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The other day, Smash Brothers series director Masahiro Sakurai posted a video detailing the newest Smash Ultimate DLC character, Kazuya Mishima from Tekken. Today, I got a firsthand look at Kazuya in Ultimate.
On face value, Kazuya seems like he’d fit the archetype made by other fighting game characters in Ultimate, namely Ken, Ryu, and Terry. In many ways, the comparison does fit. A plethora of Kazuya’s moves are accessed through command inputs, he automatically faces opponents in a 1v1, and he comes from a more traditional fighting game series.
While the comparisons are apt, Kazuya feels different. Part of that is the flair that comes with most moves. Some moves have stun opponents while most others have an absurd amount of particular effects. All the grabs, as well as his command grab, cause the camera to zoom in, giving a more cinematic feel to his moves.
More importantly, for those not used to command inputs, the way they are designed for Kazuya means that every attack may unintentionally lead to a different move. For a game based on precision, spacing, and timing, that may not be what you want. But for those who are not at the pro-level, the “mashing” style gameplay actually leads to several pretty intense looking sequences that also feel impactful thanks to the incredible damage output Kazuya has and the aforementioned theatrics. The “10-Hit Combo,” for example, is a multi-hit move which does about 50% damage and can be done by holding or hitting the A-button 10 times.
More skilled player than I, however, could easily take his advanced moveset and build out insane combos with it. Whether from low knockback or stun, a series of moves lead into one another. Further move, he’s faster than expected, letting him close the distance sooner in case a combo fails.
Finally, his main feature was the Rage mode, which he gets from he reaches 100%. Personally I did not feel it had as much utility as some other modes like Joker’s Arsene, Terry’s Go, or Sephiroth’s One-Winged Angel. It happens activates one time per time and there are so many ways to lose it (using Rage Drive or taking enough damage).
First impressions, Kazuya seems like a character with as much, if not more, potential to succeed as a fighter than the other fighting-game based characters. He might have problems with rushdown or speedy characters, but players able to use all of Kazuya’s tools may find ways around this issue.