Season 4 of Street Fighter V Arcade Edition launches with a balance update and a new character - Kage!

Capcom Cup 2018 has come to its end, but the players are given no time to rest as they are propelled straight into the beginning of Season 4!

Unlike with the first three seasons, Season 4 has started off with an entirely different fanfare. There is no Season Pass nor any trailer announcing a six-character lineup in sight, but a new fighter has already joined the ring…and his name is Kage - or Evil Ryu as he is also referred to.

Evil Ryu was essentially a “what-if” scenario that came to life in the Street Fighter 4 series, an example of what would occur if Ryu were to succumb to the Satsui no Hado. In Street Fighter V, however, Ryu completely overcame its temptation, but as a result the Dark Hado gained sentience and took on a life of its own.

Now that he is no longer kept at bay by Ryu’s strength of will, Kage combines aspects from his better half’s arsenal, along with Akuma’s, with a new assortment of tools to create the formula for an insanely powerful character. You can read this blog post by Capcom for a thorough breakdown on the character’s abilities or you can check out this introduction video on Kage by Matt “TheStreetWriter” Edwards!

To purchase and download Kage, players must log into their CFN (Capcom Fighter’s Network) account on either PS4 or Steam and visit the Shop menu, then click the Characters tab. At the top of the resulting list of items, you’ll see two options to purchase Kage. The first one will be locked behind 100,000 Fight Mone but does not come with an option to use actual currency for his purchase.

Fortunately the second item, located directly below the first, offers a package called the Kage Character Bundle, which includes Kage himself as well as a library of costumes tailored specifically for him. This package is available for $5.99 USD. Purchasing it gives you immediate access to Kage, as well as his own character story, combat trials and demonstrations.

Along with Kage, a balance update leads off the beginning of the new season. Capcom has published a two-page document here detailing all the adjustments that have been made. Each section of the change log is accompanied by a brief explanation regarding why these adjustments were made, both to the game mechanics and to each of the 34 characters that were available up till now.

The new content aside, this move by Capcom has opened the floodgates for quite a number of questions.

For the first two seasons, Capcom released up to six characters throughout the year, providing teaser trailers for each character along the way. In Season 3, which also marked the transition to Arcade Edition, they took a slightly different approach by announcing every cast member for the season before releasing them throughout the year.

With each of the three seasons, players had the option to purchase the characters individually or to buy a season pass in order to gain instant access to each character as they came…but though Season 4 is effectively live, the season pass is absent from the equation.

In their blog post about Kage’s abilities, Capcom states that they are “doing things a little differently this year.” A possible revision to their distribution of future content seems to be on their list of things to switch up for the 2019 season.

We do know one thing for certain: the Capcom Pro Tour is preparing to head into its next year of competition in March 2019. Once again, Final Round - the premier FGC major event in Atlanta GA - will be the first event to kick off the next chapter of the celebrated Street Fighter circuit.

This does not mean you should relax right now, though! This February, Street Fighter V returns to the main lineup for EVO Japan 2019, which will be held at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center in Japan! If you have a passport on hand and are looking to venture outside the country, EVO’s Japanese incarnation should be integrated into your plans!

For further updates, follow @CapcomFighters and @StreetFighter on Twitter!

JagoBlake, the author of this article, is an esports enthusiast who just so happens to have a way with words. Whenever he is not scouring the Internet in pursuit of breaking news, he's investing time into his favorite fighting games so as not to appear inadequate in the face of competition. To support his work, follow him on Twitter - @xJagoBlake.

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