The introduction of Zeku for SFV represents the last of the season two DLC characters for Capcom’s latest entry in its popular fighting game series. If you recall, the first season of DLC featured established characters from older games – Alex, Ibuki, Guile, Urien, Balrog and Juri – whilst the first season of DLC promised Akuma and five brand new fighters – namely Kolin, Ed, Abigail, Menat and Zeku. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I originally doubted whether or not the newcomers would be as fun as returning favourites… however, pretty much all of the new season two fighters have been quite enjoyable, and trying out Zeku for SFV has been similarly entertaining. Before we get to the gameplay, there’s a bit more going on with the character itself. From the moment the character trailer showed off Zeku for SFV, many internet voices speculated that Zeku was a Strider. One of Zeku’s key abilities allows him to change between a younger and older (present-day) form, and the younger form has various visual motifs that bring to mind Strider Hiryu – a red scarf, sleeveless blue outfit and short(ish) brown hair. Playing the story mode reveals that Zeku for SFV is a member of the Bushinryu looking to hone his skills and discover new fighting styles by – how else? – picking fights among the locals. With his own fighting style established, he suggests names for students of the art, including “Striders”. This suggests that he pioneered the fighting style of Striders (or it would if it didn’t fade out to him reeling off increasingly daft names afterwards…)
Zeku for SFV – a split personality
In battle, trying out Zeku for SFV (in his initial older form, at least) reveals a series of special kick attacks that leave large flashy effects behind (the stronger the kick used, the larger the effect, each one being its own sizeable hitbox. He also has a jumping flip reminiscent of the one used by Guy in SFIV (who himself is a Bushinryu master), but the options increase when you perform any move (including the V-Skill) that allows Zeku to transform to his younger self. Now, he loses his kick variations but gains a ninja run (with various follow ups), a Yun-style palm attack, a Yun-style shoulder attack and an air grab. Meanwhile, the V-Reversal pushes the opponent back and away, and the V-Trigger enables a special dash that allows the user to follow up with a unique custom combo (not unlike the new combos available in Juri’s Feng Shui Engine). So, for instance, you can perform the dash and then hit jab, short, strong, forward, fierce and roundhouse in succession for a simple 6-hit custom combo. (This particular example works in both old and young forms, but there might be some that are only effective in one or the other.)
Zeku for SFV – a decent end to season two
At first I thought that the idea of having to learn two movesets would be a bit intimidating, but we’ve had “stance characters” in many fighting games in the past, and this is no different. Whilst I’ve enjoyed all of the season two characters for Street Fighter V, I’m interested to see if Capcom can continue delivering interesting content in the future. 2018 will be quite a busy time for fighters (as I mentioned in my initial coverage of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition) and I don’t know how often I’ll be able to continue covering SFV DLCs if the newcomers turn out to be as enjoyable (or, indeed, more fun) than Street Fighter V. Until then, there’s plenty of fun to be had with Zeku for SFV.
Zeku for SFV is available now.