In the last official trailer announcing even more characters for Super Street Fighter IV, the sound of a sloshing liquid and a mysterious voice-over hinted that there may be more surprises coming from the upgrade to last year’s fighting game favourite. Capcom finally unveiled what that last surprise was overnight, introducing a brand new character joining the Super Street Fighter IV ranks: the bulky, red-skinned, oil-obsessed Turkish fighter known as Hakan.
Before you dismiss the greased-up Hakan as a completely unrealistic addition, let it be known that Turkish oil wrestling is a real martial art (as evidenced by several YouTube clips) and was found by the team behind Super Street Fighter IV. This was after producer Yoshinori Ono asked his squad to scour the Internet for interesting and unusual fight styles on which a brand new character could be based. Ono told GameSpot that with all of the other recent additions to the SSFIV roster being classic characters from the Alpha and III series, he wanted to introduce a new, wacky addition along the likes of a Blanka or a Dhalsim. Hence, Hakan was born.
But while Turkish oil wrestling may be real, Hakan’s looks and move set are definitely more on the fantastical side rather than realistic. A grappler at his core, the potency and range of Hakan’s basic moves are affected by how oily he is, with players able to add more oil to his body at any time via a dragon punch move along with any kick button. Like Zangief, Hakan’s most powerful moves are throws: the oil rocket (performed via a full circle stick move plus a punch button) sees Hakan grab his opponent in a bear hug, with the pressure of the hug and his greasy frame eventually squeezing out his foe; and the oil dive, which sees Hakan grab a combatant and slide around with him/her on the ground. Doing a half circle move with punch performs an oil slide, where Hakan slides along the ground to knock down foes (the oilier you are, the faster and longer the slide). This can be followed up with another body slam by pressing a punch button at the end of the slide.
Hakan’s comedic value really shines when he performs his super and two ultras. His flying oil spin super sees him running a short distance before grabbing an enemy and performing a combo, while his first ultra--the oil coaster--has Hakan throwing an opponent in the air before sliding him or her around his body at ever increasing velocity. His second ultra--the oil combination hold--is bound to draw laughs the first few times you see it. With this ultra (performed by quickly tapping down three times on the stick and pressing all three kick buttons), Hakan lays flat on his back. If an opponent happens to jump onto the prone Turk, he or she will slip on his oily gut, landing face down on the ground. Hakan then jumps on top and squeezes with an almighty effort, eventually popping out the hapless foe from between his legs and sending him or her shooting off across the stage. The move looks to be a purely defensive ultra and can be a little off putting but still a lot of fun to pull off.
While Hakan’s unique fighting style may mean he’ll take some getting used to, fans of the various incarnations of Street Fighter III will be pleased to know that the character additions to SSFIV feel very much like they used to, with a few minor exceptions. Pugilist Dudley, for example, retains much of his move set from Third Strike, such as the jet upper, machinegun blast, cross counter, short swing blows, and various ducking combos. He even gets his thunderbolt charge move back, which was last seen in 2nd Impact. Dudley’s super is still the rocket upper (which is essentially a chain of jet uppers), while his two ultras were also featured in Third Strike--the rolling thunder and the corkscrew cross (which has now evolved into an impressive-looking horizontal tornado that spins an opponent).
Just like Dudley, ninja-in-training Ibuki’s Third Strike move set makes it into SSFIV mostly intact. The still-speedy Ibuki retains the kunai air knife throw, the tsuijigoe somersault, the kubi ori sliding neck breaker, the raida explosive throw, the kasumi gake dash, the kazegiri dragon punch, the tsumuji, and the useful hien. The kasunni suzaku--where Ibuki throws multiple projectiles while in the air--becomes her super. As for ultras, the yoroitoshi is a modified version of a similar Third Strike super and sees Ibuki grab an opponent to deliver an ultrapowerful raida-like move (and is performed via two backward half circles plus three punch buttons). The second ultra is the hashinsho, which begins with a flurry of hits and finishes up with Ibuki jumping into the air while throwing dozens of projectiles at her opponent.
Makoto--one of the deadliest characters in Third Strike in the right hands--also has an almost identical move list compared to when fans last saw her. The uppercut-like fukiage is back, as is the dash punch hayate, the ground chop oroshi, the air kick karakusa, and the ever useful grab-and-choke karakusa. The temporary power boost that is the tanden renki serves as Makoto’s super, while the multi-hit flurry of the seichusen godanzuki is the first of her ultras. The second is the abare tosanami, which sees Makoto jump to the back wall before diagonally leaping on an opponent to begin a powerful combo.
Just as all of the previous characters introduced in Street Fighter IV felt and played like their classic counterparts, the Street Fighter III additions to the SSFIV roster feel instantly familiar (although it’ll take a few more hours of play time to see just how seamlessly these characters fit into the parry-less environment of SSFIV). We’ll have plenty more on Super Street Fighter IV in the following weeks, so keep it locked to GameSpot for more information.