It’s been a while since I’ve done a review of a new Street Fighter V character. Capcom has been really stingy with new content for the game for a long time now and it looks like they’re trying to make up for lost time. They release a total of 3 new fighters a while back but I’ve been busy so I wasn’t able to go in depth with Lucia, E. Honda and Poison until over the weekend. I have played with all 3 so the next decision I had to make was who was I going to review first. I ultimately decided to review the character that I thought was the most fun to play with. You would think it would have been a returning character like E. Honda or Poison but you’d be wrong.
I have to say that Lucia from Final Fight is the best among the 3 new characters Capcom introduced in Street Fighter V.
I was totally clueless about Lucia as I have never played Final Fight 3. I did some research and it’s a Super Nintendo exclusive. I guess it’s a good game but just got lost in the shuffle of the 16-bit generation as it isn’t the the public consciousness nor the vaults of nostalgia since on one really talks about it. I would’ve guessed, if they were going to bring over a female from the Final Fight series, it would’ve been Maki as she’s been a fan favorite for a long time.
Her overall aesthetic is strange, though. I know that Capcom makes the intentional decision to make the Street Fighter V models have disproportionately large heads, hands and feet. This is to make it easy for the player to see the attacks. They did the same thing with Lucia but they did too much of a good job since her proportions look way off! Her arms and legs are freakishly long which, you would think would aid her with her punches and kicks. Her torso looks like it makes up 1/3 of her total size because of how long her arms and legs are! It took me a long time to get used to the way she looks. The problem is exacerbated with her more revealing costumes like her Summer and Nostalgia outfits. I do like the little attention to detail by giving her a New Yawrk accent in English and a more twangy tone in Japanese. I’ll stick to her English voice because I just love her “Ya need a cuppa kawfee?” taunt.
What makes Lucia an exciting character to play with is that she’s a combo monster! She can do explosive damage since her normals and special attacks just flow together almost seamlessly. Lucia can also keep up the pressure as most of her normals are safe. Probably the best normal she has is her crouching medium punch. It might not have a lot of range but it comes out fast. It’s a great button to whiff punish with if you’re reactions are good enough. Another thing that makes her fun to play is how a lot of her combos can string together for a long time. Lucia’s bread and butter combos have a lot of corner carry as well and, since her throw range is phenomenal, her opponent will have to make a lot of guesses while he or she in sitting in that corner!
Her special attacks do have some uniqueness to them. Lucia doesn’t have your standard projectile as she has to first set it in front of her before she can kick it towards her opponent. Suffice to say, Lucia won’t be winning any projectile wars with it. The nice thing about it is she can set up a delayed combo with the light kick version. She has a command dash that can lead to 3 different attacks, each with their own pluses and minuses. The shoulder dash can link into her crouching light punch to extend the combo. Her rising kick does good damage and does a lot of corner carry. She can also cancel the run into her modified V-Skill, which builds up a good amount of V-Meter. She can also cancel the dash as a feint as well.
Lucia’s best special attacks would be her anti-air spinning kick and the one where she does a jumping back kick. The light and medium versions are fast enough to combo from her crouching light punch while the heavy version moves her forward enough to take out projectile spammers at the right distance. All version have a hitbox that goes behind her, enabling her to tag crossup attempts with it. Her jumping back kick one of the best combo starters and enders I’ve seen. The light version doesn’t have any special properties but the medium version leaves her plus on hit and close enough to throw her opponent. The heavy version knocks down and you can tag in her V-Skill for more damage, more V-Meter and corner carry. I suspect a lot of pros who switch to Lucia will be using this move often.
Adding to Lucia’s offense are her V-Triggers. Capcom would usually make 1 of the 2 V-Triggers more useful than the other. With Lucia, both V-Triggers seem viable. Her V-Trigger 1, Burning Fight, uses 3 bars and, when activated, amplifies all her kick specials. Burning Fight powers them up into EX grade attacks. Think of it like G’s Maximum President as it makes them more powerful. This is a really explosive V-Trigger and enables Lucia to do a lot of damage, juggle the opponent and put more pressure. This is a really good comeback V-Trigger. Her second V-Trigger, Weapon Fury, uses 2 bars only. Pressing the V-Trigger command again has Lucia attack with a baton that launches the opponent in the air slightly. While it’s not a great comeback mechanic, the baton attack is safe on block and still enables her to juggle her opponent into the corner. Probably the best thing about Weapon Fury is you can cancel it into her V-Skill.
Lucia does have some glaring weaknesses. Despite having distractingly long arms and legs, most of her medium attacks are stubby. Her goal seems to get up and close to the opponent and pour on the pressure but getting close enough to do this may be a problem. Lucia doesn’t really have a great way of going around projectiles safely. She does have a slide kick that kind of makes up for this. If you misjudge the slide kick’s range, though, you’re going to eat a massive combo as it’s unsafe up close. A really good zoner like Guile, Menat and Dhalsim can prove frustrating for Lucia players.
She also has below average health and stun. Her speed does make up for this and her damage output helps here as well. A really good Lucia player would probably need to rely mostly on getting in close and poking with her safe normals while buffering into her specials when they do connect clean. It may take a while to chip through her opponent’s defenses but, when she does, it’s party time!
It’s hard to say where Lucia stands in Street Fighter V’s current tier list but I will say that she’s one of the most fun characters I’ve played with for the longest time. Lucia has a lot of personality and, despite her long limbs, does have some stubby normals. What makes Lucia fun is her ability to link into her normals and specials and perform long, devastating combos. It will be interesting if any pros do switch to Lucia but it will definitely be exciting to see her in the hands of top tier players.
What do you think of Lucia? Let me know in the comments section below!