So the general response to the roster update for Super Street Fighter IV is bemused disdain – did we really need to see the return of T. Hawk and Dee Jay? As a long-time Street Fighter competitor, I’ve taken it unto myself to prepare an list of other characters from various entries in the franchise that I’d like to see brought into next-gen action. So come with me, as we sink into the rich vapors of fighting game fantasy.
Originally making his debut in Street Fighter EX, the ill-fated polygonal sidetrack to the franchise, Doctrine Dark is not only a cool looking dude, but he has a completely unique playstyle as well. The horrifically scarred former Special Forces soldier is all about the dirty tricks – laying explosive mines on the ground, yanking his opponents around with wires, and generally screwing with his opponents’ expectations. Severely scarred both physically and – gasp! – emotionally, he’s a fun bad guy in a series that has too few of them. He hasn’t been seen since Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha, and he’s long overdue to make a comeback.
Boxing characters always have it pretty rough in the Street Fighter games – the Sweet Science usually requires that its practicioners keep both feet on the ground, after all, and the over-the-top ballet of Hadoukens that characterize the game leave little room for pugilistic finesse. Not so for Street Fighter III‘s Dudley, however. One of the most powerful characters in the game, the dapper fistfighter has some brutal chain combos that almost make up for his kicking weakness. He was actually scheduled to be in the initial roster for Street Fighter IV, though, so there’s a very strong chance that he could make it into the update.
Another EX reject, some may see him as being a prototype to El Fuerte, but the cult favorite in the skeleton costume is his own man at the core. Once an average salaryman, when he donned the skull and bones something changed in Saburo Nishikoyama – something like his sanity. Now he fights crime as a costumed vigilante and uses a bizarre fighting technique that uses his own body as a projectile. With the slightly more realistic style of the new game, Skullomania’s time has come. Skullo-crusher!
In the olden days of sprite-based gaming, fighting game characters had to be symmetrical so they could be flipped around to face another direction without redrawing every single damned frame. That didn’t stop Capcom from introducing Oro in Street Fighter III – brutally bucking the trend, the Brazilian hermit had one arm bound to keep himself from using his full strength, which would kill any normal fighter. Now that things are 3D, it’s trivial to avoid the flipping problem, and the time is right for Oro to return. Not only can he lift boulders with his mind, he’s still the only Street Fighter character who can fall asleep on command (HP + HK).
Sure, Zangief has the Haggar costume as an alternate outfit, but I want the real thing. The mayor of Metro City is the only Final Fight character to never make it into a Street Fighter game, and that error needs to be redressed. The latest installment of the series has made grappling characters extremely workable, and why shouldn’t there be another powerhouse in the mix? The trick will be to differentiate him enough from Zangief that he doesn’t seem like a cheap reskin, but I’m sure that if you give him an Ultra where he pulls out a steel pipe and goes to town the fans will be happy.