Despite many a worry that our favorite gentleman boxer would be vastly overpowered, Super Street Fighter 4 is out and it appears Dudley isn’t nearly as broken or S-tier as everyone had hoped feared. I won’t claim to be particularly good with him (or particularly good at Street Fighter in general), but having thrown my hat into the ring with him and against him several times, it becomes apparent that this tea-sipping, perma-boxing glove-wearing fighter has flaws.
- No range: Yes, Dudley has a lot of mixup options. Fast overhead attacks, good cancelable normals, good pressure. But in order to apply any of it, Dudley T. Worthington has to get in your grill and stay there. He can still be kept away with an expect fireball game, and he will still have trouble advancing on characters like Chun Li with strong pokes. Plus, his grab range is atrocious. Not that I expected much more from someone wearing boxing gloves.
- No uppercut spam: A common “complaint” about Dudley (is complaint the right word for whining about something that hasn’t even happened yet?) is that his Jet Upper shoryuken-style move does nearly double the damage of everyone else’s favorite combo armor-breaker. Sure, it does a lot of damage… if you can land it. With no invincibility frames other than on the EX version, committing to delivering sweet chin music to your opponent is a lot riskier, both at point blank and as anti-air.
- NSFP (Not Safe For Pressure): While Dudley can certainly apply pressure, almost none of his specials are safe at all if blocked, with minor exception. Harder varieties of Machine Gun Blow leave you wide open if you whiff or get blocked. Dash punches are fairly safe, but only from the right distance. Short Swing Blow and Cross Counter are obviously huge gambits, and of course his new move, Thunderbolt, is an awesome Jackie Chan movie. Also, if it’s blocked, you lose. Almost everything he has loses to well-placed sweeps.
- This voice has no dignity: Apparently, the voice actor who played Dudley in Street Fighter 3 wasn’t really a voice actor as much as he was the first British guy they could get to talk into a microphone. As such, he didn’t reprise his role in Super SF4, leaving us with what sounds like a bad parody of an old-timey British railway conductor. In the long run, we’ll get used to it, but at least half of Dudley’s charm was his powerful, beautiful, sensual voice.
Again, Dudley’s an excellent character, but he still has openings that can cause him major pain. He’s strong, but I doubt he’s top tier. That space is still temporarily reserved for a certain one-eyed asshole.