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Akira Kazama's gameplay, V-System details and release date revealed for Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • August 3, 2021 at 3:47 p.m. PDT • Comments: 43

After almost one year exactly following the announcement that Rival Schools is going to be officially crossing over into the Street Fighter universe, Capcom has finally pulled back the curtain on what their first playable character from the series can do.

During the big Summer Update event today, the developers revealed everything you need to know about Akira Kazama's gameplay and V-System in Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition.

Akira is a relatively small character here in Street Fighter 5. She seems to be most comfortable fighting at close range, but she also appears to have some good mid-range options.

As far as her height goes, she is nearly a head shorter than Ryu. From what we've seen so far, it also looks as though Akira has a fairly fast walk speed too.

Attacks like crouching medium kick and standing heavy kick have long range, and can be cancelled into special moves and crush counter, respectively.

Akira has several interesting tools in her arsenal, with one special move having the ability to blow through the opponent's projectiles. This can be used to counter zoning, especially from further away on screen.

Her Urarimon special attack returns from Rival Schools and sees Akira attack with a forward-moving elbow strike. This move is used well as a surprise attack or to end combos.

Akira players are going to have to be aware of what state their opponent is in while landing successful confirms. Different moves in combos will be required to tack on the most damage against crouching and standing opponents, so being aware of what the opponent is doing will be key.

V-Skill 1 - Kiko Rensei

Akira's V-Skill 1 powers up her Kiko Kai special move. Using Kiko Kai after this power up sees the attack hit more times than it normally does, and it also opens up more combo options afterwards.

V-Skill 2 - Tsutenda

This V-Skill launches the opponent high up into the air. Holding up after landing Tsutenda will see Akira jump high into the air to follow the opponent and begin an air combo.

One of the biggest draws of playing Akira is her air juggles. Staying true to her original Rival Schools series, these "Air Burst" combos allow the fighter to send her opponent high up into the air and land a barrage of hits before spiking them back down.

While these air combos are unique to Akira in Street Fighter 5 and could appear to be a bit too strong, Capcom has implemented a limitation to the air juggles. If you hit the opponent too many times while they're airborne during Air Burst, they will transition into a tailspin state and it will not be possible to land any more juggles during the combo.

V-Trigger 1 - Otoko No Senaka

Outside of her awesome air juggles, the stream also showed us Akira's V-Triggers. Her V-Trigger 1 sees her call in her brother Daigo to help her fight.

Akira is capable of moving right away after summoning Daigo, which lets her set up some tricky situations. Daigo attacks twice and functions very similarly to R. Mika's Nadeshiko V-Trigger, and Daigo will still fire off his second attack even if Akira is hit.

V-Trigger 2 - Haten No Kamae

Akira's V-Trigger 2 puts her into a special stance when activated. From here she has three different follow up maneuvers.

Each of these follow up attacks has its own unique uses ranging from more combo damage to an attack that allows her to continue pressure even if the opponent has blocked the attack. Haten No Kamae looks a lot like Yun's Genei Jin super, though instead of having shadowy clones repeat any attack, it only applies to the three specific follow up moves.

Once this V-Trigger is activated, the gauge becomes a timer in which Akira can perform any of the follow ups twice before running out. Akira can also use V-Trigger 2 and cancel out before any of the attacks come out, allowing for an added layer of mix up potential and pressure.

Both of her V-Triggers come in at two bars. This means we'll be seeing her activating V-Trigger fairly quickly in matches and more freedom to use V-Shift and V-Reversals.

The game's developers describe Akira as a "very straightforward" character who is easy to pick up and play.

Capcom has revealed that both Akira and Oro will be launching on August 16. She will be released alongside a new stage, Rival Riverside, which is based off of Rival Schools and looks similar to Street Fighter 4's overpass stage.

Akira screenshots in Street Fighter 5 image #1 Akira screenshots in Street Fighter 5 image #2 Akira screenshots in Street Fighter 5 image #3 Akira screenshots in Street Fighter 5 image #4
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