Street Fighter 6 Review
Capcom comes out swinging with the most accessible, technically sound and feature-packed Street Fighter entry yet, my full review.
Capcom's Street Fighter series has been a cornerstone in the fighting genre since it stepped into the ring in 1987. It continues to captivate gamers across the globe with its iconic characters, intense gameplay, and vibrant visuals. My love for the series began with Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo, a game that I've played and cherished for decades. The countless hours spent mastering combos and battling friends in heated duels have left an indelible mark on my experience with fighters. Now, the legacy continues with Street Fighter 6, the next evolution of the legendary franchise. Building upon its rich history and innovative mechanics, Street Fighter 6 elevates the series to new heights. I am happy to share that SF6 comes out swinging and delivers on so many levels. Whether you are a veteran or a newcomer to the series, there's something here for everyone. Let's dive into the world of Street Fighter 6 and explore what makes this latest installment the best in the series yet.
Street Fighter 6 Details
Platform (s): PS4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC and Arcade
Reviewed On: PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
Genre: Fighting / Adventure Game
Mode(s): Single-player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
The most feature-complete Street Fighter game ever made
One of the biggest complaints about Street Fighter V when it originally debuted was the fact it was lacking in content, Street Fighter 6 on the other hand has a ton of well-thought-out modes, a balanced line-up of fighters and more at launch. Street Fighter 6 offers a dynamic fighting experience with 3 "foundational modes" that cater to various player preferences from Fighting Ground, World Tour and Battle Hub. Let's explore what each has to offer and my experience with each:
Fighting Ground - The classic Street Fighter experience is better than ever
Fighting Ground is the mode where most Street Fighter vets will feel most "at home" as it combines the essential fighting experience that fans have come to love from previous installments. This includes the classic Arcade Mode, Training Mode, and local versus battles. In Arcade Mode, players can immerse themselves in single-player action, facing off against computer-controlled opponents while playing through each character's story. Completing Arcade Mode with different fighters unlocks illustrations in the Gallery and uploads your scores on online leaderboards.
There is also an "Extreme Battle mode" which introduces an exciting twist to traditional matches, incorporating unconventional rules and gimmicks, such as a rampaging bull disrupting the fight at unexpected moments and yes, the classic automotive destruction stages make their return.
World Tour - Single-Player "Build a Fighter" RPG Experience
If you are looking for a single-player story experience World Tour revolutionizes the single-player experience by combining a story mode with RPG elements, set within a globe-trotting Street Fighter universe experience.
One incredible aspect was just how deep the character customization is, allowing you to add all sorts of plain and extremely zany looks to your character. You start in Metro City, the iconic location from Final Fight, before traversing the globe to various destinations. Throughout the world, you can find and become an apprentice of Street Fighter legends and learn their Special Moves. As you progress through World Tour, you can customize your avatar with a diverse mix of abilities acquired from different Masters. This is the only "weak spot" in the overall SF6 package with the lack of a cohesive story and graphics that left more to be desired. Outside of that, I did have fun levelling, customizing and experimenting with my character's move set.
Battle Hub - A community-centred online mode
I got an early look at the Battle Hub which serves as the online destination for players looking for ways to connect with fellow fighters from all corners of the world. During the review process, I was able to experience dedicated reviewer segments and the full-blown experience during the public beta. I am happy to report the net code is great, but my skills need some work! Within the Battle Hub, you can jump into Ranked, Casual, or Extreme Battle cabinets, facing off against other online fighters. Overall, I found the connection to be quite solid across all modes and the online hub was packed with unexpected content.
The Game Center also offers a rotating selection of Capcom's classic arcade games which is a fun touch. There's also a shop where you can buy items to customize your fighter and an Event Counter where you can join tournaments.
Street Fighter 6's core gameplay is fantastic
The most important part of the fighting experience is how the combat "feels." This is especially critical with an iconic franchise like Street Fighter; it must remain faithful to its roots yet still offers something fresh: a difficult balance that's hard to strike. Thankfully, Capcom nailed it. Street Fighter 6 builds upon the series' iconic fighting mechanics while introducing new features that cater to both veteran players and newcomers alike.
