A new golden age of fighting games begins
The new golden age of fighting begins now, Street Fighter 6 bursts onto the scene in what some would say a technicolor dreamcoat, throw everything you used to know out the window as Street Fighter 6 up to ante with new systems, new moves, the ability to create your own character as well a cast of new and returning characters that are sure to break the game wide open.
Let’s first cover the roster here and how things have changed for some of the World warriors and returning characters between the incidents of Street Fighter 5 and 6.
First we’ll cover that of the returning and new poster child of Street Fighter 6,
Luke – The final character that was added to the roster in Street Fighter 5, Luke is now the new main character in regards to the series and his first outing sees Luke as a contractor for a PMC as well as the player’s first ever Mentor in the World Tour Mode, regardless of whatever player to decide to either play as or create Luke will cover the basics and fundamental mechanics as you journey across the world of Street Fighter 6, if playing online with your player character in the Battle Hub you will notice the vast majority of players at current playing Luke’s Style.
Ryu – Out with the old and in with the new as they say, the previous poster child and main character of the series once again makes his return to the World Warriors of Street Fighter 6 albeit a more reserved and calm master rather than a wild and crazy up and comer, ever training and seeking strong opponents Ryu has since Street Fighter 5 done battle and has overcome the dark presence of the Satsui no Hado that has plagued the character since it’s introduction in 1994 with Akuma and Super Street Fighter II Turbo, for us it’s been close to 30 years in the making.
Ken – You can’t have one without the other, Ryu’s sibling student and at time rival Ken Masters once again returns to the fray, however this time around we come across a far more aggressive iteration of the character as a disgraced former world champion and ex-VP of the Masters Foundation, Ken has had to abandon everything and go underground and a dark presence looms over him.
Chun Li – The first lady of fighting games returns once more paving the way for the next generation of Kung Fu a now former member ICPO Chun-Li has taken to raising the victim of the Black Moon incident, with Shadaloo’s fall Chun Li has now become a respected master of Kung Fu passing on her teachings to that of the locals in her community in Metro City.
Juri – Dubbed the Shadow of Chun Li this sadistic thrillseeker has been freed for her desire of revenge at series big bad M.Bison with this no longer as a motivator for her Juri travels causing suffering and strife to all she comes across, always looking for her next big thrill Juri continues her strange love/hate relationship with that of Chun-Li and soon there paths will be fated to cross once more.
Cammy – Still a member of British Special forces Delta Red, Cammy still retains her moody nature of the past but being a main player with a stake in the Shadaloo incident of the past she has now become quite distinguished among her peers and has settled into working at HQ for the time being but is always ready to move when required.
Guile – Another of the main characters that contributed to the downfall of Shadaloo in the past Guile is still working as US Air Pilot and helping to raise the next generation of military pilots since rescuing his friend Charlie during the previous games Guile has since been able to settle down and enjoy the life of a family man, however a new incident is brewing that will call Guile into the fray once more.
Blanka – The every loveable Blanka returns once more to the roster, much has changed we last saw Blanka, after the incidents of Street Fighter 5 Blanka has since become a kind-hearted defender of nature becoming an adventure tour guide to all how come and visit with his new blanka-chan doll series, Blanka nows lives in peace with his beloved mother all the while trying to make her life and comfortable as possible.
Dhalsim – A master monk and yoga practitioner Dhalsim continues to serve as a conduit for guiding lost and troubled slows, a wise and revered master stressing peace and tranquility for all Dhalsim prefers to avoid conflicts should they rise but much like in previous games Dhalsim is ready to “reach out” so to speak and get involved should the corruption of the world begins to rise.
E.Honda – The ever bumbling Edmond Honda returns once more in his attempt to preach Sumo wrestling and the number one style in the world. Ever at odds with other characters preferring other styles such as Zangief. E.Honda comical nature as well as constant world travel has always prevented his promotion of Sumo, however Edmond has become quite distinguished as an expert chef best known for his chanko stew.
