Going Hands-On with Street Fighter V: Cammy and Birdie Conduct Their Very Own British Invasion

By on June 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm
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Be sure to read Heidi’s first hands-on report here for a closer look at Street Fighter V’s new gameplay mechanics and previously revealed cast members.

Oh, hi again, Shoryuken friends! Guess what? I’ve got more hot Street Fighter V scoops for you folks! It seems that Sony just announced some stuff at their press conference, which means I’m now cleared to tell you about the rest of the stuff from my hands-on experience. Hooray!

So, in case you missed the press conference, let’s recap what we saw. First off, we have the two new characters! Well, maybe not “new” in the sense that Abel and C. Viper were new to Street Fighter IV, but newly-announced for the Street Fighter V roster. Cammy’’s back to Cannon Spike some fools, and we have the return of Birdie after an extended leave of absence. (What happened to the hole in his ‘hawk, though? I miss it already.)

Perhaps even more exciting, however, are the announcements of the beta program and the game’s projected release date. We knew it was coming in 2016, but now we have a more solid window of “Spring 2016.” Hopefully that means we’ll have at least a few months to get good for next year’s Evo, right?

If you’re a PlayStation 4 owner, however, you’re going to have the chance to give Street Fighter V an online test drive even sooner: pre-orders of the game at select retailers and on PlayStation Network will provide players with beta access on July 23. It’s a limited-time beta designed to get community feedback on gameplay and test the netcode on a global scale. You won’t have to wait too much longer, so as a wise man once said, get hype!

So now, how about we take a closer look at our two returning British battlers?

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Cammy

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Click for full artwork

Our agile Delta Red agent returns, looking as sharp as ever. Capcom reps told me she’s one of the “most requested” characters, so if you were among the crowd clamoring for Cammy, congrats, the developers have heard your cries! Perhaps the most noticeable change to her arsenal is that a key input has been simplified, which we’ll get to shortly.

Current Movelist

  • V-Skill: Axel Spin Knuckle (MP + MK)

Similar in style to Zangief’s Banishing Flat, this allows Cammy to dodge through a projectile with an attack that resembles Guile’s Spin Back Knuckle. While it doesn’t neutralize the projectile like the good ol’ green hand does, it’s a very nice addition to her repertoire.

  • V-Trigger: Delta Drive (HP + HK)

Cammy’s V-Trigger benefits aren’t as immediately visible as other characters: you might just think her speed increases. But many of her moves gain more subtle advantages during the time the gauge is ticking down, including increased recovery speed and being able to pass through the opponent.

  • V-Reversal: Strike Back (towards+KKK)

Special Moves

  • Spiral Arrow (QCF+K)
  • Cannon Spike (DP+K)
  • Cannon Strike (during forward jump, QCB+K)

Not much new to report here. However…

  • Hooligan Combination (HCF+P)

Yeah, remember how this started and ended at a weird diagonal in previous games? No more–it’s the half-circle motion we all know and love. As for the inputs afterwards…

  • Razor Edge Slicer (No input)
  • Fatal Leg Twister (close to ground, LP+LK)
  • Cross Scissors Pressure (close, in air LP+LK)
  • Cannon Strike (K)

…even better, you’ve still got all the follow-ups!

Critical Arts

  • Cross Stinger Assault (2xQCB+K)
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Birdie

Click for full artwork
Click for full artwork

Birdie’s had an interesting series of transformations over the history of the Street Fighter franchise, going from a white, generic British punk-thug in the first game to a hulking black bouncer with a bizarre ‘do in the Alpha series, and now to a chubby, food-scarfing, tattooed bruiser in Street Fighter V.

I’m not sure if Birdie was particularly high on many folks’ returning-character wishlists, but now that he’s actually in the game, I’m really glad he’s there. Birdie serves a very interesting niche that’s different from his role in the Street Fighter Alpha series: a slow, power-heavy character that hits hard and comes equipped with long-range grabs using his chains. I didn’t think he’d be a character I’d enjoy playing–I gravitate towards “glass cannon” types, personally–but out of everyone in Street Fighter V so far, Birdie was far and away the most fun to play with.

Current Movelist

  • V-Skill: Break Time (MP+MK, variants with stick motions)

Remember Ono’s banana picture? Yep, that’s actually one of Birdie’s V-Skills. Birdie stops to scarf a snack, but this is no mere taunt: the residue he throws can affect opponents. Neutral MP+MK produces a delicious donut that fills V-meter, while using back MP+MK has Birdie chomp down on a banana. The banana peel remains on the ground and can be slipped on by the opponent, causing knockdown (there’s a Diddy Kong joke to be had here, I’m sure). And finally, pressing down with MP+MK lets Birdie slam a Dew*, and his hastily discarded soda can rolls across the floor and hits low.

*No, it’s not actually Mountain Dew, but we can’t totally rule out future eSports sponsorships.

  • V-Trigger: Enjoy Time (HP+HK)

Now this is Hot Pepper Gaming! Activating Birdie’s V-Trigger sees the brute eat a pepper, providing him with a gauge that makes his skills super spicy. We’re talking extra damage and guard breaks on specials.

  • V-Reversal: Pepper Pot (During guard, towards+PPP)

Special Moves

  • Bull Head (HCF+P)

A signature Birdie skill returns from the Alpha series, only now it’s a half-circle rather than a charge. Birdie rushes a length of the stage with a devastating headbutt.

  • Bull Horn (Hold any P and release)

A slightly less involved input from the original Bull Horn, this can also can be held for a surprisingly long time–even taking a few hits couldn’t stop the charge, from what I recall. Sadly, I didn’t get the opportunity to test and see if it has the same chain abilities.

  • Hanging Chain (QCF+K)

Birdie launches a chain forward to grab his opponent and smash them around in a nasty, long-distance catch move. The strength of the kick pressed determines the launch angle.

  • Killing Head (HCB+P)

What’s this? A painful close-range throw that’s not a 360? Yep, I already mentioned before how 360s aren’t in the game, and here’s a prime example. It’s a bit surprising, given that Birdie existed in the original Alpha as the token 360 throw character (until they introduced the token 360 throw character in Alpha 2). Between this and Cammy’s Hooligan Combination, you can see how Capcom’s adjusting the controls for accessibility.

  • Bull Revenger (HCB+K)

What’s scarier than Birdie lunging at you? A leaping Birdie lunge where he can catch you and inflict a world of hurt, that’s what. It might not be a Super any more, but that doesn’t mean this ground-slamming special is any less painful.

Critical Art

  • Skip to My Chain (2xQCF+P)

One of the most entertaining–and devastating–Critical Arts shown so far, this attack has Birdie rolling his foe up in his chains and engaging in an impromptu jump-rope session, with his bound-up opponent suffering some seriously damaging skid burns as a result.

“And the very best thing of all, there’s no counter on this ball!” Okay, I’ll stop now.

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And there you go! If you’re attending E3 this week or Community Effort Orlando later this month, hopefully this and my previous article will give you an idea of what’s in the game (and what to try out) when you get your hands on it. We’ll be seeing plenty more Street Fighter V videos from the conventions show floor and from other upcoming events as well, so get yourself ready–the next battle’s coming up fast!