The biggest introduction is the use of a unique Drive System that offers a new level of strategy. In SF6, every character can use the special "Drive" attack to pull off different specials like Impact, Rush, Reversal, Parry, and Overdrive. Its use is limited by six stamina bars that once drained cause enemies to inflict greater damage. I really liked the introduction of the Drive mechanic as it adds greater variety to each match and can swing momentum if managed properly.
The game boasts an impressive 18-character launch roster, featuring all eight original iconic fighters, four returning favourites, and six fresh faces. The assortment of characters is excellent offering a variety of fighting types from grapplers to zoners. I spent most of my time with Luke during the review period, but experimenting with other fighters demonstrated the depth and breadth of the "day one" lineup brawlers. Each character has a unique move-set that caters to different playstyles. Veteran players will appreciate the nuanced techniques and battle strategies, while newcomers can easily pull off devastating combos with minimal effort.
Controls add a new level of accessibility to newcomers
In addition to the classic control scheme, Street Fighter 6 offers two new Control Types: Modern Controls and Dynamic Controls. Modern Controls simplify special attack execution with easy-to-use button combinations, making it accessible for players who prefer not to memorize complex inputs. On the other hand, Dynamic Controls enable players to perform flashy moves by pressing a single button, adding a visually stunning flair to the battles. I found myself using the Modern Controls throughout the World Tour experience and reverting to the classic layout when it came to playing in Fighting Ground and online modes. There are slight trade-offs to using the Modern Controls for example there is a slight timing difference and less ability to free-form combos. The new control schemes offer newcomers an entry point into Street Fighter 6, without compromising the depth and complexity that fans appreciate. The alternative control options cater to a broader audience, allowing players to choose the scheme that best suits their playstyle and skill level. Whether you're a seasoned veteran who thrives on mastering intricate combos or a beginner looking to dive into the action without feeling overwhelmed, Street Fighter 6's control options ensure an enjoyable experience for a broader audience.
Graphics and Performance on the Streets
Street Fighter 6 boasts stunning graphics and outstanding performance, pushing the visual boundaries of the franchise to new heights. Especially with core modes like Fighting Ground, it looks stellar. SF6 runs smoothly on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, delivering sharp, detailed character models and vibrant, dynamic backgrounds that truly bring the Street Fighter universe to life. The game's performance remains consistently solid, with fast loading times and seamless transitions between menus and matches. Capcom has clearly put in the effort to optimize Street Fighter 6 for next-generation consoles.
The fluid animations and eye-catching visual effects during combat create an immersive and exhilarating experience. The splashes of colour that result from pulling off a successful combo, as well as the swelling soundtrack and robust sound effects, make for an incredibly satisfying experience. The one area where I found the visuals were parred down was in World Tour. Though the mode's performance remains solid, the visuals are slightly less vibrant than in other local play modes.
A revolutionary Street Fighter experience
Street Fighter 6 comes out swinging and lands just about every blow perfectly. It is the most accessible, technically sound, and feature-packed entry in the series to date. It has an array of well-thought-out modes, a balanced roster, and engaging gameplay, it is a must-have fighting game. The only weak point is the World Tour mode, where both the graphics and gameplay left more to be desired. Outside of that, Capcom has truly outdone itself, delivering a polished and satisfying experience that sets a new standard for the fighting game genre. Don't miss out on the chance to dive into the world of Street Fighter 6 and experience the best the series has to offer.
Street Fighter 6 PROS
+Accessible for newcomers while retaining the depth for veterans
+Diverse roster with a mix of classic and new characters
+Innovative game modes offering varied gameplay experiences
Street Fighter 6 CONS
-The learning curve for mastering new control schemes
-Some may find certain character balancing tweaks polarizing
-World Tour mode lacks in visuals and story depth
Overall Rating: 36.5/40 (91%)
A copy of the game was provided by Capcom to conduct this review.
About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Along with being the Managing Editor of dappertux.com, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on twitter, Instagram and join in on the fun!
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