Hands-On With Street Fighter's Juri Or: How I Stopped Playing Ken and Learned to Love Da Bomb

I get a lot of grief whenever I join Capcom to play a little Street Fighter IV or Super Street Fighter IV.

I play Ken.. sometimes Ryu, and Capcom's Seth Killian and our own Mike McWhertor can't help but mock me about it. But I've played other characters before.

There was a time when I was at least respectable at Chun-Li and Bison was an infrequent fallback character. But as the years went by and I stopped visiting arcades my memory and abilities for playing anything but Ken and Ryu vanished, and I couldn't be bothered putting in the time to learn a new character... until now.

I spent a big part of the day this week playing Juri so I could write up some early impressions. I quickly found in the South Korean's kick-heavy attacks, mix of spinning specials, delayed fireballs and lethal Feng Shui chain-attacks a character that I didn't just enjoy playing, but very much want to master.

Juri's main attacks are triggered with fairly straight-forward circle moves. She has a fireball kick than deals damage up close as it arcs up and then shoots off a fireball. The light kick throws off a low, foot-level fireball. The medium throws a standard fireball and the heavy kick throws a fireball diagonally up.

One of the cool things about this attack is that the fireball doesn't launch until you let go of the button. So you can do the move with the kick, and then move around with the button held in until you're ready to release the fireball. It's a great way to throw your opponent's timing.

Her other main attack is a pinwheel kick which has her spin toward her opponent in giant pinwheels, sort of like an over-sized hurricane kick on its side.

Finally, Juri can deliver a dive kick by jumping in the air and pulling off the move, launching her straight at her opponent. The neat thing about this kick is that the Ex version can deliver multiple hits, juggling the player into the air and then bouncing them off the wall if done correctly.

Her super is a hyped-up version of her fireball kick, landing multiple kicks and launching a spread of fireballs when pulled off correctly.

She has a pretty nifty Ultra which has her throwing her opponent into the air before catching them on her foot, caressing them and then slapping them into the ground.

Initially the thing that drew me to Juri was that her move set is fairly familiar to a fan of Ken and Ryu, but there's a lot more complexity in the way she plays. She's much faster, doesn't really do much with her punches at all and has some amazing techniques to mess with the timing of attacks.

I suspect that Juri is the sort of character who when mastered could be one of the most flexible of the batch of fighters available in Super Street Fighter IV.

I know I plan on dedicating a lot more time learning the nuance of her character and those blistering moves.