I gotta hand it to Capcom. If there was one character I wasn’t interested at all seeing in Street Fighter V, it was Rose. When she was announced, the only emotion I felt was apathy as she was never a character I thought was interesting. I always thought she was a boring character, even though someone did use her to win EVO! That’s how indifferent I felt about Rose. Then Capcom started showing us little bits and pieces with how they were revising and adapting her moves to work in Street Fighter V and all of those videos piqued my interest. Capcom did go all out to make her an interesting and unique character as a whole, at least based on the trailers that focused on her.
Now that she’s finally been released and now an official part of the Street Fighter V roster, how do I feel about Rose now? Well, I can safely say there’s a lot to like about her and how she plays in the game but I do have a few issues with her gameplay style as she is much more complex than the characters from the earlier seasons.
I guess the first thing we have to tackle is how she looks in Street Fighter V. This is actually one of the reasons why I find Rose so uninteresting. I simply don’t care about her original design. She’s wearing a plain full dress while fighting and it just seems so plain and boring. There’s very little flair and pizzazz in it all. The zig-zaggy hair also looks really weird to me.
The only saving grace for Rose’s design has always been the scarf she uses to channel her Soul Power into to some of her special moves. At least it makes sense for her to wear it but that also raises some questions for me as well. Why does she need to use the scarf to throw projectiles and do a charging attack anyway when you can see her perform some of her special move, such as the Soul Satellite without using it? It’s an interesting twist but it’s clumsy at the same time.
Rose has got some really good normal attacks in Street Fighter V. She has a couple of really decent anti-air normal attacks but it’s determined by how far away the opponent is. Her crouching heavy punch is a classic uppercut, making it great for opponents trying to jump it really close to Rose. Her forward and heavy kick, the Soul Piede, can be used as well but only when the opponent is far away. The problem is it seems to trade a lot but, then again, I don’t think the Soul Piede isn’t really meant to be one of Rose’s primary anti-airs. It’s primary use is to launch the opponent into the air for a quick juggle combo but it’s nice to know it’s there.
Rose also has some really good range on some of her buttons. Most notably her crouching medium kick and her standing heavy punch. These moves can also be cancelled into special moves, making them great for fishing for combos. She also has a couple of jumping attacks which can cross up the opponent, namely her jumping light kick and her jumping medium kick.
She also has a couple of normal attack which allow her to get in on her opponent. She has a new command normal called the Soul Pilastro which is done by holding back and the heavy kick button. Not only does this allow Rose to move forward while attacking, it also seems to go over low attack, making this excellent for low kick happy enemies. Rose also has her classic slide by pressing down-forward and medium kick together. This is very unsafe when done up-close but, if spaced right, it’s plus on block. In fact, at the correct distance, you can even link it into her crouching medium punch! Oh, the slide also goes under most projectiles, which is always nice.
Rose’s special attacks are rather mixed as, while they do have specific functions, some of them feel more useful than others. Her Soul Spark projectile is back and, like in Street Fighter IV, the strength of the punch button changes the speed of its startup and recovery, with the light version coming out the fastest but recovers the slowest while the heavy version is the opposite. She can now throw the Soul Spark while jumping and the strength of the button used determines the angle, which the light version coming down the most and the heavy version having the most range. You can even cancel it from most jumping attacks to kind of make jump ins safe, I guess.
Her Soul Spiral is back and it’s meant to be her main combo finisher. The light version comes out the fastest, making it work from her light normals, while the heavy version comes out the slowest but does more damage. I also have to mention the EX version of the Soul Spiral is invincible to strikes and projectiles, making this an excellent GTFO move.
Rose doesn’t have her Soul Throw this time around but she did get the much better Soul Bind, wherein she attempts to wrap her scarf around a jumping opponent. They’re not the fastest anti-air specials but the active frames do seem to linger a few second longer than most. The EX version of Soul Bind will have Rose toss her opponent to the wall, causing a wall bounce and allowing her to tack on another attack. Like the Soul Throw, the Soul Bind will never connect on grounded opponents.
