Street Fighter V: Menat gameplay trailer frame-by-frame analysis
The trailer for Street Fighter V’s next DLC character, Menat, has finally dropped, and she’s certainly an interesting one. She is Street Fighter’s first “shadow” character, and she is sure to shake up the meta. Let’s take a look at the trailer frame by frame.
For anyone who doesn’t know, a shadow character is any character that controls a second part of their character independently from their main body (also known as their “shadow”). Menat’s shadow is her crystal ball. She’s a very specific kind of shadow character that combines stances into her gameplay. Think of how Litchi Faye Ling from Blazblue had different moves depending on whether or not she was holding her staff. Menat operates in much the same way. She is able to place her ball in certain areas of the screen and has different sets of moves depending on whether or not she is holding it.
When holding her ball she plays somewhat like Dhalism. The ball gives each of her normals significantly increased range. The trailer shows off an anti-air kick that stretches approximately three character widths across the screen when accompanied by her ball. She later uses a low attack which stretches just as far. Her normal throw puts the opponent at about that distance away, so playing her as a conservative zoner is definitely an option.
At the 18 second mark in the trailer we start to see some of her gimmicks. She hit Ryu with what appears to be an anti-air special which causes a ring of energy to revolve around her head. It doesn’t move her in any way, so it doesn’t appear to be effective as a wake-up reversal. After putting Ryu into a juggle state, she recalls her ball which was placed a few character widths away to cause a second hit in the combo and follows up with an anti-air throw.
The trailer then shows off a few more of her zoning tools. Her V-Reversal appears to make her teleport to the other side of the opponent, giving her a free escape from pressure. She also appears to have a projectile reflect, similar to Rose in Ultra Street Fighter IV. This might be her V-Skill.
We then get to everyone’s favorite section: combos. She starts by jumping in which appears to be a heavy punch of some sort. This jump-in attack threw the ball with it, so it’s possible that the ball itself can hit as a cross-up. She then goes into the same kick we saw before, a crouching punch, and then another energy ring special. These specials seem to be how she places and retrieves her ball.
The next few combos we see follow similar progressions, but this time with the ball already placed. The “retrieve ball” special seems to be able to be canceled from normal attacks, allowing the ball’s hit-stun to act as a combo extender. It also pulls the opponent toward Menat, making it more likely for close range specials (like her anti-air energy ring) to hit.
We then get to see the EX version of her ball placement special which acts as a hit-grab. If it connects, it pulls the opponent directly in front of Menat in enough hit-stun to start a combo. We later get to see a variation which acts as a hit-grab, but knocks the opponent away. It appears as if placing the ball low triggers the first version and placing it mid triggers the second. She can also place the ball high as an anti-air maneuver, and the EX version of this triggers a hit-grab that slams the opponent on the ground. We get to see a few more combos of this variety, showing that the ball can juggle if the opponent is close enough.
The next section of the trailer shows off Menta’s V-Trigger. Similar to Rose’s Soul Satelite, this V-Trigger puts out six orbs of energy around Menat. Any time she uses a special attack (including placing and retrieving her ball) one of these energy orbs fires at the opponent. This allows her to string together impressively long combos or mount significant pressure when the opponent is on block. We get to see one of these combos as the last one featured in the trailer, a 19 hit combo that ends with her super, which appears to be a relatively standard close-range cinematic super.
Menat will be available starting August 29 on all Street Fighter V platforms.