Not to play armchair manager, but there’s a part of me that feels like it’s wrong for Daigo “The Beast” Umehara to play anyone but Ryu. I’m not about to go doubting his skills or anything -- even if he was in a coma, the guy could play Street Fighter better than I ever could -- but you’d think that a guy who put so much into the franchise as well as embodies the tireless wanderer would have found his soul mate. But in his recent EVO showings, he’s picked guys like Yun and Evil Ryu. And I’m pretty much left saying “Is this it? Has Daigo been corrupted by the power of the Dark Hadou?”
Well, it’s not like he’s turned evil in real life (or has he?!), so he’s free to do as he pleases. But still, the allure of the character is just too great in Street Fighter IV’s latest -- and probably final -- iteration. His damage output is incredible, he has nearly all of the tools Ryu has (and then some), and it only takes one hit for him to get started, i.e. melt an enemy’s life bar down to zero. It’s almost poetic that one EVO had Daigo and his Evil Ryu beaten by John Choi and his normal Ryu, but that didn’t stop The Beast from sticking with the Dark Hadou.
So now I have to wonder: once Street Fighter IV gets phased out and the sequel gains traction, what does that mean for what’s ostensibly the most heinous power in the canon? Frankly, I’m hoping for a lot.