Capcom just lobbed the proverbial bomb at Street Fighter fans when it announced that the legendary Akuma will make his way to Street Fighter V as part of its stable of challengers. The big reveal happened during the Red Bull Battle Grounds Tournament, which ended last Nov. 6.
The debut was dramatic, with Akuma stealing the show from the awardees of the Capcom Pro Tour North American Finals. He was unveiled after Capcom's Yoshinori Ono handed out the trophies, just when the lights were about to flicker out.
He was thrown in the ring as a playable character for the 2016 Capcom Cup happening in December by way of an intriguing trailer. It was really more of a teaser since, aside from Akuma's training ground and his signature kanji sign, the video itself did not tell us much.
Hardcore fans should probably know Akuma as the demon god in the Street Fighter lore. He was first seen in Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Back then he already had a penchant for mystery, having played a secret character and hidden boss. But this character is notorious as the most bloodthirsty fighter in the Shoto corner.
It is important to note that Akuma's announcement also shined light on the challenge of introducing new characters to the Street Fighter franchise through updates. This is said to entail meticulous game development in order to strike just the right balance of build so as not to introduce one that will overpower other characters.
"When I watch and see something new I immediately ask, 'is this going to be okay?'" Ono said in an interview. "But then people always figure out how to counter that, then people figure out how to counter that counter. So that's kind of a learning experience."
Previous imbalances involved the release of the Yun and Yang twins. They immediately zoomed to the top player ranking even after gamers were able to discover counters to their insane abilities.
Capcom, therefore, has to create a build that can be seamlessly integrated into the popular brawler game.
Akuma is also getting ported to Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, where he will reportedly play a crucial part in the game's storyline.
There is no official statement yet confirming a launch date and this has been aggravated by the fact that the trailer video did not include gameplay screen grabs.
Fortunately, fans will get the chance to play him at the PlayStation Experience event happening in Anaheim from Dec. 3 to 4.