A joke. A wimp. Useless. These are just some of the words used to describe the pink gi wearing, ponytail sporting, taunting Saikyo master, Dan Hibiki. Everyone who knows fighting games know him as Street Fighter’s biggest joke character. Capcom’s big “F U” to SNK for ripping off their game when they made Art of Fighting. He’s more popular for having ineffective attacks than being a skilled fighter.
But, here’s the surprising thing: Dan Hibiki can still kick your ass!
The first time I encountered Dan was way back in Street Fighter Alpha. He was a hidden character and, even at the time, was designed to be a anemic version of Ryu and Ken. And, I had to say, they didn’t do a pretty good job! Besides his fireball only goes off a few inches before dissipating, it was very possible to do well with Dan!
When Street Fighter Alpha 2 rolled in, I had two main characters, and Dan was one of them! The best thing about using Dan was people didn’t know what to expect when facing him! No one used this character at all besides me in the arcade! Granted, I wasn’t the best but picking Dan most of the time gave me that necessary edge to beat a lot of guys who I felt were better than me!
One thing I used to do was do a bunch of rolling and air taunts. Once in a while, if I was confident enough, I would even bust out Dan’s Super Taunt! The amazing thing is, since no one really used Dan, people were actually afraid of the Super Taunt. I vividly remember one guy asking me what would happen if they attacked Dan during the super taunt. I said Dan would get hit, of course. Turns out he thought that it was like a counter move so he avoided trying to attack me during those moves!
Now, even in the 4th installment of the Street Fighter IV games, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Ver.2012 (extremely disgusting and non-catchy name by the way, Capcom), most gamers consider him to be one of the weakest characters. If you look at the Tier Lists from Eventhubs (great resource for a lot of fighting games), Dan will usually languish in the bottom of the tier list.
Most newbies look at the tier list and come to the conclusion that Dan is probably the weakest fighter in the game and just choose someone from the top of the tier list because, hey, they appear to be the strong ones, right? Well, that’s not what a tier list is, actually. The basis of tier lists is a general idea of, if two players who are equally matched in skill use different characters, who would win more matches.
In other words, if you are a more skilled players, you’d still beat top tier characters no matter what character you select! Don’t believe me? Well, here’s match between Air, who’s probably one of the best Ryu’s in the United States, against Justin Wong, probably the best Street Fighter competitor in the USA, who picks Dan on a whim…
Need I say more?
So, Dan, with all of his flaws and weaknesses, is still a pretty viable character! I wish I actually used him more so I could elaborate more on his strengths. But that wasn’t the point of this article. The point is Dan, the weakest character out there, can still kick your ass if your not careful!
What do you think of Dan? How about tier lists? Let me know in the comments section below!