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Hands-on with Street Fighter 5's more aggressive Ken

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Capcom is doing something genuinely interesting for Street Fighter 5. The developer is trying to both maintain the game's popularity amongst hardcore, professional aficionados of the fighter, but also open it up a bit more to the casual and inexperienced gamer.

The shift is noticeable, and welcome in the tweaks made to Street Fighter mainstay Ken Masters. Ken has long been a favorite among new players because of his basic strategy of rushing into a fight and crowding his opponent, picking off health with combos and special moves.

In Street Fighter 5, a simple new move helps deal with Ken's chief weakness: his reach.

By tapping both the medium punch and medium kick at the same time, Ken runs across part of the screen and, if you hold the buttons, executes a quick kick. Simply tapping and not holding makes Ken run and allows you to execute a combo or other attack at the end of the move.

This new V-Skill attack goes far in helping Ken clear the distance between he and his opponent and significantly changes the way a player might approach Ken's early game.

Essentially, it allows Ken to be even more aggressive and rush more than before.

Each character has a similarly executed new move, created to help deal with a character deficiency. Ryu, for instance, has a parry. They also have super V-Trigger moves. Ken's V-Trigger move, activated by filling up his V-Gauge with blocks and V-Skill use, amplifies the damage of all of his attacks with fire.

Add to these new moves the V-Gauge and the EX meter, and the game has an interesting nuanced new feel.

I asked the Capcom rep showing me the game, to show off how Ken's new run and kick can be used to impact his fighting style. You can see that in the video above.