The Dictator himself, M. Bison, continues to make the lives of Street Fighter characters more difficult as he plans for world domination in Street Fighter 5. This new version of M. Bison feels almost like a cross between the Street Fighter Alpha M. Bison and the one players have been using in Street Fighter 4. He's now an old man with grey hair, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming a dominant force at this early stage of development.
At the E3 pro player tournament Capcom held, Cammy and Birdie were the most popular choices, but it was the sole M. Bison player (Justin Wong) who took home top honors. Granted, the 12 professional players in attendance didn't have a lot of time with the game before the event, but they all had a good amount of knowledge on the game systems and their characters, even with only a few days of practice. It was easily the highest level of play we've seen in Street Fighter 5 and M. Bison came out on top with a dominating performance.
That's not to say M. Bison is the best character in the game at this early stage, but he definitely has everything he needs to compete with the other characters, and then some. Let's take a closer look at what M. Bison has to offer in Street Fighter 5.
Bison retains most of his trademark special moves from Street Fighter 4. If you played him in SF4 you should feel at home for the most part. Returning in Street Fighter 5 are the Double Knee Press scissor kick, and the Head Press along with the traditional follow-ups of the Somersault Skull Driver or Devil Reverse. With a nod to the Alpha series, Bison also has the Psycho Blast projectile attack and his brand new Psycho Inferno.
You may notice that Bison does not have his trademark Psycho Crusher (although it is still in the game as his Critical Art), but he has more than enough tools in his arsenal to compete. The new Psycho Inferno doesn't have a lot of range as it consists of an upward psycho attack that moves from the ground up to around Bison's head, directly in front of him. It seems to leave Bison at a slight advantage when blocked so you can continue to pressure an opponent. This works especially well if you have your opponent cornered.
M. Bison's V-Skill allows him to deal with projectile attacks. The Psycho Reflect can grab a projectile and increase Bison's V-Trigger gauge, or you can reflect it back at the opponent much like Rose's reflect in previous games. The reflect is fast and will be difficult to dodge if the opponent isn't ready for it, but if you need meter you can also choose to simply absorb the attack. While the reflect may not allow Bison to go head-to-head with some of the faster projectile characters, it's a huge help against a zoning character.
When Bison's V-Trigger gauge is full he can activate his Psycho Power. This gives him the ability to teleport, similar to his Alpha series incarnation. He can teleport through attacks (including projectiles) and even characters for as long as the V-Trigger lasts (the gauge slowly depletes over time). Once Bison has Psycho Power active the opponent has to be very careful. Throw a projectile at the wrong range and Bison can easily teleport through it and punish.
Bison's Critical Art is the Ultimate Psycho Crusher. This is the only way Bison can use the Psycho Crusher in Street Fighter 5, but it packs a heavy punch. You can combo into the Psycho Crusher for big damage after a hit-confirm. While Bison's EX special moves are solid, he's not as reliant on them as some of the other characters, which gives him more freedom to use the Critical Art once his super meter is full.