Street Fighter 5 continues to build up its diverse cast of fighters. Before New York Comic Con 2015, fans of the classic fighting series were treated to the reveal of the Russian wrestler and Street Fighter veteran, Zangief. However, a leak from the Brazil Gaming Show also gave a peak at the next fighter to be officially revealed for Street Fighter 5’s growing roster. At New York Comic Con, I got my first detailed look and hands-on time with the newly announced fighter, Laura.
Laura Matsuda, a ju-jitsu specialist, is the first grappler in the series to also have a projectile attack. Laura has a variety of command grabs and fast attacks that will control a wide array of space during a match up. Her projectile attack, which looks like a sideways version of Guile’s Sonic Boom, can be made to travel varying distances on the field by using different punch buttons.
Laura feels like a character that will cater to the play styles of many since she has so many choices in how to proceed in matchups. Although Laura was not the fastest or strongest character, she possessed plenty of options to deal with every kind of opponent.
She could quickly move between both sides of the screen against fighters with many ranged attacks, as well as keep her distance against other grapplers and inside fighters. I never felt extremely limited in any match I played using Laura, nor was I hesitant to take risks against my opponent while playing with her.
Street Fighter 5 introduces V-Trigger and V-Skill techniques for every fighter. Laura’s V-Trigger is called Spark Show and allows her to stun opponents easier, while also fling her projectile much farther and faster than normal.
Executing the V-Trigger during matches helped me become very generous with my use of Laura’s projectile. I didn’t feel so boxed in against characters like Ryu or Ken that use projectiles freely, as I could fight back in a similar fashion.
Laura’s V-Skill is something that many grappler players will love. Pressing the medium punch and kick buttons together with a direction will have Laura dash towards or away from an opponent. Holding the attack buttons down alone will also do an overhead attack that can damage kneeling opponents. Mixing up a variety of dashes and overhead attacks can be very helpful for players trying to adapt to an opponent’s strategy.
Some hardcore fans of Street Fighter may feel a bit disappointed to not see Blanka, the original Brazilian Street Fighter, make an appearance in the game. But Laura presents plenty of fresh things to the game that will more than make up for Blanka’s absence. It will be great to see how the competitive landscape shifts amongst players who choose to use Laura in tournaments.
Those who have played in the Street Fighter 5 beta or demoed the game at NYCC 2015 have leaned towards using Karin, a character that appeared before in Street Fighter Alpha 3. And while she may be interesting to play technical wise, those craving for something really intriguing stuff will definitely want to play Laura Matsuda when the game comes out.
Street Fighter 5 is set to release in spring of 2016 and will be on PlayStation 4 and PC.
Are you excited to see Laura Matsuda in Street Fighter 5? Think you know who the next fighter that will be revealed for the game? Leave us a comment below and let your voice be heard!!!