Zangief – The 7 foot wonder once more returns to his world travels, leaning far more into his wrestling gimmick to the point of no longer running around in his trademark trunks (thank god) the Red Cyclone is dedicated to physical improvement and cossack dancing he however still struggles with that on projectiles primarily hating the classic Hadoken technique.
Dee Jay – The final returning warrior is that of Dee Jay, now a globally popular dance and music Superstar that is nobody around the world that doesn’t know who Dee Jay is, while older and with a new head of flowing hair the Jamaican Sensation dazzles his opposition with his slick dance moves and hot new songs.
For the cast of returning this is quite staggering, it’s nice to see some of the older characters get new updates and style changes to bring them into relevance for the new add, while you can’t do without the classics of Ryu/Ken and Chun-Li I’m not sure some people were clamoring for certain characters to return over others, it would have been nice to see some of the far older characters coming back to series with a new coat of paint so to speak to really bring the older generation and the new one together in a thunderous applause. For the initial roster this more than suits anyone fighting style needs, you’ve got a good mixture of Shoto characters, Grapple playing characters and zoners.
So we’ve covered the returning characters, let’s expand that by covering all the new additions to the roster,
New Character Additions
A good mixture of self-taught martial artist practitioners and disciples of former characters makes up an impressive roster of new and unique characters, below we’ll cover that of the new faces to the roster starting with that of..
Jamie – Jamie is to Luke what Ken is Ryu, while completely different styles Jamie always has time to fight and defend those in needs, Jamie strives to be a protector much like the Twin Dragons Yun and Yang and idolizes them mixing his breakdancing skills with that of the drunken-fist Jamie is an amazingly unique character that improves in skills during combat based on how much drink he consumes.
Kimberly – A genius prodigy that loves 80’s style pop culture Kimberly is the uninvited student of previous character Guy, as the 39th successor to Bushinryu, Kimberly mixes her love for 80’s pop culture with Ninjutsu leading to explosive art pieces that not only serve as tools to confuse and allude but also to amp her up during combat.
Lily – Descendant of the Thunder Hawk Tribe Lily may be small but she packs quite a punch able to commune with nature the wind spirits help her make up for her small stature and power by allowing her to fly around the battle and breakneck speeds while powering her up with a veil of pure wind.
Marisa – A hulking behemoth of a woman, Marisa may look intimidating at first glance with her ancient greek heritage and love of the coliseum but she’s really just a kind-hearted and up and coming jewelry designer that loves strength and power, perhaps her fates will pair her up with an older character of similar stature.
Manon – A world renown super model and champion judoka, Manon forever seeks perfection and beauty and this is reflected in her graceful almost Ballet dancer physique and movements, implementing everything with style and grace Manon will soon take the world by storm once more.
Finally we move onto the last new member of the roster,
JP – The head of an international NGO, JP is responsible for hundreds of successful business investment projects and is the sole reason developing countries are able to prosper, however JP holds a dark secret from all and comes to blows with the returning Ken Masters, JP may seem proper, but his imposing nature covers that of the demon inside.
If you’ve managed to make it this far into the review I commend you, covering every character can be quite a taxing experience. In regard to the new characters they really fill the roster out, while a lot of the characters could simply be considered filler I did really come to enjoy that of Kimberly and Jamie throughout my experience. Jaime in particular became the basis within time for my created character and while all these new additions are a welcome bonus some don’t feel as well refined style wise or story wise compared to others that have clearly been given far more effort.
Speaking of the create a character feature let’s move onto..
