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Street Fighter V's fourth season debuts with Kage's surprise launch

Vanilla Ryu, Daddy Beard Ryu, American Ryu, and now Homestuck Ryu

It's no surprise that Capcom's support for Street Fighter V isn't over, but I am a bit shocked that its fourth season of new characters has already begun with new fighter Kage. Available now, this angry lad (his name literally translating to "Shadow") is pretty much a beefed up version of old palette-swap villain Evil Ryu. Now apparently cosplaying as a secondary character from Homestuck, or - more likely - some kind of Oni, Kage is a teleporting, air-dashing, punchier and generally meaner take on Ryu's familiar style. Give him a peek in the debut trailer and breakdown vid below.

While he may share a character model with Ryu and some moves with Ryu, Ken and Akuma, Kage does look like a fresh character once fighting really starts. He's an aggressive glass cannon type, with V-triggers that open up the possibility of absurd air combos that wouldn't look out of place in a Guilty Gear game. Lots of axe kicks, lots of big meaty punches and his own take on Akuma's iconic Raging Demon super-move. Sitting back and throwing fireballs doesn't seem his thing, really. Constant pressure is his bread and butter, and his teleport dash can pass through projectiles.

No word on whether they'll put daft ad-branding over his glowing back tattoo, but it seems possible. Capcom also released a second video, going into detail on Kage's bag of tricks:

Along with Kage's surprise launch, Capcom rolled out a honkin' great patch that rebalances every single character, and gives F.A.N.G., Vega, Chun-Li, Abigail and M. Bison some new tricks. The full patch notes are available here - as only the most casual of Street Fighter dabblers, I wouldn't know where to begin picking it apart, but there's a lot for more competitive players to chew on. Capcom will announce the rest of their plans for Season 4 in the new year, but for those wanting to get punching early, Kage is available by himself now.

While there's no season pass for this new wave of stuff yet, Kage is available now in-game for $5/€6/$6 or 100,000 Fight Money. The patch notes are live here.

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