So, it may seem weird that I’m not reviewing a game but actually a single solitary character in a video game. But, prior to Urien’s release, a lot of Street Fighter fans haven’t really thought all that much about the game’s DLC roster. Granted, a lot of the pros are still sticking to their original main characters so a lot of tech for the DLC characters that hasn’t been discovered yet. However, there is a good portion of Street Fighter fans that don’t really think all that highly of Alex, Ibuki, Guile, Juri and Balrog.
Urien does seem to be the exception, though.
The character returning from Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact seems to have been well received by a lot of fans who’ve welcomed him with open arms. And, after playing him for a good while now, it’s easy to see why. Urien definitely has a lot of tools that could make him a top tier character but he does have some weaknesses as well that may keep him from dominating everyone else in the roster.
Before we go talk about how good/bad he is in the game, let’s go talk about the more superficial aspects of Urien. I don’t really like his design all that much. He’s a tall man who like to dress up in fancy duds. He’s also got a sadistic side as well. But, basically, there’s nothing really special about his overall look and personality. It’s just so generic. At lease Birdie has some interesting features about his that, while I don’t exactly find appealing, it’s at least intriguing. I guess I can be hyped up when Urien comes in his banana hammock hidden outfit. But, overall, Urien is a meh in the looks department.
Urien definitely has a lot going for him because he’s got a lot of way on how to control space. Most of Urien’s normal attacks appear to have great range; his crouching medium punch reaches pretty far and moves Urien just a few inches closer to his opponent. He’s also got a fireball for long distance battles. He can charge this up for two hits and, if he feels like his foe is becoming jump happy, he can use the hard punch version to knock them out of the air.
Urien also has two special moves, the Chariot Tackle (dashing shoulder attack) and Violence Knee Drop (diving knee attack), are also great in closing the gap between him and his opponent. These two moves are generally unsafe when blocked but a smart Urien player can space these attack properly to limit his opponent’s punish options, making them relatively safe depending on the character he’s facing. He can also make these moves more safe by using his V-Skill, Metallic Aura. which gives him one hit of armor on his charging special attacks. However, there is a lot of recovery when you activate the V-Skill so actually being able to use this can be virtually impossible, especially during a heated match.
However, what makes Urien the king of controlling space is when he can activate his V-Trigger, the Aegis Reflector. The Aegis Reflector is simply awesome and very frustrating to deal with if you’re on the opposing end of it. Essentially, Aegis Reflector has Urien shoot a wall or two of energy that can reflect projectiles into the stage. He can control where it can be placed depending on the joystick input. This gives Urien the option to corner his opponent by placing a wall immediately behind his opponent. Or he can put it in between his opponent and himself, forcing his opponent to back off. Oh, and it can reflect all kinds of projectiles, even Critical Art fireballs! Nothing more humiliating than beating your opponent with their own Critical Art!
But those things listed above aren’t what makes Aegis Reflector one of the best V-Triggers in the game. No, it’s the Aegis Reflector’s ability to actually hit the opponent and extending Urien’s combos. Urien is already strong enough thanks to some of his good normal attacks and his ability to execute some easy but deadly combos without Aegis Reflector. But once he has V-Trigger stocked, Urien becomes a beast with the ability to land a variety of combos that can wipe out his opponent’s life bar!
There are some weakness to Urien’s tech. For one, he doesn’t have a cross up jumping attack, which can make his jump ins a little one dimensional since you don’t have to guess which direction to block. It is a minor weakness overall but I don’t think Urien doesn’t really need to jump in anyway as he has a couple of overhead attacks that makes up for this. Also, I already mentioned that his Violence Knee Drop is already pretty good so that can cover his his jumping attack deficiency somewhat.
Urien also doesn’t have a 3-frame poke/button. It seems like, in Street Fighter V, 3-frame attacks are almost too powerful as they have a variety of uses, from doing an anti-air with Necalli’s standing light punch or breaking through block strings… like Necalli’s standing light punch again. However, what Urien’s light attacks lack of speed makes up for in range.
I guess Urien’s greatest weakness is his limited anti-air options. He doesn’t really have a dedicated button to deal with jumping opponents, unlike Birdie’s/R. Mika’s crouching medium punch or Chun-Li’s “I have an answer for everything” normals. I already mentioned that his fireball can be aimed upwards but you can’t really throw this out on reaction. His other attacks that look like they could work as anti-airs, like his crouching hard punch are pretty slow as well. They do work but only for specific situations. He can use the EX version of the Dangerous Headbutt but that requires meter.
Even with those weaknesses, Urien is definitely more than just a viable character. In the right hands, Urien can dominate the competition and, when he’s got Aegis Reflector locked and loaded, he becomes even deadlier. He seems more suited for more technical players because of this. Reaction based Street Fighter fans may have a difficult time using this as his anti-air game is pretty weak and combos that use the Aegis Reflector, though damaging and flashy, takes a lot of confidence to use.
Okay, Urien was the last DLC character for Season 1, right? Now, where’s Akuma?
There he is!
What are your thoughts on Urien? How about the rest of Street Fighter V’s roster? Let me know in the comments section below!