Battle Hub and Character Creation
The place to be when you’re looking for some online one versus one action. The Battle Hub is a sprawling hive of player created monstrosities and designs that has the feeling of playing at the arcades of old. Before we cover the character creation it’s best to list the features that are included within the Battle Hub as well as introduce one of Street Fighter 6’s more polarizing characters, Eternity
Before I discuss character I must state I have no issue with anyones choice of identity or orientation. While not officially confirmed by Capcom, Eternity has been enough of an inclusion to turn people away from the game which is a shame overall. Eternity is the host of Channel Eternity and you’ll meet them the moment you entry the Battle Hub, while I have no issue with the character as a whole I do feel Capcom could have been less on the nose regarding it, it comes off as hard virtue signaling and after the outcry regarding Hogwarts Legacy went through in the past it’s not something that I personally feel the gaming industry is handling too well overall. Aside from list Eternity introduces the character to the main features of the Battle Hub these are that of..
Battle Cabinet – Play with other fighters around the world in the comfort of your own home in a retro style arcade machine, choose to play P1/P2 side spectate matches and look to the main screen to watch featured matches while waiting for your turn. The Battle Cabinets also feature a section exclusively for the Extreme battle mode that I will cover later in the review.
Next we have Avatar Battles – Within the center of the Battle Hub player characters join together to combat each other in front of other members of the community, ever wanted to show your flair with unique outfits and builds? But still want to prove you’ve made the perfect character? This is the place to go.
The Battle Hub also includes multiple shops for edit your character as well as purchase new attire outside and exclusive from the World Tour mode, if you delve deep enough into the Battle Hub you’ll even find out arcade cabinets that feature some of Capcom’s Classics and these aren’t just related to there fighting game series, make sure to give these a whirl as they do rotate out of the Battle Hub every other month.
Finally we’ll move onto..
Mentioned frequently Street Fighter 6 now gives the player the option to recreate themself or their favorite character within game giving them unique and distinct features, while the opening portion of outfits and style is incredibly limited playing the World Tour Mode will unlock more outfits and Styles allowing the player character to perfectly mix and match multiple characters different styles and moves into a wholly unique amalgamation.
It is definitely intended that you run through the World Tour mode before making use of your Avatar in the battle hub as starting out your create a fighter has access to the bar minimum of move and does not even have Street Fighters Drive function unlocked by default, I’ll leave you to all to discover the various combinations that you can piece together otherwise this review would become far to long for anyone to read.
The most important and distinct information that is mentioned when creating a character however is that size matters, not in the usual way people say but in the character overall, you’ve the freedom to edit any portion of your create and fighter and to be efficient you’ll want to abuse some of the new features implemented – For example increasing the length of your arms will actually increase your overall reach which can lead to some of the most interesting clashes in fighting games, being able to beat someone in the footsie game with the use of noodle long arms is utterly insane. There are other features included in this but I leave you to your own creations. Just be prepared for others to abuse these mechanics in Avatar battles.
World Tour Mode
It’s time to take your character out into the World of their adventure to become a Street Fighting Champion, meet some classic characters of old as well as new faces as you design your character with bits and pieces of every master you come across.
Starting out in Metro City you meet up with sibling and rival character Bosche under the wing of new poster child Luke as your mentor, as mentioned you’ll start off with Luke’s style but within time you’ll come across other masters and be able to change your base style and move setup.
Within time you’ll enter a shady underworld featuring several classic Capcom characters from other series such as Final Fight.
To save any kind of spoilers regarding locations, I will note here that while the world is quite expansive a lot of the characters have met quite late into the game which in a sense sullied my experience overall as I was really hoping to mix some certain character styles together at a much earlier pace. However, while some characters are seen as an afterthought others are very much prominent and play a much larger role in the story as a whole. Running around Metro City and the other locations across the world is a thrilling experience and seeing older characters now reimagined and updated really drives home that we really are now moving into a new generation of fighting games.
To finish this section up I will briefly cover how you can integrate classic moves into your characters setup, throughout world tour after sparing and bonding with your masters they’ll teach your there unique moves, however while you may rush to mix certain moves with others in your special section, not everything is at your fingertips. The player character is limited to having only one move requiring the same button prompt, an example of this is basically the classic Hadoken prompt of – quarter circle forward punch, once you’ve selected a move with this prompt all other moves you unlocked that use the exact same functions will be grayed out and unable to use unless you switch to something new.
