Street Fighter V Beta Impressions Part 4: Cammy
Cammy is one of the most popular characters in the Street Fighter roster. Part of that comes being an attractive character who inexplicably chooses to fight in a one-piece bathing suit. To each, their own, I guess. Outfit aside, she’s also been a fun character to play as, even in games where she wasn’t good.
That certainly wasn’t the case for her in Street Fighter IV. From instant divekicks, to dizzying Sako combos, to unblockable setups, Cammy was a top-tier monster for many years thanks to weapons that kind of went against the spirit of the game. It would ultimately take a core change to how all characters wake-up from a knockdown to cool her off just a touch. How do you now bring her into the Street Fighter V fold without nerfing the character into oblivion? Capcom has some interesting solutions that conundrum.
At her core, Cammy is still a nimble combatant that wants to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Her fast walk speed and dash allow her to move along the ground quickly, while her Spiral Arrow briskly travels across the screen. Besides a change in its animation, the aforementioned Spiral Arrow is largely unchanged.
Her other special moves have definitely seen some tuning. The height and distance that Cammy’s Cannon Spike travels varies more dramatically than it did in older games, as the light version doesn’t travel nearly as high or as far. Having a bit more variability should make the move a bit more useful, as if it wasn’t handy enough in its current state.
Her Cannon Strike dive kicks are not the nightmares that they used to be, at least not in the way they were before. Unless you make contact really low with your kick, you can’t combo off of it. Even then, the potential damage you can score off a dive kick starter isn’t that great relative to the risk of connecting too high. The EX version of the move causes her opponents to spin out, leaving them open for a juggle hit. This is nice, but definitely not as devastating as an EX dive kick in the old game.
What makes Cammy’s Cannon Strike interesting now is the fact that it becomes a homing attack when you do the dive kick as part of her Hooligan. What that means is, when she crosses over her opponent, she’ll swing back and hit them from the other side. Even if you don’t hit any buttons and she jumps over as part of the Hooligan, she’ll swing around and slide into her opponent’s feet. This new property opens the door for a plethora of nasty mix-ups that simply weren’t possible before. In absence of instant dive kicks and unblockables, I think this new tool is a fair trade that actually adds an new and interesting layer to her offensive game.
Since the new homing dive kick doesn’t really cross-up in the traditional sense, her jumping light kick has been retooled to serve that purpose. Though I would always prefer to have a cross-up versus not have one, her’s is not very good. The hit box on it is really small and the frame advantage it creates on hit is minimal at best. Probably not going to be all that effective as an opener for max damage combos. Since she didn’t have a normal cross-up, I guess this is still a buff.
The rest of her normal attacks have seen some nice updates. She now has a two-hit forward heavy kick that reminds me of Fei Long’s forward heavy kick in Super Street Fighter II. On hit, she can link into other normal attacks to execute a fat combo.
Relative to the rest of the cast in the beta, her damage output is generally on the lower end of the scale. Besides her mix-ups, you’re probably going to need to push the outer edges of her combo potential as well to keep pace with some of the heavier hitters. Thankfully, her normal attacks have been tweaked to better facilitate big damage. One of her new normal moves is a double knee attack that opens the door for follow-up maneuvers. Her new back heavy punch is her old close standing medium punch from Street Fighter IV. Not only does it get a damage boost, you can also link to it from a jab, cancel into special moves, or finish of the sequence with the second hit of the target combo, which kicks the opponent into the air in a juggle state.
Juggle into what though? Well, her brand new Critical Art is a great choice. Jumping backwards, she then dive kicks forward and then executes a crazy mid-air Spiral Arrow. It’s a very functional super, you can cancel into it from a normal attack or use it as a juggle when your opponent is airborne.
One aspect of her game that is kind of lacking is her V-Skill. Instead of a new move, her Spin Knuckle has been moved into this slot. The easier input and homing function make it a bit more useful, though its usefulness beyond going through fireballs is limited.
Her V-Trigger is much more useful, as it powers up her special moves while giving them different properties. Her V-Trigger Spiral Arrow hits multiple times, does more damage and puts her opponents in a juggle state. Her V-Trigger Cannon Strike hits multiple times while allowing Cammy to continue the combo. Her V-Trigger Cannon Spike hits multiple times as well. You can even connect them all in one combo that does an insane amount of damage. On top of all that, you can cancel into V-Trigger mid-combo and finish the sequence off in a powered-up state.
Cammy returns to Street Fighter in a state that is still effective without being scummy. She loses some of her most powerful tools in exchange for ones that are a bit more honest and arguably more fun. Too early to say if she’s going to ascend to the top of the tier lists, but she’s certainly an entertaining character to play with.