Setting the streets ablaze with another new contender for the long-running franchise, Street Fighter 6 is ready to bring some new elements. We get into how this classic series sets to introduce new mechanics, how it compares to entries past, and much more in this review.
Street Fighter 6 Review
Here comes a new challenger! In this Street Fighter 6 Review, I will talk about CAPCOM’s brand-new and seventh entry in the Street Fighter (SF) franchise. This review will go over the different game elements that it offers to veterans and newcomers. Is this CAPCOM’s best Street Fighter game? What are the classic and new combat mechanics? What makes Street Fighter 6 unique from its predecessors? I’ll be covering all of these and more in this hands-on review!
Genre: Fighting, Arcade, Action, Adventure
Developed by: CAPCOM
Published by: CAPCOM
Release Date: June 2, 2023
Platforms: PC (Steam), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4
Price at the time of Review: USD $59.99 (Standard)
Street Fighter 6 Story & Setting: CAPCOM Takes it to the Streets!
Street Fighter 6 introduces three foundational modes that are the main pillars of the game. World Tour, Battle Hub, and Fighting Ground. World Tour focuses on single-player and RPG elements. While Battle Hub is where you engage and match up (casually or competitively) with different players around the world. Lastly, Fighting Ground is a combination of the different classic well-known game modes. This includes what the game is known for such as Arcade, Practice, Local Versus, Online Matches and Challenges. Plus a new addition, Extreme Battle mode.
Single-Player Mode – World Tour
The new single-player mode of Street Fighter 6 is called World Tour. It’s arguably an unusual yet compelling feature that CAPCOM has integrated into a Street Fighter game. This single-player story mode revolves around the Street Fighter Universe. It breaks the walls of the traditional fighting game that we are accustomed to. Players can now interact with NPCs, engage with the 18 launch characters, and fully customize their avatar. This means creating builds with a variety of Skills and Mastery of different Fighting Styles. This can all be done while globetrotting.
Welcome to the Metro City
World Tour first takes place in Metro City, which is the same location as the Final Fight. As you progress through the story, the setting of the game expands where you’ll get to travel. The player portrays the role of a robust and fully-customizable student (also known as your avatar). They embark on a journey to learn various fighting styles, in order to acquire their fighting identity. Most importantly, they find out the meaning behind their purpose as a fighter in What is Strength? The avatar is unique, and also acts as an extension of the player. You can fully immerse yourself in the Street Fighter Universe by bringing your fully personalized character to the Battle Hub to fight against other players.
Yakuza: Like a Street Fighter
During my playthrough in World Tour, it reminded me of a specific game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. In World Tour, you can challenge random citizens to a fight, shop for combat and cosmetic items. Complete different quests, and interact with NPCs such as the 18 launch characters. Luke, Chun-Li, and Ryu to name a few from the roster of global fighters. As you progress in World Tour, you will encounter different aspects such as exploration, discovering secrets, easter eggs, character progression, achieving unlockables, participating in mini-games, and other exciting features that are exclusive to World Tour mode.
On to a Winner
Adding this single-player mode is a smart move that CAPCOM added for Street Fighter 6 because it shows that the game fully embraces different types of players. Yes, we are accustomed to how Street Fighter is meant to be played, where two players challenge and show off their fighting skills to win, but for casual players, sometimes, it can get frustrating if you fight against a knowledgeable player who dominates you with slick moves and combos, or even worse, someone who just loves to troll.
As exciting as it sounds, my only concern is will the single-player story mode stop upon completing all chapters. I hope that this isn’t the case, and knowing CAPCOM’s capability of presenting a road map for future updates, I expect there will be DLCs that introduce new features and additional content.