While it is saddening that you can’t mix certain combos together I fully understand the reasoning behind this as you could truly make some frightful combinations if given full reign over the customization and while some combinations and style will indeed be extremely powerful nothing it too overly broken overpowered that it will diminish the experience as a whole. (Unless of course you decide to play Zangief).
Fighting Ground Mode
The ever classic Fighting ground mode contains all a classic Street Fighter player could enjoy, if you’re simply looking to relax with some friend around the sofa, Fighting Ground is the place to go, take on your friend in unique modes, or learn how each character functions with the comprehensive training and combat trail modes.
Fighting Ground is the place to start when choosing a main character as the extensive training mode will teach even the most novice of players how to handle the new mechanics, below I will cover some of the features included within this mode.
Arcade Mode – Discover the story mode related to your chosen character in a tailor made experience that brings back some of the old classics with a new spin included, look close enough and you may even see another character in the series that has since not made a return.
Training Menu – This is the place to go to practice new characters, these contain all the tutorials that anyone could need to perfect their chosen character, while the combo trails can go really in depth as to what your chosen fighters can do it however trips at the first hurdle and breaks both kneecaps but not including the button prompts of the left side of the screen at all time, fighters have been doing this for the longest time but for some reason SF6 decides it’s far easier to have you repeatedly watch the AI perform the actions, then make you look into the command list to pull this off, while there could be a feature that fixes this I was no able to find this during my playtime which really diminished this mob overall for me.
Versus – The classic one versus one mode has further been expanded, set the amount of rounds the time limit whatever you need to bring your versus experience to life is at your fingertips, tired of one versus one? Then set up a team battle with a group of your friends elimination style of double battles, 3v3? 5v5? Anything is possible. Looking for something a bit more over the top? Hit up the Extreme Mode ever wanted to fight your opponents while avoiding charging bulls? Or deadly tesla coils of doom? Extreme mode is exactly that, extreme and is sure to add hours of fun to group play and ranked play.
Aside from my mentioned grievances with the training system the Fighting Ground mode included in SF6 is far superior to previous iterations in the game, the freedom to do whatever you like whenever while queuing for a ranked match is always a good feeling.
I can’t find many faults at all with this mode and everything feels solid all around.
So we’ve reached the conclusion, if you’ve made it this far I once more tip my hat to you, speaking of hats, Street Fighter 6 is the first of the big three to throw its hat into the ring and with the being the first there will always be scrutiny, it will always be referenced to the upcoming MK1 and Tekken 8 regardless of how well it tries to do, that being said being first to the mark can be a benefit, Street Fighter 6 has a massive player base, during my time in the Battle Hub as mentioned there was never a moment where people were standing still, even when the servers went down briefly you could find hundreds and I mean hundreds of people darting around the servers even though nobody could battle which can only mean good things for the game as a whole.
While I’m not a fan of some of the returning members of the cast and find some of the newer members to be nothing more than annoyance due to cheap and frankly poor gimmick mechanics I can respect their place within the roster and overall the roster is very well balanced, the new drive system also adds a nice spin to combat although can easily be abused by certain characters to a frankly annoying degree (I’m looking at you Edmond Honda) while the balancing is great I do think some characters in the future will require a nerf as some of the damage scaling is just far out of proportion.
As mentioned, the World tour can feel lacking at times and it does take a small age for your avatar character to get some of the later masters and styles, it took me a very long time to build the character I wanted as the master included was far too late in the game for no reason. But if you can keep at it Street Fighter 6 is a behemoth just coming out of its shell.
- Amazing Roster
- Can be serious and comical too
- Expansive player character creator
- A bit too on the nose regarding topical features
- Far too heavy on the brightness and color
- Server stability issues