With the recent reveal of both Cammy and Birdie as confirmed fighters for Street Fighter V, I thought I would go through some of my personal picks for returning characters from the long extensive back catalogue of the Street Fighter series. I will mainly be focusing on characters that haven’t been in a game or two; those who deserve a time to shine, so I will be trying to avoid Street Fighter IV characters.
While I said I won’t be adding many IV characters, I had to add Zangief to this list in some way. While the large Russian wrestler has been present in almost every iteration of Street Fighter, I am still a little worried if he will make the cut. Zangief’s considerably low on a lot of returning character popularity polls, which is a shame, as he has generated a fairly rabid fan base over time. With his inclusion in Disney Pixar’s 2012 film, Wreck it Ralph, surely he’s bigger than ever. His move set has never changed too drastically, though I’d prefer if they change his grappling attacks to be a little less unfair. If we are talking character design, bring back his red cape, that thing would look fantastic with the new engine Street Fighter V is running on.
As I main Zangief, I am obviously biased here, but I would be very disappointed not to see the red cyclone return to the fight.
Okay, last IV character, I promise. Sakura is one of my favourite characters from the series, and she has become one of the most popular as well. However, Street Fighter V clearly seems to be going down a more gritty and dark path, so if Sakura is to return, she needs to change. Let’s face it, Sakura needs to graduate from high school, it’s getting ridiculous at this point. Sakura can change in some pretty interesting ways; grow her up a little, style the school girl outfit to modern Japanese fashion, maybe even move her away from worshiping Ryu, to making her a more skilled fighter. The one thing I would say to not change is her relationship with Dan and Blanka; in fact, work more with that, because it’s hilarious. In terms of her move set, I actually really enjoyed how she played in IV, so I wouldn’t change her too much, maybe make her seem more confident with larger Hadokens, making her better or equal to Ryu.
Sakura is one of the best female characters in the roster for me and, while I am very confident she will return, there’s always the chance that they choose to have a mostly older cast, but I am hoping her Alpha roots will gain her some cred.
What ever happened Eagle? Seriously, do people even know he exists at this point? Eagle was a CPU opponent from the original Street Fighter, who got his playable introduction in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and later in handheld versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3. So, as you can see, he’s barely even had a chance to be a character, which I think counts for something. Eagle is a cold blooded, refined English bouncer who fights with two sticks, similar to Eskrima. Eagle is also one of the only Street Fighter characters that has been hinted at to be gay, with various Win quotes alluding to it and his resemblance to Freddie Mercury. If Eagle was brought back, his character could be developed more, maybe as a positive, well rounded gay character for the series. Eagle also serves as a complete contrast to Birdie’s vile, punk-English attitude, meaning they could work as rivals.
Eagle’s style and personality is so similar to Dudley, however, so I highly doubt he will return. I personally think that Eagle deserves more time in the spot light than just 2 games, which is why I believe he should be a returning character for Street Fighter V.
While Karin has a massive following at this point, she hasn’t appeared in a Street Fighter title since Alpha 3, meaning now is the perfect time for her to return. Karin is an extremely wealthy young girl who began her story tracking down the Shadaloo Corporation when they threatened her family. Karin is also considered the rival to Sakura, as they have fought numerous times. Karin is one of the best designed, detailed and charming characters that were introduced in the Alpha series, and she deserves far more then she got. Her confident, stuck up attitude makes her funny and endearing, which nicely contrasts Sakura’s happy go lucky personality. Its a rivalry that I wish was explored more, giving both characters a motive and depth as maybe they develop into more friendly rivals, mirroring Ryu and Ken’s relationship.
While it’s clear that Capcom hasn’t forgotten about her (Sakura has a Karin outfit in IV), she still hasn’t shown up in some time. With the inclusion of more Alpha characters to the roster, I believe this is Karin’s time to shine.
Alex, as the main character of the Street Fighter 3 series, and the most popular character on returning fan polls, is one of the most deserving of all characters to return. The fact that Alex was not playable in IV was insane, as he is on the same level as Ryu and Ken in terms of importance in the series. Alex is a charger, grappler character, making him closer to someone like Hakan or Zangief rather than the normal main characters, giving him an edge that hasn’t been filled in the current roster. Alex hasn’t been in a Capcom game since his appearance in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and his last time in a Street Fighter title was Third Strike, so he’s long overdue a chance to get his hands dirty.
Alex not only deserves a spot, he should be guaranteed a spot at this point. As returning characters go, Alex is by far the most popular with the fans as of right now. He’s a main character who has not seen the light of day for some time, and with Street Fighter V‘s habit of bringing back old blond haired heroes from the past, I believe Alex has a good shot of making it into Street Fighter V.
Who do you want to return in Street Fighter V? Let me know in the comments!