It’s the end of May, and Fighting Game fans are now buckling up for EVO 2016. With just a month and a half until the world’s largest international fighting game tournament descends upon Las Vegas, players are locking in their training schedules and practicing their matchups. But how do you prepare for a character who comes out just a month before EVO? That’s a matter best left to individual players, and one that Street Fighter’s resident kunoichi, Ibuki, has taken advantage of to nimbly slip her way into Street Fighter V’s roster as its next DLC character.
Ibuki was revealed last night at last weekend’s EVO Championship Series tournament, Combo Breaker. Her trailer can be viewed below.
Though her appearance in previous games implied that she was a no-nonsense ninja, Ibuki is a young girl who’s caught between two worlds. On one hand, she’s been trained from her youth as a ninja in a remote Japanese mountain village, where she constantly undertakes rigorous tasks and tests. On the other hand, she longs for the ‘normal’ life of a Japanese schoolgirl, and frequently sneaks out of her village with her pet tanuki, Don, to dabble in Japan’s pedestrian life. Her new outfit reflects this duality, as she’s now garbed in both a schoolgirl’s uniform and in utilitarian ninja gear.
Ibuki has enjoyed the reputation of being one of Street Fighter’s more technical characters since her debut in Street Fighter III: New Generation. Her Street Fighter V iteration seems to be no exception to the rule. In addition to her trademark kunai throwing weapons, she can also employ a gliding parachute and explosives in combat!
Capcom employee Harrison shared some details about Ibuki in a post on Capcom’s official blog earlier today, which can be read here.
Ibuki’s forte is employing mixups to confuse her opponent, which means she uses attacks that will force her opponents to guess how and where she will strike next.
Her trademark kunai operate a little differently than they have in previous games. Ibuki can hold up to five kunai at a time, show at the bottom of the screen next to her V-bar. She can throw them on the ground in a horizontal line, or she can toss them from the air (even after gliding). If she uses all of her kunai, she will have to spend a few moments kunai-less while she restocks her arsenal. She can also send her entire stock of kunai flying at an opponent for serious damage. It’s unknown at this time whether she must charge them up to do so, though, like Shiek’s Needle Storm from the Smash Bros. series.
Ibuki’s V-SKill is called Tenrai. It causes her to charge up a blast of energy in her palm. The longer she holds the charge, the larger the explosion radius will be when she releases it. Any additional properties regarding Tenrai, such as potential combo paths and unblockable or stagger states that the explosion may cause, are unknown at this time.
Ibuki’s V-Trigger is called Isshaku Horokudama. In this move, Ibuki tosses a bomb on to the stage. The bomb’s timer can be set by holding one of three directions before pressing the V-Trigger input. The bomb can also be detonated through other means, such as her kunai. This dynamic allows Ibuki to keep her opponents on their toes when the bomb is out, and also allows her to detonate it prematurely to continue a combo.
Ibuki’s Critical Art, Kachofugetsu, is described as the “pinnacle of her ninja training.” In this move, Ibuki delivers a strike to her opponent, then sends them into the sky. After performing some flashy ninja mudras, she finally blasts her opponent with an awesome ball of energy.
In addition, an alternate version of the Kanzuki Estate stage is on its way. This time, it takes place during the daytime. It’s aptly named Estate at Noon.
Harrison closes out his post by stating that June will be a “huge month for Street Fighter V.” The previously mentioned Story Mode expansion will make its appearance this month, as will several other surprises.
Ibuki’s release date hasn’t yet been announced, but keep your eyes peeled for her appearance over the next couple of days. Or try to, anyway. Those ninja folk are said to be rather sneaky.
May 31, 2016 Update: Capcom announced today that Ibuki will release around the middle of June, alongside Street Fighter V’s Story Mode.
We wanted to clear up the confusion around the release of Ibuki in #SFV. She will be released alongside Story Mode at the end of June.
— Street Fighter (@StreetFighter) May 31, 2016