almost full screen like Sakura's instead of petering out in front of his face.

There's still a ton we don't know about the first character of Season 5 like how either of his V-Triggers will work or what his Critical Art is useful for — if it is — so this definitely seems to be the biggest upgrade in terms of moves and mechanics that Dan has ever received.

Our early look at Dan's frame data reveals it to be pretty mediocre at best among Shoto characters in SF5, but hopefully that added taunt cancel mechanic can help make up for that a bit.

It's cool to see Capcom finally open up about their in-development character processes, so we'll probably see more leading up to his eventual release sometime this winter.

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