VF5 Final Showdown Character Countdown Part 5: Jean Kujo

Call him a Sephiroth Clone at your peril.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is right on the horizon! I have no illusions that I’ll be able to finish this countdown before release- I started it far too late. Still, it gives me something to do, and I guess I’ll keep doing it even after I get the game. Despite its status as a fighting game genre mainstay and foundation, VF’s long absence from the console scene outside Japan has hurt it a lot- there are far too few players familiar with VF, with many gamers still adhering to that notion that Virtua Fighter requires total, focused dedication to master. In some ways that’s true- but the key word is ‘master’. You don’t really need to master the game right away- you really don’t need a lot of effort to PLAY, or even play very well. VF5FS in particular has been modified to be a lot more newbie-friendly; think of it kinda like Soul Calibur V… but I think it’s even more accessible than SCV in many ways.
Anyway, that’s something for another day to ponder- for now, we take on another fighter to examine in the VF roster- this time, we encounter the newest addition to the lineup; a sinister emo-dude who enters the tournament with stormclouds gathering overhead. This guy wouldn’t look out of place in an apocalyptic fantasy world, wielding a ten-foot long katana. It’s the fearsome Karateka Assassin, Jean Kujo.

Distinguishing Features: Long, silver-gray hair. Sinister aura. Wardrobe from the Bad Guys with Style Store. In terms of Final Fantasy Advent Children terms- he’s got the face of Yazoo and the body of Loz.

Strengths: A new challenger, his moves are generally unfamiliar or unknown. High intimidation factor. His arsenal consists of many powerful charge punches and high-low combos which are hard to parry and defend against. Uses Materia stolen from Clou- oops, wrong franchise.

Weaknesses: His charge moves can be easily sidestepped and punishable if you rely on them too much. He’s actually pretty big and tall, making for a large target. Evil aura tends to put a dampener on relationships. Herbal shampoo.

Background: Not much is known about this silver-haired young man from France- he was raised for the greater part of his life within the compounds of Judgement Six, as one of its brainwashed assassins. Now he is unleashed into the upcoming World Fighting Tournament, as a replacement for J6′s failed operative, Goh Hinogami. Unconsciously he seems to have focused on Lion Rafale, unaware that, many years ago, he and Lion were once childhood friends.

Jean is a proponent of a brutal, violent (and pretty badass) form of Karate; he was known as ‘Karateka’ even before his actual name was revealed during his debut in Virtua Fighter 5R. Even more ‘amped up’ in terms of power than his predecessor, Goh, Jean seems to radiate an almost palpable aura of evil. His movements are accompanied by the same intimidating rush of ki and energy, and he seems unnaturally strong- almost to inhuman levels. It is not known what exactly J6 did to make this young Frenchman into a human weapon (and potential hair model), but it can’t be good- one of Jean’s costumes/looks in customization include a ‘cyborg’ look which might allude to the source of his power.
As a newcomer to the VF roster, Jean will surely stand out for his dark, perhaps even Tekken-ish style (similar to Goh as well), his edginess and emo-ness. Not to mention his moves include some pretty awesome and intimidating attacks and some pretty hard-hitting throws and combos. If only for bad-assery, this guy is sure to be an easy favorite, particularly for newbies to VF5. It should be fairly easy to look cool with a guy whose every punch and kick is powered by The Dark Side of the Force.

Is this guy the one to make Akira, Jacky and the rest of the VF crew kneel before J6? Well, that’s up to you, gentle Player. See if the Karateka Remnant is the fighter for you, when Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown arrives for download on PSN and XBL this June 5 and 6.

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