Red Ken: Street Fighter V Comes To London

It’s no surprise to hear that Ken will be in Street Fighter V [official site], given that he’s been one of the core characters for yonks, but Capcom’s announcement has brought the surprise news that he’s been given a hideous makeover.

More important than that is the amazing London stage shown off in Ken’s trailer. Street Fighter’s interpretations of cultures are always odd, and it’s especially delightful to see that in my own city. Perhaps I spend too much time in ponds, but I don’t remember the Queen’s Guard hanging around train stations playing jazz. That’ll be the old Blitz Spirit re-emerging during the Tube strike.

I’ve rewatched this trailer several times trying to figure out which pieces are smooshed into it. The departure board lists trains to Holyhead, Portsmouth, York, Dover, and Winchester, among others, which I believe are served by a spread of London stations. Architecturally it’s a bit of this, a bit of that. But the giant banner reading “Thanks for being such a good friend!” well… that’s a funny take on London public transport etiquette.

How about a “If you talk to me I will blank you and blank you and blank you and then loudly tell you to fuck off OH MY GOD SHUT UP” banner? Perhaps “Don’t be rude to the conductor or we’ll all mutter the rudest swear words we know as you storm away down the carriage.”

Anyway, Street Fighter V is due in spring 2016. Capcom are teasing more announcements during the Evo fightest next week. Here’s doofy Ken and zany London:

36 Comments

  1. Lorrible says:

    Hideous makeover? I think he looks infinitely better than the godawful discount He-Man bowlcut he had in 4.

    • Greggh says:

      OMG, I KNOW, RIGHT?!

      Given his background/origins, he’s looking a lot more non-white (kinda malaysian actually?) – is that the “problem” or is just a sort of Street Fighter-purism kicking in?
      (I hope for the later)

      IMHO, I liked it a lot, looks fresh!

  2. Snids says:

    Wow. Portsmouth AND Winchester?
    You just don’t expect your little corners of England to be referenced in Street Fighter.

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      Godwhacker says:

      Well someone’s clearly keen on Hampshire.

      Incidentally I hope they hold the launch party for this at The London Pub that they’re showing off, given that it actually exists-

      link to beerintheevening.com

      Street view:
      link to google.co.uk

      I cycle past it from time to time but I’ve yet to go in- seems to have a fittingly international and slightly scary crowd of regulars though.

    • The Borderer says:

      And Carlisle!

      I’m trying to think of games that feature or mention Carlisle in any form, and other than train and aircraft sims and Crusader Kings 2 I can’t think of any.

      • The Borderer says:

        Oh I forgot football sims. Carlisle’s attempts to not have a professional football team haven’t worked so far.

  3. pmouse says:

    The games art style is a real turn of for me that and the game play makes my 30 year old brain hurt

    so will 6 be out next year at this rate?

    • oWn4g3 says:

      SF4 was released in 2008. Of course the usual revisions followed as is to be expected but the base game is surprisingly old.

    • pepperfez says:

      Are you turned off by the art in comparison to SFIV or to actually attractive games? Because I think what we’ve seen of V so far is at least 100% better than IV, even if it is still kind of uggo.

  4. Auru says:

    Hold on a moment.. people think he looks bad/ugly? … Did any of you endure these years of him looking like clownshoes in SFIV?

    I think it looks great, he’s supposed to be part american part japanese.. only thing I might say is they could have his hair a few shades darker? Otherwise he looks great imo (SFIII Ken still the best though!) :D

  5. Andrew says:

    Probably wrong to overthink this, but I imagine those are buskers merely dressed up as the Queen’s Guard.

    The station… Charing Cross maybe? Those multiple rounded entrances, the courtyardy sort of frontage.

    • manny says:

      Queens guard hold rifles, the most important part of their uniform. So no they aren’t queens guard, just some guys dressed as them.

  6. KevinLew says:

    Okay, there’s just one thing in the trailer that I’ll need a British person to explain… Are there really red telephone boxes right in the middle of the aisles in your train stations?

    Nobody commented on it, so I guess that’s normal? But to me, it looks really out of place, just like that odd steam engine art display in the background.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Nope, those Red telephone boxes aren’t around. They haven’t been around for years. Also, public telephone? It’s 2015 in Britain too. We all have our own smart phones now too!

      The pub inside the trainstation is completely legit though, you see that all the time.

      • Zarf says:

        OK, but what about the ’80s punk rockers off to the left? Are THOSE normal in London?

        • Snids says:

          In Camden, certainly.

        • plugav says:

          And are the guardsmen trying to chase away the punks with their jazz?

