By the time the first year of Street Fighter 5 comes to an end, Street Fighter 3 fans will have a few characters they can play between Alex, Urien and Ibuki. However, one Street Fighter 3 character who won’t be included in the first year is Sean Matsuda. Sean fans may have to wait a little longer to see the return of the basketball wielding fighter, but his sister, Laura Matsuda will be included in the launch lineup. Let’s take a closer look at what Laura has to offer.
Laura hails from Brazil and uses a Jiu-Jitsu fighting style. While Laura has a short-range projectile with some interesting uses, she also has grappling techniques. If you didn’t get a chance to play as Laura during the most recent beta period, at this point in time she has a few very good stun combos. Of course this is only the beta and anything can change before the game ships next year.
Every character in Street Fighter 5 has a unique V-Skill ability, and Laura is no different. Her V-Skill allows her to quickly move right or left. By pressing either direction and both medium attack buttons, Laura gains some impressive movement options. If she remains stationary and activates her V-Skill, she performs and overhead kick. All of these factor into some of her stun combos, making her a rather versatile and mobile character.
Her special moves consist of the Thunder Clap, which is her short-range projectile attack. You can charge the attack to increase the range and duration of the projectile. It can be used to keep an opponent at bay, similar to Poison’s slower projectiles, or use it mid-combo for additional damage and stun. Her Bolt Charge is an elbow rush attack that changes depending on the strength of the button pressed. This is Laura’s best attack in combos due to the high damage it inflicts.
Laura’s V-Trigger is Spark Show, which changes her state and gives her new abilities. While Spark Show is active, Laura’s projectile covers more distance (it’s normally short range) and her attacks and throw generate more stun than normal. In addition, her V-Skill allows her to move even farther while Spark Show is active, making her a deadly and highly mobile character in this state.
At present Laura is more of a close-range grappler than anything else. However, when her projectile is used well she can inflict stun very quickly. It’s even easier to stun an opponent when she activates her V-Trigger making her very difficult to deal with. In addition to her normal overhead and low mix-ups at close range, Laura has a command grab that can also dish out the damage.
We’ll have more on Laura Matsuda as we approach the February 16, 2016 release date of Street Fighter 5 on the PlayStation 4 and PC. In the meantime you can check out our coverage of F.A.N.G, Rashid, Karin or the other fighters.