It’s been a rocky year for Street Fighter V. As much as I love the game, I really haven’t gotten all that into it like I did in Street Fighter IV. Street Fighter IV awoke the fighting game fan in me and that excitement didn’t really carry over with the sequel. A lot of it had to do with the choices of who to play as in the game. I went through a prolonged character crisis throughout the games Season 1 run. I never really gelled with any of the characters all that much. But with the release of Season 2 and its updates, I think I’ve finally settled on who I’m going to main from now on. That man is family man from the USA, Guile.
I didn’t decide to be maining Guile on a whim. In fact, I never really considered using Guile before. I was settled on using either M. Bison (aka Dictator in Street Fighter parlance) or Balrog (the boxer dude). But after spending some time using Guile, I felt he was much better suited for my way of playing the game.
For one, Guile is a charge motion character, something that’s in short supply in Street Fighter V. That was one of the biggest reasons why my main character in Street Fighter IV was Vega (the guy with the claw and the mask). He was a full blown charge motion character, which made doing special moves a cinch. I’ve always had a problem with doing rolling motions like those quarter circle motions. I generally tend to flub them in high pressure situations. Charging makes it feel so simple! I don’t really mind that you have to “wait” before you can do a special move. It’s better to wait than not be able to do it in the first place!
So I did try to use Vega for a good while when the game was released but, since Capcom made the choice to not make him a charge motion character, I had difficultly performing most of the combos. It just didn’t feel natural for me to do Vega’s high flying moves without having to pull the joystick to the down position. I realized that I really needed to use someone with charge motions. So the hunt for a new main character for Street Fighter V was on!
There are some characters that do have charge moves, like Necalli and Chun-Li. But they are mostly known for using quarter circle motions to execute their specials so I can’t really use them effectively. I tried using FANG but… well, the less we talk about my time with FANG, the better. Let’s just say that I suck using him. Or he sucks. Either way, I’m gonna pass on him… forever.
This is why, for a good while, I relied on M. Bison early on as he was one of the “purest” of the charge motion characters when Street Fighter V was released. I did manage to get a feel of the Dictator’s play style. The problem is it that it didn’t feel right. He walked really slow which bothered me. I used Vega in Street Fighter IV, one of the fastest moving characters. So switching over to the butt slow Bison really hampered the way I wanted to play.
When he was made available, I tried switching to to Balrog, the boxer. And I was satisfied with using him for a while. I got a lot of headway with using him as he was a full-blown charge motion character and I liked that he was an extremely straightforward fighter. It was just all punch, punch and punch! Well, what did you expect from a boxer, right? But it was a little more than than. Capcom made a lot of changes to Balrog when the ported him over to Street Fighter V. He just feels a little bit more sneaky. His V-Skill makes him weave through projectile (a bane of Balrog players before) and you can perform either a punch or an overhead. You can also cancel his dashing punches into the V-Skill to mix up your opponent. He’s got a lot more and I still love the newly improved boxer.
However, as much as I loved controlling him, I also felt rather restrained with how I could play him. Even with his new ability to close in on projectile chuckers, it was still hard getting in on them. I also couldn’t really get that much out of his combos. I could execute most of his high damaging ones with to problem but I couldn’t really execute them in a way that felt safe. I just wasn’t getting the most out of the character. So, after spending the remaining Season 1, I felt it was time to find a new character again.
Then I realized I forgot about the other new characters: Urien and Guile. I initially skipped on using Guile because, well, he’s Guile! The man with only two special moves! And those moves had you usually playing on the defensive, which I didn’t like. I tried to use Urien for a while as well since he was mostly a charge motion character. But I didn’t like how you needed to push the joystick in different motions to perform some of his attacks. It was rather distracting and, once again, wasn’t the way I wanted to play.
So I then picked up Guile, who actually has the same issues with Urien. Some of his attacks were determined by how you held the direction down while you pressed a button. I went through his trials which I already did to get some fight money. But this time, it was to see if he handled the way I wanted. I initially didn’t really like controlling him and I thought I was resigned to my fate of not finding a character I liked in Street Fighter V.
I then tried to jump online and try out a couple of matches using Guile before I wrote him off. I had trouble using him with the directional attacks and all but, just after the first match, I actually gelled with the character! His modified attack buttons, like his back+Hard Punch and his forward+Hard Punch made so much sense in an actual match! They felt like they had a purpose; a use that I could actually understand when to use them! It just clicked!
But I guess the thing that cemented Guile as my new main as of Season 2 was all the buffs Capcom made to the character. They made his crouching Hard Punch into a Crush Counter that launching the opponent in the air, perfect for following up with a Flash Kick! Or, if you can react fast enough, activate V-Trigger (if you got it) and then juggle with his Critical Art! The biggest change would be to his V-Gauge, which is now only 2 bars long. It kind of make sense as Guile, oddly enough, has less health than the norm.
So, there you go! I’ve been selecting Guile whenever I do play online and face off against others. I’m still not terribly good as I’ve still to break out of the Bronze section of the rankings. It’s more important that I’m actually playing the game again. Guile pretty much saved the game for me as I’m having fun controlling the character and competing against others. I’ll probably never be able to do all of the fancy combos like Sonic Boom loops and the like. But, for now, I’ll be sticking to using the family man…
…until maybe they released a new charge character in Season 2?
Please make one of them a charge character, maybe even the girl looking figure? I’m so sick of choosing males in Street Fighter when there are so many females in the game as well. I wanna represent!
Who do you main in Street Fighter V? Did the changes in Season 2 make you switch? Let me know in the comments section below!