World Tour is a refreshing feature that I highly recommend for you to try out, not only will it focus on a single-player and story-driven experience, but it will also allow all players to learn the fundamentals of Street Fighter or to just take a break from participating in the Battle Hub. Apart from World Tour, the Arcade Mode in Fighting Ground is the traditional Single-Player mode of Street Fighter where you fight against an AI in sets of stages while following the fighter’s story, the setting and story of Arcade Mode will vary depending on the fighter that you choose. Here, you’ll find yourself in different locations such as China, the United Kingdom, the USA, Italy, and other character-related areas.
Street Fighter 6 Gameplay: A New Era that Elevates the Fighting Game Experience
The gameplay of Street Fighter 6 redefines the fighting game genre with its exceptional combat and meticulously crafted system mechanics incorporated into the game. The combat system has both depth and accessibility for both veterans and newcomers alike. It has fluid and responsive controls allowing players to execute certain moves with precision and ease.
As a casual fighting game enjoyer, this is surprisingly my first Street Fighter game in the series, I’ve been playing tons of fighting games over the years, from games such as Tekken and Mortal Kombat to even other anime fighters. But the previous Street Fighter installments didn’t really catch my attention but somehow, something about this game just makes me want to try it out. So, jumping into this game, I struggled at first as I didn’t know how to properly connect strings and such, but I was familiar enough to learn the basics and fundamentals easily later on. First, let’s talk about the control types of SF 6: Classic, Modern, and Dynamic controls.
Going for more traditional controls, Classic Controls features the 6-button layout with your three normal punches and three normal kicks. This control scheme is perfect for returning players of the series as some special moves are still similar to the previous installments, and precise motion inputs are required to perform these special moves.
The Modern Controls features a 4-button layout, which allows you to perform special moves with a single button combination. Compare to the Classic Controls, you would need to input forward, down, down-forward, then any punch button for the Shoryuken to come out. In the Modern Controls, you can simply press forward and the designated Special Button, this is perfect for newcomers to the series as they won’t have a hard time trying to input these complicated motions, and they also don’t have to worry about memorizing the list of motion inputs for every special move.
Arguably, some players might look at this as a problem since inputting different moves are now easily accessible, however, this can benefit and also be used by veteran players who would like to experiment on the tactical side of fighting games where you can instantly react to certain situations such as a jumping opponent with a DP (Dragon Punch).
The last control type is Dynamic Controls, this is definitely a control scheme that I foresee new players or those who are unfamiliar with the mechanics of Street Fighter will use because it provides accessibility to execute flashy moves with a single press of a button. Dynamic Controls is also a good mechanic to use for learning the basics and familiarity of the different characters. Not only is it recommended for such players mentioned, but it is also suited for having a friendly casual game at a party where the players are really just there to have fun.
Personally, I think that the Dynamic Controls scheme can entice people who are not familiar with the game to eventually try out the other control types and learn more about its mechanics and fundamentals. Both Classic and Modern Control Types are Tournament legal, but it is important to take note that Dynamic Controls is only limited to certain modes in the Fighting Ground.
Main Game Mode Impressions – WORLD TOUR
As mentioned, Street Fighter 6 features three foundational modes, first, let’s talk about World Tour. This is an interesting approach that pushes the boundaries of a fighting game’s story mode. Character creation features a high degree of customization where you can freely express yourself and how you would want your avatar to look as the main protagonist in the game. I’ve spent almost an hour and a half trying to mess around with the sliders trying to perfect how I want my character to look.
After creating my avatar, I’m then introduced to my coach, Luke where I go over some tutorials and basic training. Afterward, I jump right into Metro City, and from there, I do the first few main missions, apparently, some parts of the map are limited until you finish the first few missions. Once I got the hang of World Tour, I was finally able to explore Metro City and later, more areas around the world. You can also become a student of your favorite masters including all 18 characters currently available in the game. You can then learn their fighting style and special moves, and by doing so, you can mix and match the special moves you’ve unlocked to create the perfect character that suits your playstyle.
