The introduction of Kolin for SFV represents the first of several all-new characters that will make their series debut in the fifth instalment of Capcom’s acclaimed beat ‘em up series. If you recall, director Takayuki Nakayama revealed that after Akuma, the following five DLC characters in Season 2 would be completely new faces. At first I jokingly suggested that the second season would take inspiration from “Street Fighter V – A Shadow Falls” and give us five marginally different Bison dolls to choose from. After seeing Kolin for SFV on various streams and later trying her out when she became available to download, it seems that she’s a lot more fun and inventive than I could have imagined.
Kolin for SFV – cool customer
Whilst most characters in the Street Fighter universe are content to throw balls of fire or indeterminable “energy” of some kind, a player who picks up Kolin for SFV will note that she’s a rare character who has ice-based attacks. More than simply being a new graphical effect over similar moves, the various abilities of Kolin tie in nicely with the frosty theme. We can talk about all of that later though, as Kolin is a formidable opponent even before you get to the ice attacks. The normal attacks aren’t too special (no pun intended) save for a nice hitbox on the jumping medium kick, but the move list reveals lots of surprises – a unique attack that acts like Abel’s wheel kick from SFIV (push MK whilst moving towards your opponent), a backdash which can lead to a dashing or jumping follow-up (perfect for playing guessing games with the opponent), an arcing projectile and a variant on Decapre’s “Rapid Dagger” attack from Street Fighter IV. Players who pick up Kolin for SFV will also discover an interesting counter, where Kolin can push a foe back and knock them down, but only if they are countering an attack at the right height – the strength of attack used for the counter determines the height, and so it’s more risky than your average counter.
Kolin for SFV – V-System
Her V-Skill is another counter, although it also works as a regular attack if you don’t get the timing for the counter. Named “Inside Slash”, it will either end up striking the opponent normally, or – if you use it just as you’re being attacked – cause a dramatic change of hue briefly as Kolin strikes back for a counter blow. In between the two hits there’s also a bit of forward movement, so it could be pretty useful for escaping corner pressure (although the attack itself does a lot of knockback too.)
Kolin for SFV has a V-Reversal which is slightly less outlandish – simply making her roll to the other side of an opponent – but her V-Trigger is an impressive frosty callback to The Incredible Hulk in the Marvel vs. Capcom games. Well, sort of. If you’re familiar with the Gamma Wave move in that game, it sees Hulk tear up the earth and send a shockwave of hurt along the ground, and Kolin’s V-Reversal is a wave of ice that behaves in a similar manner. Finally, you’ll find that Kolin for SFV has an interesting V-Trigger – named “Diamond Dust” – that sends a wave of ice spikes towards the opponent, knocking them down and sending them into a “frozen” state where their stun gauge no longer drains out. Instead, the opponent will have to land an attack on Kolin for their stun gauge to recover. Meanwhile, if a player successfully lands Diamond Dust and it completely fills the stun gauge, the opponent will be unable to move and the Kolin player can get a free punish.
Kolin for SFV – good gimmicks
My first impressions of Kolin for SFV make me feel like she’s a character with a lot of gimmicks, but that’s no criticism – players who take advantage of the projectiles and backdash follow-ups could seriously outplay opponents who aren’t used to dealing with her just yet. During lounges with other PSN friends I’m still enjoying Juri, and I look forward to seeing how she fares against Kolin. If this represents the quality of future newcomers, Season 2 could keep Street Fighter V interesting and entertaining. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you have success with Kolin and successfully use her ice to see you through ranked battles and casual games.
Kolin for SFV is available now, as is the Season 2 character pass. We will cover future season 2 additions as they become available.