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Capcom released a new trailer for Street Fighter V that shows Ken Masters going toe-to-toe with Birdie. The trailer also reveals his completely overhauled moveset, which seems to match his completely overhauled visual look. You can check out the trailer below, from the official Street Fighter channel.
There's a lot to talk about in that trailer, notwithstanding the glimpse at what looks like E. Honda at the very end of the trailer. But the main thing is that Ken no longer looks or fights like a slightly faster Ryu clone.
Hardcore members of the FGC scene could rattle off pages of differences between Ryu and Ken on a microcosmic gameplay level but to the average casual gamers both Ryu and Ken were practically the same save for the fact that Ken was viewed as the “American” version of Ryu.
The trailer above completely destroys the notion that Ken is just an alternate version of Ryu. In fact, this trailer makes Ken look like a completely different beast and for the first time in a long time I might be inclined to make Ken a main. Heck, just for reference I haven't used Ken seriously since the original Street Fighter II – ever since then I've always viewed him as a faster, weaker version of Ryu.
Here, however, Ken has some serious moves that completely separates him from his purebred Japanese counterpart. The reliance on air-juggles with his new flaming spin-kicks and a focus on transitioning from neutral combos to air techs is pretty cool. We get to see how Ken can close the gap with an all new divekick special, as well as still maintaining control of the air game with his flaming dragon uppercut.
In previous Street Fighter games Ken was good but usually as a counter-character if you were going against someone who relied on air-techs and had sparse zoning capabilities. Here, Ken looks like he has some fierce combo options both in the air and on the ground. I'm thoroughly impressed with how Capcom was able to turn Ken into what looks like a very versatile and dangerous pugilist on the Street Fighter V roster.
Personally, I still think that Charlie captures a strong presence when it comes controlling screen real estate. Charlie's combos seem to stretch across the screen and he has a lot of different moves that not only close the gap but also work as initiators for ground, neutral and air combos. Personally, Charlie still looks like the total package in Street Fighter V without being cheap.
Of course, not everything comes without its fair share of criticisms. Ken was nagged on a bit for his new 1990s-Gary Daniels inspired hair-style. Actually, come to think of it Ken's new kick-focused combos and flaming spin attacks do seem awfully reminiscent of Gary Daniels' fighting style.
Anyway, just about everyone loves Ken's new clothes, but they feel he looks “too Asian/Mexican/Indian”. Hopefully Ken will get his blue eyes back because they really helped define the look of the character.
You can look for Street Fighter V to launch next year for the PS4 and PC.