As you normal readers may guess by the title, this is not a normal entry for The Game Critic, and that guess would be totally right. This post is another chance for me to flex my game design muscles (for those you who have yet to check out The Underwater Hedgehog, one of my other blogs devoted to a full design build) in response to a contest I happened to stumble across on the Capcom Unity blogs. Being a long time fan of the Street Fighter series and currently loosing hours a day to Super Street Fighter IV, the moment I saw the invite for custom created characters I immediately knew that I was going to be posting my own as soon as I was able to. So its time to cut right to the meat of this article with the character I've been brainstorming. Dear readers, I would like you to meet Maverick Digurri.
Ability/Archetype: Maverick Digurri uses a self-taught mixed style equally comprised of Capoeira and Break dance fighting. His body is lean and flexible but with clearly defined musculature in both his upper and lower body. He is not a super thick character like Sagat, rather he is built slightly thinner then Dee Jay. He should be a fairly tall character, but as he is low in stance, he will appear shorter then most characters. His arms, upper body and chest/abs in particular should be well defined as many of his attacks will involve planting his hands on the ground and attacking with feet. His upper body should also be broader in the shoulders, thus being wider then his lower body, but not by a large amount. Mavericks face is sharp and angular.
Costume/Colors: Maverick wears slightly baggy sweat pants with a tight tank shirt, holding to his style of breakdance/Capoeira. His wrists are wrapped tightly with cloth wraps, and he wears simple sneakers on his feet. As far as colors go, his color pattern is primarily darker. His shirt is grey, and his pants are black. His sneakers are gray/black with some white trim. His hair is closely cut, with the sides being almost shaved and the top being about a half inch long. His hair is a light brown and his skin is lightly tanned. Since the characters age is almost thirty, he should have less youthful look about him.
Nationality: Maverick is from the small island nation of New Zealand. I chose this location for two simple reasons. First, Street Fighter to my knowledge has never had a fighter from New Zealand and second, because it allows him to have a very cool accent.
History and Background: Maverick is a villain character (always room for another) who's goal is to prove himself capable enough to be a member of Shadoolaw. He became a champion breakdancer at an early age but also began working his way into local gangs, taking up the name Maverick. In his early teens he located a Capoeira dojo and began training heavily, combining his natural breakdancing talent with raw fighting capabilities. By his late teens, he had become the most feared fighter in local underground fighting rings and found himself growing bored with the lack of a challenge. Then one day a Shadoolaw recruiter passed through looking for raw talent to hire on similar to Sagat, Vega and Balrog. Maverick contacted the recruiter, but was turned down, beaten by several Shadoolaw thugs, and left for dead in a back alley. After a year of recovery, he set out to travel the world and hone his abilities. Years have passed and invitations are once again being sent out for a worldwide fighting tournament. Predicting that Shadoolaw will be watching the tournament for powerful recruits, Maverick enters in order to prove himself worthy of being one of Bison's top men.
I chose to make him a criminal villain because I've lately felt that the Street Fighter roster has grown very large with heroes....but not with enough villains. Of the 35 characters in SSFIV, only 9 are villains, and two of those are questionably so. Plus, he'd be the perfect rival for another rhythm based character, Dee Jay.
Evolution: Maverick could evolve in several ways. He could end up joining Shadoolaw as one of Bison's men, or his pride could get the better of him and he could walk away, perhaps even attempting to start his own rival organization. He could be hired on by S.I.N. or even be placed in charge of expanding S.I.N./Shadoolaw networks in New Zealand. With established criminal talent and a desire for furthering his criminal knowledge, Maverick could grow in a lot of directions.
Stance: Maverick's stance is very low to the ground (just high enough that standing attacks will connect) and he constantly moves back and forth. He holds one hand very close to the ground so that at any time he may put his weight on that hand and kick out with his legs, bringing them up and at an opponent. Also, since his style is rhythm based, he is constantly shifting his feet around, much like Elana from SFIII.
Technique: Maverick is a fast combo character who relies on medium-range spinning combos to deal most of his damage. He has only one punch (standing light) while the rest on his non-special attacks are all kicks of one kind or another. With his upper body strength, Maverick can quickly snap his body into different handstands, executing rapid, spinning kicks. His attacks should not deal large amounts of damage, but he should have a good number of basic standing attacks that can hit two or three times if they connect. Players of Maverick should get as close as possible to their opponent as he has only one ranged attack (and it has short range) and attack close in, stringing together rapid-fire hits. Maverick should constantly be flipping and spinning in order to bring a steady stream of attacks out, ie every attack (save light attacks) should involve momentum carried through to later attacks. As far as the game goes, Maverick should excel at low and standing combat, but his jump should be low and quick (similar to Gen) and his aerial game should be very weak.
Moves: Mavericks specials would be sequence based (Ryu, Ken, etc), not charge based (Guile, Balrog, etc)
Slide: A non-damaging move. Maverick shoves himself forward with his hands to slide on his knees, leaning back. This slide will not damage an opponent (but will stop when it bumps into them if it goes that far) but is low enough that Maverick can slide under standing attacks (like fireballs and Sonic Booms). The button input determines the length of the slide, but the player can also perform an Ultra, EX Special or Focus cancel to stop.
Guillotine Throw: Maverick leaps in a head height forward flip to wrap his arms around his opponents head and neck, then contracting his body and tossing them as his flip completes. EX.
Rend Kick: Mavericks only projectile move. Maverick whips his foot out in a lightening fast kick that rends the air in front of it, sending a short range (no more then half a screen) slash out at an upwards 30 degree angle. The kick itself can strike an opponent twice before launching the projectile.
Breakout: Maverick whips his legs around in a circle, lifting them higher and higher with each spin. The button input would determine how high it would go, but at it's highest, it would hit first low, then at a standing level, then head level (knocking upwards) and finish in an upwards drill (Think a less forward moving Cannon Spike with both legs extended into the kick and the hands pushing the body up off the ground).
Super: Endless Beat: Increases Mavericks attack speed while the Super bar drains allowing for higher combos.
Ultra 1: Breakout Guillotine: Maverick hits his opponent with a modified Breakout in which rather then hitting with both legs, he splits them to hit twice on each rotation. After the drill sends his opponent sky high, Maverick flips at them for a Guillotine throw.
Ultra 2: Sliding Riser: Maverick slides forward on his knees. When he reaches his opponent, he leaps up, elbowing them in the jaw as he rises, then kneeing them in the gut and again in the jaw. As he passes his opponent upwards (the opponent is knocked down on the ground), he flips backward in the air and comes down with a double-footed stomp, landing on their chest. He then hops off and away, back to his normal stance.
I will have to apologize to the officiator of the contest for not having any artwork, but I am a lousy artist. I will have to hope that my description of what he does, how he plays and what his build is will do just as well as artwork would. It was fun!