EVO, the largest fighting game tournament in the world, is right around the corner, and with Ultra Street Fighter IV as the tourney’s crown jewel, fighting game fans have had the beloved Capcom franchise on the brain. But with Capcom’s recent Street Fighter woes (the PS4 port of Ultra Street Fighter IV was so broken that EVO officials announced the game would instead be played on Xbox 360 instead of the recently released current-gen port) and allegations of greed (with many Street Fighter X Tekken characters being hidden on disc behind a pay wall, a move which still doesn’t sit well with many fans) many fighting game fans wonder if the forthcoming Street Fighter V can live up to the hype.
But while Capcom has certainly had its issues, if there’s one thing the company knows it’s releasing quality fighting games. Excitement for Street Fighter V is at a fever pitch, especially with fan favorite character Charlie being revealed as a returning fighter, joining the likes of Ryu and the villainous M. Bison in the latest Street Fighter iteration. If Capcom wants to keep this hype train going, they should dip into Street Fighter’s ample roster and bring back some characters that haven’t been seen in a while.
So, to save Capcom from squabbling about who deserves to return for Street Fighter V, we’ve compiled a list of the five characters that absolutely need to come back for Street Fighter V.
Because Street Fighter is set in the same universe as Final Fight, characters from the beloved beat-em-up franchise occasionally pop up on the Street Fighter roster. While Final Fight characters such as Cody, Guy, and Hugo have become mainstays in the Street Fighter roster, other Final Fight characters haven’t been quite as lucky.
Case in point: Maki. Initially appearing in Final Fight 2 as one of the protagonists, Maki would fade into obscurity after her sole appearance in the series. She was later brought back in Capcom vs SNK 2, which in turn led to her appearing as a bonus character in the PSP port of Street Fighter Alpha 3.
Wielding a tonfa, Maki makes use of her lighting fast attacks to go toe-to-toe with the Street Fighter roster. Like fellow Final Fight alumni Guy, Maki can make use of her surroundings by jumping off of walls to keep her opponent guessing. Combined with her quick kicks and manual dashes, Maki is a force to be reckoned with.
While Maki may seem unnecessary with Guy on the roster, Maki could make for a good companion for the sneaker-clad ninja. The characters share many similarities, but feature enough differences that having both wouldn’t feel derivative. So Capcom should step up it’s ninja game and bring Maki back for Street Fighter V!
When Street Fighter III was released, Capcom shocked fans by doing away with most of the core roster found in Street Fighter II. Gone were the likes of Blanka and Dhalsim, but Capcom satiated fans by including a character that was basically a mash-up of both characters: Necro.
With the limb-stretching abilities of the Indian yogi and the electrical spark of the Brazilian monster, Necro is the best of both worlds. But for fans that were expecting a character that simply played like a poor knock-off of the two fan favorite characters, Necro was more like a Girl Talk song: familiar elements were used to craft him, but he manages to be completely different.
With throws, stretches, and shocks, Necro was an interesting twist on two classic characters. While Dhalsim and Blanka returned in all iterations of Street Fighter IV and the cross-over fighter Street Fighter X Tekken, this pale weirdo hasn’t been seen since 3rd Strike. Give the world the Necro vs. Dhalsim match the world deserves, Capcom, and bring him back for Street Fighter V.
When the original Street Fighter released way back in 1987, it asked players to take on ten different fighters as a wandering, fireball throwing martial artist named Ryu. These ten fighters varied greatly, with ninjas, boxers, and monks trying to stand between Ryu and victory. One of these ten fighters was a British punk named Birdie. Sporting a Mohawk and a leather vest, Birdie was an intimidating fighter hailing from Britain. But after Ryu defeated him, players all but forgot about the big grappler, and he didn’t reappear in the game’s highly successful sequel, Street Fighter II.
Flash forward to 1995. Street Fighter Alpha is released, and one of the characters featured in the game is a giant thug with a razor-sharp Mohawk. The character is named Birdie, and though his skin color had changed, he was said to be the same Birdie from the original Street Fighter. Unlike the Birdie from Street Fighter, this Birdie relied on headbutts, dirty grapples, and street fighting techniques to bowl over the competition.
He would go on to appear in every Street Fighter Alpha iteration, but he would disappear after the series ended. His ending suggested he might have died in an explosion, but Bison’s favorite boxer Balrog was supposed to have met his end in the very same explosion and he later returned in Street Fighter IV, so the odds are good that Birdie is still alive and well. With his strong, punishing style and unique look, Birdie would be a great addition to Street Fighter V.
2. Vulcano Rosso
File this under “Things that will never, ever happen.” Before Street Fighter IV managed to make a good 3D Street Fighter game, Capcom made an attempt to bring the series to 3D with the ill-advised Street Fighter EX. The developing duties for Street Fighter EX were handed off to Arika, an established arcade developer. As the game was crafted by Arika, all original characters introduced in Street Fighter EX would remain the property of Arika. Because of this, after the conclusion of the Street Fighter EX series, the characters were scrubbed from the Street Fighter universe, never to be mentioned again.
Which is a shame, because Street Fighter EX had some great character designs. The absolute best was the zebra-haired turtleneck-aficionado Vulcano Rosso. An Italian fighter that utilized lava and volcano eruptions for his attacks, Vulcano Rosso was a strong fighter that was more than capable of doling out a beating. His story wasn’t terribly interesting, but he was fun to play and he definitely stood out from the crowd.
If Arika could just allow Capcom to get its mitts on the Street Fighter EX characters, then Vulcano Rosso, Skullomania, Darun Mister, and Doctrine Dark could come back to where they belong. But Arika can hold onto Area. No one likes Area.
1. Rainbow Mika
When someone says “that wrestler from Street Fighter,” bear-wrestling enthusiast Zangief or Andre the Giant rip-off Hugo are probably the first characters to pop to mind, but lady luchador R. Mika deserves a spot on that list, too.
Appearing exclusively in Street Fighter Alpha 3, this pig tailed grappler managed to break the “fighting game wrestler” mold. She isn’t big, she isn’t slow, she isn’t male, and she doesn’t play like a traditional grappler character. With a variety of grapple attacks to rely on and a killer flying butt attack, R. Mika was bringing lucha to the Street Fighter universe years before El Fuerte was a twinkle in gamer’s eyes.
Since she only appeared in one game and her story ended on cliffhanger, R. Mika has plenty of reason to return to the Street Fighter fracas. The closest R. Mika has come to returning to Street Fighter is when her costume was issued as DLC for a fighting bear in Street Fighter X Tekken. C’mon, Capcom, give the fans what they want and bring the Flying Peach back!