12 fighters we'd like to see in Super Street Fighter IV

These brawlers have been sidelined for long enough – it's time for the upcoming expansion to bring them into the ring

Gill

Last seen in: Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (2000)

Most Street Fighter III fans remember Gill as a horrible, horrible bastard of a boss who was deliberately unfair, resurrected himself when defeated and sported a ridiculous two-tone design with even less clothing than Elena. (In fact, all of that just now prompted us to name him one of the worst-ever Street Fighter characters a while back.) However, he wasn’t really such a bad guy – all he really wanted to do was lead humanity into a new golden age of utopian red-and-blue understanding – and he was just interesting enough to merit another appearance, particularly if it means a bigger roster of moves centered around his fire-and-ice theme.

Mostly, though, we want to see Gill make a comeback just so we can unlock him and give that crotchless blue bastard Seth a taste of his own medicine by showing him how a real insanely difficult end-boss rolls.

Also, it’s a little-known fact that Gill hates SUVs, and has a particular talent for tearing them apart with his bare hands. We’d like to see this theme explored further.


Above: Just look at all that contempt in his eyes


Last seen in: Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX (2006)

We’ll just come right out and say it: Zangief needs a sidekick, and as sidekicks go, up-and-coming Japanese wrestler Rainbow Mika was a pretty good one when she debuted in Alpha 3. Sadly, her bizarre pigtails, oddly frilly costume and roster of flying-ass attacks have been absent since then, and the series is poorer for it.

Aside from presenting a different aspect of pro wrestling than that espoused by Zangief – one heavy on strikes and drops, and light on throws – Rainbow Mika was a big girl, with a meaty physique that suggested powerful legs and a low center of gravity. Maybe that’s not your thing, but in a game populated mostly by relatively wispy female fighters (Chun-Li’s massive thighs being the exception), it’s cool to see one with a physique that accurately reflects her fighting style.

Also that rationale enables us to completely gloss over the fact that the game takes every opportunity to show off her ass, something we wouldn’t be averse to seeing more of in Super SF IV.


Last seen in: Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (2000)

While there are a few strong arguments against the reluctant ninja girl’s inclusion in Super SF IV – she’d be too young according to series canon, she’s actually one of the weaker characters in Street Fighter III – her enduring popularity means it’s not entirely unlikely she’ll show up. And if she did, her rapid, skill-centric combos and high-flying special moves would make her a welcome addition to the roster.

Bottom line, Street Fighter IV could use a few more women, and Ibuki fills a niche (ninjas) that’s so far been largely ignored by the series. There’s also definitely a certain appeal in tossing around daggers in midair to, say, mess up C. Viper’s jet flights or El Fuerte’s dashes. And as long as we’re being honest, her costume – which leaves her hips conspicuously bare and devoid of any sign of underpants – is something we’d kind of like to see translated into SF IV’s graphics engine, even if it’s just DLC for one of the other characters.


Last seen in: Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX (2006)

Although he’s been part of Street Fighter since the very first game (admittedly looking nothing like what he does now), Birdie has since languished in relative obscurity as a second-string character in the Alpha series. Meanwhile, his fellow Alpha-mates Sakura, Rose and Dan have gone on to find mainstream success in Street Fighter IV, despite being much smaller and physically weaker than him. Obviously, this situation cannot be allowed to stand.

While he kind of looks like a bizarre idiot, Birdie’s a lot more complicated than a lot of Street Fighter fans seem to realize. Sporting a fantastically gaudy blonde Mohawk and clashing tattoos, he plays like a strange mashup of Balrog and Zangief, with devastating charge moves complemented by throws that require 360-degree joystick twists. He also brings those chains into play during his nastier throws, opening up the possibility for all kinds of nastiness during any future Ultra Combos.


Last seen in: Capcom Fighting Evolution (2004)

Originally envisioned as the main protagonist for Street Fighter III, Alex’s moves were a big departure from the shotokan karate practitioners he was supposed to supplant, and that’s part of what makes him interesting. Drawing his techniques from a combination of kickboxing and pro wrestling, Alex is a big, burly dude with a cool design who can deal tremendous damage with a sweet arsenal of punches and throws, and that’s something Street Fighter IV can always use more of, particularly if it balances out T. Hawk’s hammer-fisted presence.

Alex was also a blast to play as in Street Fighter III (once you knew what you were doing, anyway), and we’d love the chance to try out his moves against some of the contenders he hasn’t yet crossed paths with, particularly Abel, who has a somewhat similar style. If nothing else, Alex’s appearance in the upcoming Tatsunoko vs. Capcom gives us hope that we’ll see more of him in the future; at least Capcom hasn’t forgotten about him.


Last seen in: Street Fighter IV (2009)

Another character who’s been with the series since its inception, Adon didn’t really rise to prominence until he reappeared in the Alpha series as Sagat’s underhanded rival. Equal parts Sagat, Vega and pure, unbridled bastard, Adon is a leaping nightmare of high-speed kick flurries and potentially devastating special moves, all of which would make him a perfect fit for hardcore players unsatisfied with the likes of Chun-Li and Fei Long.

Unlike the rest of the characters on this list, however, he’s already appeared in Street Fighter IV – sorta. Although he’s not actually in the game proper, he does show up to get annihilated in the ring as part of Sagat’s prologue comeback. And while that doesn’t really portend great things for his immediate future, it at least confirms he’s still an active fighter when Street Fighter IV begins, giving him a leg up on all the other hopefuls.

Oct 2, 2009



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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