Honor - Why Do I Play Alex
I get asked the question a lot and I figured I can turn it into a document explaining why I do and even explain why you or anyone else may be interested in the character. I will also provide some background information about the character because I like him so much.
o Alex first appeared in Street Fighter III: New Generation in 1997. He was designed to be the next protagonist for a new age of Street Fighter (replacing Ryu, the protagonist of Street Fighter II). Sometime in development however, the developers decided to place Ryu into the game so both Alex and Ryu share the protagonist role.
- Alex would appear in Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
o Alex would make his next appearance in 2008 as part of Capcom’s team in Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Cross-Generation of Heroes and in its 2010 update Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.
o Alex would make his triumphant return to the Street Fighter series in 2015’s Street Fighter V as the first DLC character. Set in a timeline before New Generation, Street Fighter V features a younger Alex who is simply looking for great opponents.
- Why Do I Play Alex?
o I play Alex because he is Street Fighter’s first and only representative from New York City. As a native of New York, I quickly gravitated to the character and haven’t stopped playing him since. In addition to being an NYC native, Alex is a morally good character who lives by the law and hates to see the weak preyed on. His entire motivation in the Street Fighter III series is to seek vengeance on the antagonist Gill who assaulted and nearly killed Tom. Tom is Alex’s best friend and father figure; to be fighting in the name of a loved one is one of the greatest character traits that attracts me.
o Alex’s fighting style is a combination of kickboxing and wrestling which makes him a skilled martial artist and not a street brawler that most people think he is. Alex incorporates wrestling strikes, wrestling grapples, and kickboxing strikes in his move-set. He is a calculated fighter who uses his long limbs to establish a distance that will allow him to proceed for a grapple. This is realistically a fighting style that suits me as a combatant.
- I’m a huge fan of wrestling and Alex pays tribute to many different wrestlers. His physical appearance including his iconic shirt-ripping intro is a nod to Hulk Hogan; an addition to the Hogan tribute, his st.HK normal is Hogan’s famous “big boot” attack.
- His grapples consist of a powerbomb, a German suplex, a body slam, a sleeper hold, and a tornado DDT. His super “Hyper Bomb” is a combination of two German suplexes and a leaping powerbomb. “Hyper Bomb” has an alternate animation where if done on a back-facing opponent, he performs six rolling German suplexes which were made famous by Chris Benoit and in today’s time referred to as “Suplex City” because of Brock Lesnar. His super “Heavy Hammer” begins with a chop, followed by a rolling powerbomb that launches the opponent into the air where he implants them like a tree into the ground using a crucifix powerbomb (known as the Razor’s Edge/Celtic Cross in the US).
- Alex’s fighting style as a whole is also a tribute to Mike Awesome (known as The Gladiator in Japan); Awesome was a large American man who was known for being swift and agile along with being powerful just like Alex.
o These are the reasons why I play Alex. It is not because he is a top tier character or a low tier character. I play him because of my own personal reasons stated above. Below I will explain why maybe you should play Alex in Street Fighter V.
- Why Should You Play Alex in Street Fighter V?
o Alex is classified as one of the game’s “grappler” characters. This means that his objective is to get in close and apply a command throw mix-up on his opponent to win. That being said, Alex contains much more than the traditional grappler character (that would be Zangief). Alex has several long range buttons that are used for poking and spacing. Alex also has access to a forward advancing attack that is safe on block (LK Slash Elbow, -3 on block); using this attack allows him to close the distance on his opponent in order to apply pressure with st.MP or f.HP. When fear has been instilled into the opponent, then his command throw comes into effect (Powerbomb). Alex also has access to a multi-purposeful V-Trigger: Rage Shift/Sledgehammer.
- Upon activation of Rage Shift, Alex’s V-Trigger gauge begins to drain like a timer. During Rage Shift, Alex gains access to Sledgehammer; Sledgehammer is a V-Trigger Attack that is used primarily in combos however, on frame 2 of Sledgehammer’s activation, Alex can parry any incoming strike. A successful parry refills the Rage Shift gauge by a quarter and returns Alex to a neutral position. Upon returning to a neutral position, Alex can use any of his attacks to punish his opponent. It is a powerful tool to have in the neutral game and rewards players with quick reactions and those with awesome reads.
o Alex has some glaring weaknesses, mainly being his anti-air options. Alex also does not possess a reversal/wake-up option; this means that he is prone to being pressured to death. His EX Slash Elbow contains 1 hit of armor however, it begins on frame 3 and will not save you from proper meaty pressure.
- Well, there you have it. Alex contains long reaching normals, excellent block pressure, and decent combo options. His V-Trigger is an excellent tool for both offense and defense while his super “Heavy Hamer” is a strike which can lead to a chip kill (unlike a command throw super). And of course, he has his command throw to apply an even greater mix-up on his opponent.