Street Fighter V: Ibuki and Balrog Characters (DLC) Review

Kevin Hall
In Short
Two polar opposites are given to SF fans with the latest SFV update and they both play very differently.

Capcom has announced that Street Fighter V will come with a group of extra characters, modes and other updates that will release per month. The character lineup for this year is Alex, Guile, Ibuki, Balrog, Juri, and Urien. The June update included Ibuki and Balrog and a total of three new stages along with a new story mode. All characters are obtainable by purchasing the season pass or using fight money (or zenny) to buy the characters from the in-game shop. All characters come with a premium outfit.

Ibuki is the kunoichi (female ninja) fighter that was first introduced in the original version of Street Fighter III. In that game, she was dressed in a ninja outfit with a mask that covered half her face but still had her blackish brown hair exposed along with her unique ponytail. SFV gives her a blue and white schoolgirl outfit with a black face mask along with knee and arm guards. She still has her signature ponytail and long fringe. Ibuki still has her upward kick, quick forward dash and energy blast grab. She loses her quick spin kicks and sliding grab that she had in previous games. Her kunai can still be thrown in the air and they can also be thrown on the ground now. Ibuki can also toss multiple kunai by charging a button. The EX version of her kunai tosses out explosive kunai. The catch to her kunai is that she can only hold six kunai before you have to replenish them with a reload move. The reload move allows you to restore one kunai quickly, a few kunai at moderate speed or all kunai slowly depending on how long you hold the button after initiating the command.

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Ibuki's V-skill is a chi blast that performs a hard knockdown on her opponent. The V-skill can be charged to knock the opponent further back and take off slightly more damage. Her V-trigger allows her to toss out a bomb instantly. The bomb will explode on a different timer depending on what direction you hold before performing the V-skill. After the first bomb is tossed (to start the V-trigger timer), you have the option of tossing another bomb before the V-gauge fully depletes. Since players can choose how long of a timer each bomb will have, this move could be a good way to pin down your opponent in a certain area. Ibuki still has her playful type of personality retained from past installments of SF.

Along with Ibuki, the July update also includes Balrog. Balrog was the boxer fighter of the four original boss characters in Street Fighter II. In SFV, his style has undergone a slight change in color ' he now wears a blue robe with black trunks and boxing gloves. Balrog was always a rushdown-type of fighter and he plays just as rushdown in SFV except this time he is highly mix-up heavy. He brings along most of his familiar moves but loses his rising headbutt attack from previous games. He still has his forward rush punch, a rushing sweep punch, and an overhead punch that can be charged. This time you can charge any two buttons for his charge punch. In place of his rising headbutt he has an upward punch called a 'Screw Smash'.

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Balrog's V-skill is a quick sway called a 'KKB' and he can perform a follow-up attack after this move that varies whether you press Kick or Punch. Both of his kick and punch rush attacks can be canceled into his V-trigger so you can come up with some very mix-up heavy combinations with him. His V-trigger is called 'Crazy Rush' and allows him to perform several of his charge attacks in rapid succession as long as the V-gauge lasts while performing them ' you can combo several of them in a row. Balrog still has his trademark headstrong personality with little patience in SFV as well.

Both characters have their own alternate outfit and stage(s) dedicated to them. Balrog has his original stage from SFII that has now been upgraded for SFV and he also has a boxing ring stage. Ibuki has a beach stage. Balrog's alternate outfit has him back in his blue pants and he has a white and red jacket with a black tank top underneath. Ibuki's alternate outfit has her in a purple sleeveless dress with a side tie. It has pink flowers on it and she has a large ribbon on her back and knee guards on her legs. Balrog seems to be a crazy good character with his mix-ups but Ibuki seems like more of a fun character to learn in this update. Even though they are returning characters, both of them have a fresh feel to them.

Final Rating: 80%

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Transmitted: 2/18/2019 2:35:49 PM