I’m switching to Guile, and I won’t be the only one.
Since Street Fighter V’s release, I’ve experimented with different characters like Nash, Birdie, Rashid, and R. Mika. I settled on Ryu because I really didn’t know who else to play. I figured mastering the Street Fighter icon’s fundamentals would come in handy if or when I chose to make a switch.
I’ve heard other players talk about not liking any other characters in the game and sticking with Ryu. It’s a bizarre trend, but not because Ryu is a bad character. A good Ryu can compete with most of the cast, but as much as I’d love to one day be like Tokido and Bonchan, I’m not even close.
Just as a character crisis was setting in, I got a little hands-on time with Guile. We hit it off right away.
While beating me to a pulp, Street Fighter V producer Peter “Combofiend” Rosas called Guile a tank, and he was absolutely right. Up until now, Street Fighter V has been devoid of a solid zoning game. Sure, FANG can keep players at bay with his poison projectiles, but with his low damage output, players have to work extra hard to win. Dhalsim can also zone, but most of the high-level players are taking advantage of his improved ability to mix it up in close range.
Guile has all the tools to sit back and turtle or lock your opponent down with an arsenal of Sonic Boom and Flash Kick attacks.
Which probably sounds familiar, because indeed, Guile is largely the same character he has been in previous Street Fighter games. He has solid target combos, and a roundhouse Crush Counter can combo into a Flash Kick. According to Combofiend, Guile does not have a three-frame normal, which is good for opposing players as it could easily affect the roster balance. Three-frame light attacks are a staple for characters like Chun-Li, Necalli, and Ryu, who can use their jabs to wake-up attack or counter-hit into high damage combos.
Guile’s new moves make him even more dangerous, and that’s what I like the most. His V-Skill, Sonic Blade, is a projectile that remains stationary unless you immediately follow it with a Sonic Boom. Then it becomes a bigger and faster projectile. Guile can also throw multiple Sonic Booms at variable speeds thanks to his V-Trigger, Solid Puncher. It can also enhance his Critical Art, the Sonic Hurricane, with more range and damage.
I don’t expect I’ll set the competitive world on fire with Guile. But it’s nice to finally feel a connection with a character in Street Fighter V. Will there be a mass exodus to Guile? Will Du “NuckleDu” Dang change up after establishing himself as a top-notch Nash player? Will Kevin “Dieminion” Landon give up FANG and go back to his Street Fighter IV main?
Michael Martin didn’t know how much he missed Guile until he was gone. Follow him on Twitter @Bizarro_Mike.