This Week in Games
The Leaky News Faucet

by Heidi Kemps,

Holy crap, EVO's in a few days and I'm still not done packing everything! Crap! I'm running a side tournament on Friday and I'm nervous as hell about my first time being an organizer! Aiieeeee! I still have to get all of my scheduling hammered out! Yikes!!!!

… well, even though I'm terribly disorganized right now, at least I'm not Capcom-level disorganized. Here we go again...

CAPCOM JUST CAN'T PLUG THEIR OWN LEAKS

Season 3 of Street Fighter V has been an extremely slow burn. We've heard not a peep of any new additions since the underwhelming introduction of Kage several months back, and people have been wondering just what the heck is up. Surely, Capcom was set to blow us away at EVO this year, right?

Here's the problem: Capcom is unfathomably bad at keeping their announcements under wraps. It feels like half of SFV's extended cast was leaked in one form or other before their official announcements. Hell, we didn't even get a trailer for Alex when his addition became known.

They seemed like they were going to try and nip leaks in the bud with Season 2, when they just announced the whole lineup at once and doled out significant gameplay details afterwards in a slow drip. People knew their characters were coming and looked forward to learning more, which was great and got people excited to see more of their favorites!

Capcom, unfortunately, didn't do this for Season 3, and boy has it been a mess.

This time, a trailer that was obviously not supposed to go live until Sunday appeared on the Street Fighter V Steam page. It features three new characters of varying degrees of obscurity from the annals of Capcom history. First off is E.Honda, the only one of the original eight World Warriors to not be in SFV up to this point. Watching the trailer… yeah, not much more to say. Sure is E. Honda!

The other two characters come from the Final Fight branch of the Street Fighter family tree. First off is Lucia (no, not Lucina, I too read that wrong at first). She's from Final Fight 3. Remember Final Fight 3? Probably not, it was a late-era SNES release from around the same time as Megaman X3, and almost as hard to find. Anyhow, Lucia was one of the exclusive playable characters, only now she's traded her sports bra and jean booty shorts for a slightly more respectable policewoman uniform. (Her original costume for all you old-school thirsty types is paid DLC, of course.)

And then there's fan favorite Poison, who… has been cursed by the same awful Street Fighter V hairstylist as almost everyone else. She's sadly joined the ranks of Akuma and Blanka in “fighters with hair that looks like a toilet brush.”

So yeah, three more Season 3 characters! I fully expect at least one to be available “…RIGHT NOW!” after EVO finals! There are a few galaxy-brain theorists online who are thinking this is a planned, diversionary tactic so Capcom can drop a fan favorite like Rose or Makoto in their REAL EVO announcement, but I'd say that's… extremely unlikely, given their history.

JANEMBA DLC FOR DRAGONBALL FIGHTERZ LEAKED TOO, AT LEAST

Well, Capcom can enjoy a stiff drink with Bandai-Namco at EVO as they commiserate over trailers getting dropped way too early. I wonder if anything else will drop in advance before EVO happens?

LOOKING OUT FOR A HERO-- wait he's already here

There was a Smash Direct-type thingy on Tuesday, where Sakurai took us through the various skills of the recently announced DLC fighter for Smash Ultimate, Hero from the Dragon Quest series. It was a fun watch: the team designed Hero to be very much unlike any other character in Smash.

To keep true to the Dragon Quest spirit of tense menuing, the Hero can call upon a command menu with a list of randomized spells that use his MP. You may or may not get what you're looking for when you try, but if you luck out, you can get some good stuff, including an extremely damaging burst-type spell and a technique that can potentially one-hit KO, though it's unlikely at low percentages. And he's available …RIGHT NOW!

I'll say right now that really like the Hero's gameplay kit. It's a cool design that keeps the flavor of Dragon Quest while bringing a new style of play to the Smash… which means that of course a bunch of whiners are already crying for a Hero ban. Really, y'all? You're not even going to give this a week to figure out counter-strategies?

There's also a new stage, Yggdrasil's Altar. There's some discussion about this stage being tournament legal, and while it'd be nice to see some new stages in competitive Smash Ultimate, a lot of folks don't know how much of a massive hardass Koichi Sugiyama is with his music. He's the kind of upstanding guy who, upon finding out widely streamed tournaments were being played on stages with his compositions, would definitely pitch a fit. (Also, he's kind of an awful person in general, but that's another topic entirely.)

Since Hero and version 4.0 dropped so close to EVO -- Nintendo was probably focused on getting Hero out ASAP to cash in on the hype surrounding the Japanese Dragon Quest CG movie – they're not legal for the tournament. Arguments about Hero's broken-ness using tournament play examples will have to be saved for another event, though I'm sure plenty of casuals – oh, excuse me, “friendlies” – will be played on the current version of the game at the venue.

NOT FIGHTING GAME NEWS: WE HAVE MORE DETAILS ON SHIN SAKURA WARS

Hey, I like Sakura Wars! How about you? Good! Did you see that more details on the upcoming game were revealed? We've even got a new release date of December 12th. In Japan, that is – we're looking at 2020 for the English version.

We've got our first look at one of the new international Combat Revues, and this time it's the crew from Shanghai! The captain is a chef named Yang Xiaolong, and take a look at his sick-ass mech:

Oh man, I'm already getting mad G Gundam vibes off of this game. That's a very, very good thing.

Yang is accompanied by Huang Yui, a cute and cheerful girl with hair buns. Interestingly, the members of the Shanghai Combat Revue are drawn by a different artist: Tite Kubo did the main cast, but these designs are done by Yukiko Horiguchi of K-On! Fame. I really like the idea of multiple artists each creating their own global Combat Revue designs, and I'm eager to see who else they've brought in to work on the game!

There were some other reveals, like a few of the combat outfits and some new locations, but this is the first we've seen of the gameplay, and I have a feeling this is going to be a bit divisive among series fans. Rather than the turn-based strategy battles of previous Sakura Wars games, this one's going in a more action-RPG direction. Personally, I don't mind this change at all – I've always felt like the strategy parts of Sakura Wars were weak compared to the visual novel and character interaction elements. Given Shin Sakura Wars’ combat-revue-competition backstory and the fact that it's getting a worldwide push, I feel like the shift to action gameplay will help bring in a lot of new Sakura Wars fans. Others might disagree, but I'm totally cool with this.

Of course, we'll be hearing plenty more about Shin Sakura Wars in the lead-up to its December debut as Sega works overtime to keep the hype train chuggin’. As long as we're gleefully indulging national stereotypes, I'm really hoping there's a Canadian combat revue with some sick moose-themed mechs.

Phew! I think that's a good place to stop for this week. Look forward to more news from EVO next time around. Are you going to be watching the event? If so, what games are you looking forward too? Hop on over to the forums and tell us all about it!


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