Akuma for SFV was released sometime in December of 2016 and whilst I wasn’t planning to get the new character pass at first, I thought that since I had already written so much content on the characters introduced in the beta and the first season, I should probably continue and look at the characters of the second season. We do know that Akuma for SFV will be the only character in the season 2 roster that is returning from a previous Street Fighter game, and that the other five (or however many) characters in season 2 will be brand new characters. This means that I should stop hoping for the likes of Ingrid or Necro, but at the same time if the new characters are as good as the likes of the new faces in Street Fighter V that could be no bad thing. Besides, the season 1 roster was full of familiar faces – Alex, Guile, Balrog, Ibuki, Juri and Urien – so it’s understandable that they would want to take a break from reinventing existing characters. Until then, we can enjoy Akuma for SFV, a new iteration of the demonic Shotokan who has fully succumbed to the Dark Hadou (or is it Dark Hado? It’s unclear.)
Akuma for SFV – familiar moves
Akuma for SFV marks the return of a character that has featured in SFII, III, IV and now V, so you would hope that most moves are familiar. Indeed, fireballs (of the regular and red variety), hurricane kicks and dragon punches are all present and correct, there’s a demon flip slide move that can be interrupted if you hit an attack whilst Akuma is in the middle of the jump, and his Critical Arts showcase his old SAIII from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and his signature Raging Demon (Shun Goku Satsu) super which requires V-Trigger to be active and demands that a string of inputs is tapped out in quick succession (jab, jab, move forward, short, fierce.) In training mode this delivered 400 damage, so it’s a useful Critical Art but the requirement of V-Trigger activation and a full Critical Art meter offers two warning signs to an opponent that a Raging Demon move may be coming.
Akuma for SFV – appearance and effects
Akuma for SFV has a brilliant appearance and character model. In SFIV he was defined by his red hair and demonic eyes, and in SFIII he had more detail and animations that looked great. SFIV’s 3D treatment was excellent, defining his face, muscles, clothes and everything, but the full “mane” of hair given to Akuma for SFV is a great touch. The only real disappointment is that this appearance doesn’t change that dramatically when in V-Trigger – since Akuma’s backstory is all about someone who has studied and practiced the ways of the Dark Hadou (or Hado) in his search for power, I expected the V-Trigger to offer a bit more than the feeble neon flames coming from his shoulders in wisps… but that’s a minor thing.
Akuma for SFV – the beginning of season 2
Despite finding less time to play Street Fighter V lately, I’m still curious to see what the brand new characters bring to the game – I was a bit wary of old characters having their movesets redesigned so drastically with the season one additions (Ibuki and her bombs, Juri and her new teleports, etc) but maybe some brand new characters are just what’s needed – with a clean slate there’s no point of reference that can be used to generate preconceptions. And after all, new additions such as Laura and Rashid are a lot of fun already, so I look forward to seeing what they come up with.
Akuma for SFV is available now, as is the Season 2 character pass. We will cover future season 2 additions as they become available.