        • bill says:

          Yes. London is 30% 70s punks, 30% Gentlemen with bowler hats and 30% fish and chip sellers. The remaining 10% is wandering bands of guardsmen who try to keep the peace between the 3 warring factions.

          And British people all eat Fish & Chips for every meal, and have afternoon tea every afternoon, and don’t understand that they should wash the soap off the dishes after washing them.

          Actually, that last one might be true.. but it might be a regional thing?

      • Chiron says:

        You see the odd one, especially in the centre of London to appeal to tourists

      • Scumbag says:

        There are phone boxes (though less interesting) still scattered around. I think they are there more for drunks to smash at 3am to distract them from breaking anything useful than people actually making calls.

  7. BooleanBob says:

    Looks like Mornington Crescent to me.

    • pepperfez says:

      I wish Capcom had the cultural awareness to put that sign up.

  8. Zarf says:

    It’s always immensely entertaining to see people who are not members of your culture creatively (mis)interpreting your culture.

    I’m not really one for anime, but I was introduced to one called Space Brothers a while back, and they take some, er, liberties with American culture. From memory, they had a guy wearing a heavy coat while mowing the lawn in Texas. I mean, maybe it was cold, but they showed the weather in Florida on the same day being nice, and I’m not aware of huge weather differences between the two. They briefly showed a baseball game featuring the Colorado Rookies (Instead of the Rockies – though this may have been a clever and intentional commentary on their playstyle – that is, they lose a lot). They had a “No Smorking” sign at a NASA facility. Finally, there was an episode or two centered around a party the main characters were having at a Texas Roadhouse – a real-life chain restaurant, though completely misinterpreted. Instead of a sit-down steak place, it was an all-you-can-eat buffet with little seating room, and they served sake and sushi.

    I’m pretty sure that if you tried to order sushi at a real life Texas Roadhouse, they’d shoot you.

    • Kollega says:

      And you won’t even believe how much fun Russian nerds have all the time with the “vodka, bears, communism, balalaikas” stereotypes :P There’s even an actual term for scattershot-stereotype portrayal of Russia: “razvesistaya klyukva”, which means “branching cranberry” or “blooming cranberry”. It refers specifically to the 3cm-tall cranberry bushes, which can’t quite be “branching” or “blooming”. For example, Red Alert 2 and 3 are considered to be a glorious example of this portrayal of Russia/USSR, and the people over here who aren’t insane nationalists consider it a brilliant parody (which is pretty on-point, in my own personal opinion).

      In short, seeing clumsy but well-meaning attempts of writers from other countries to portray your culture is great comedy fodder, and I hope that as time goes on, the Internet will continue to facilitate people exchanging comparisons on it so that we can have extra laughs at the inaccuracies on all sides, as well as get to know other countries better.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        So do the insane nationalists get pissed off at this stuff, or are they wondering why Putin hasn’t given the army bear cavalry and cossack-dancing mechs yet? <_<

        • Kollega says:

          The insane nationalists do get pissed off at it, for “gross falsification of history” and similar stuff. It’s the sane ones who complain about the absence of point defences shaped like Lenin statues with laser eyes and vodka-based nanotech solutions that give people superpowers, because at least they have a sense of humor :P

      • criskywalker says:

        Well, I lived in Brazil and most people are not green monsters living in a lake dwelling near the jungle there.

  9. TobleroneRoloCombo says:

    “Thanks for being such a good friend!” sounds like the most Japanese sign to have at a railway station. But other than the jazz-playing guardsmen, my favourite part is the building (is it a pub?) which simply has a sign sign reading “London.”

  10. Kollega says:

    You know… this makes me think that there should be a fighting game set in locations like the rail bridge overlooking Leuna-Werke in Saxony-Anhalt,the Plaza Independencia of Montevideo, Uruguay, or the steps of Miners’ Palace of Culture in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Could be interesting, at the very least.

  11. plugav says:

    Judging by my brief stay in London, I’d say the most striking inaccuracy here is that there aren’t at least five hundred more people in the background.

  12. pmcp says:

    Congrats on that headline Alice.

  13. CptPlanet says:

    Hideous? Sorry to hear about your crippling terminal lack of taste.

    • bill says:

      Yeah, Those droopy fringey things* look really cute. Give him a nice dark-elf kinda look.

      *I’m not up to date on hair style terms.

  14. Scumbag says:

    King of the Fighters also had Royal Guards playing trumpets on one of its backgrounds. I’d say the Street Fighter one seems less stereotype laden actually.