Probably Rose’s best special is her new Soul Punish. When executed, she will create an orb that will linger before exploding. The normal versions do not have a hitbox until it activates or is hit by an opponent’s projectile. However, the EX version of the Soul Punish will detonate immediately. The Soul Punish, by itself, isn’t all that great but it can control space and force your opponent into either trying to avoid it or cause them to back off. Also, if you’re really good at setting things up, you can even push your foe into it, leading to an extended combo.
We now arrive to what makes Rose one of the most unique characters in Street Fighter V: her V-Skills and her V-Triggers. I need to talk about her V-Skill 2, Soul Satellite, first before her V-Skill 1, Soul Fortune, as it’s much more straightforward to explain. Soul Satellite has Rose summon an orb which will orbit around her. The orb itself has an active hitbox but will vanish after a few second or if Rose is somehow hit. She can summon up to 2 Soul Satellite orbs at one time. With the proper timing, these orbs can create really long combos. The orbs can also make normally unsafe moves safe as it can cover Rose while she’s recovering from them. However, the timing and spacial recognition use them properly will take some practice. Also, Soul Satellite does have a very long startup so you really have to activate them only when your opponent is down or at a safe enough distance. If you do put in the time, I can see this being a really good V-Skill.
Rose’s V-Skill 1 is the Soul Fortune. Basically, she uses various tarot card which have different effects, such as buffing Rose damage output or lessen the amount of damage your opponent can do. They do shuffle around after you activate the V-Skill, which can be annoying. You can use the Fortune Shuffle, which is done by pressing down and the V-Skill buttons, to move to the next card but I think you might be better off just remembering which card does what and using them in desired situations. It’s a good V-Skill but Soul Satellite just seems better.
When it comes to comeback mechanics, both of Rose’s V-Triggers seem to fit the bill. Her V-Trigger 1, Soul Dimension, is a 2-bar V-Trigger and, when activated, allows Rose to teleport to different locations on the screen. She can teleport either behind her opponent, in the air just behind the opponent and backwards, giving her a lot of movement options. She can, at most, use Soul Dimension to teleport twice per activation. She can link into the teleport after performing any of her special moves. This would allow her to mix up the opponent by teleporting behind them after tossing out a Soul Spark. It can also allow her to move in really quickly while the opponent is recovering from tossing a projectile. It can also be used to extend her combos by teleporting where the opponent will land after an anti-air. Basically, Soul Dimension is a better version than Nash’s Sonic Move.
Her more scary V-Trigger is her second V-Trigger, which is called Soul Illusion. It’s a 2-bar V-Trigger and will create a secondary shadow which will mimic Rose’s moves. It kind of works like Chun-Li’s Renkiko but, because of the multiple ways Rose can get in, it comes off as more deadly. As Soul Illusion tacks on whatever attack Rose does, some incredibly damaging combos can be accomplished thanks to the additional hits it creates as well as the amount of hitstun the second attack does. It doesn’t last for very long so it’s not the super comeback mechanic is appears to be like Menat and G’s V-Trigger 1s. What makes this scary is it’s a 2-bar V-Trigger, meaning she can actually use this twice in a round if she’s really careful!
While Rose does come off as a powerful character thanks to her V-Triggers and far-reaching normals, she does have a few weaknesses. Her overall vitality isn’t that high and she might have some trouble against very aggressive opponents as she doesn’t have a 3-frame attack. She’s also a very complex character as she relies a lot on controlling space and might have to rely on her long range pokes for most of her damage. Her V-Skills and V-Triggers, while really good, will need some expert timing to really get the most out of them.
All-in-all, Rose is going to be too advanced for casuals to use to her fullest potential but pros would be able to make her work. She’s a good addition but not for me.
What do you think of Rose’s iteration in Street Fighter V? Let me know in the comments section below!