Exploring World Tour Mode
World Tour also features different types of quests which is a good distraction to keep the player off track from completing the main questline, there are a bunch of minigames and side quests that you need to complete in order to progress the main story. For my character, I used Ken’s style which gives me his basic attacks, and I also grinded enough experience, quest completion, and story progression to have access to other masteries which expands my set of moves and unique special attacks.
My only gripe about this mode is that it can sometimes feel repetitive and stale. After spending hours in the game, I find myself mindlessly grinding just to unlock other character masteries and special moves to create the perfect character that I can show off. The story isn’t really that great, but it’s not bad either, at least it keeps the momentum going forward, and it lets me learn more about some of my favorite characters.
Regardless, I am quite impressed with the amount of content and game elements that are featured exclusively in World Tour, but I hope that it doesn’t stop there upon reaching the last chapter and that there are additional DLCs and updates for World Tour mode. This brings us to the next foundational mode in Street Fighter 6, the Battle Hub.
Main Game Mode Impressions – BATTLE HUB
The Battle Hub serves as a central hub or gathering place where players around the globe can engage, communicate, and challenge each other to a fight casually or competitively. Once I set foot in the Battle Hub, I was immediately greeted by tons of players and it was a pleasure looking at the unique and fun avatars they’ve created.
Impressons of the Battle Hub
During my time playing in the restricted schedule in the Battle Hub, including the Open Beta, I’ve had no issues playing on either the Asia or North America servers. I was expecting that I’d have issues with connectivity in the NA servers, but to my surprise, even if the match only had a 3-bar connection status, the game was still playable and the matches ran smoothly.
Although it wasn’t really perfect since there were a few matches against random players where the characters would start to lag during the battle, it eventually resolves on its own and becomes fluid after a few seconds. There are a couple of ways to avoid this and one of them is by checking the connection status of the opponent before you “Request a Match” or if a server happens to be “Crowded”, you can easily move to another that is “Normal” or “Uncrowded”.
Battle Hub Navigation
The Battle Hub area was also easy to navigate, it is organized in a way where you can find multiple arcade cabinets to join or wait for a match, shop for cosmetic items, or use arcade cabinets at the Game Center where you can enjoy a rotating collection of some previous CAPCOM classic games. When you are using an arcade cabinet, you can go into Solo Training while you wait for another player, this gave me some time to practice and it provided me with full access to the training mode features.
In a match, once it’s complete, the rematch feature works instantaneously, you can immediately start the next match once both players hit the rematch button, ensuring a seamless transition from one battle to the next and it can be an endless battle between two players as long as both parties are willing to fight again. Apart from that, players can also spectate a match in real-time.
Main Game Mode Impressions – FIGHTING GROUND
And finally, the Fighting Ground. The Fighting Ground includes the classic game modes of Street Fighter such as Arcade, Private or Public Online Matches, Practice, and Local Versus Mode. Fighting Ground also introduces a new game mode, Extreme Battle Mode which spices up a match by adding unconventional rules and fun gimmicks, we highly recommend that you try this game mode out when you play the game. Next, one thing I want to highlight in Fighting Ground is the Practice Mode.
Training Makes Perfect
For casual players such as myself or those who are trying out Street Fighter for the first time, make sure you train. It helps to understand the fundamentals of the game through Practice Mode. Here you can jump into Training, Tutorials, Character Guides, and Combo Trials. Training provides extensive features where you have accessibility to some tools such as frame data of each move, and the status of the CPU. An important feature is re-creating certain scenarios you’ve encountered during an actual match. This can help to discover different solutions to go around it.
The Tutorial is the place where you can learn some of the basic fundamentals. This includes the combat mechanics of the game. What a counter hit is, a punish counter, a hard knockdown, and other terms that you may not be familiar with.
For character-specifics, the Character Guides mode is essential if you want to have an overview of how each character should be played. It also helps in understanding their archetype. I chose Ken in this mode and I learned that he is an aggressive character equipped with moves surrounding powerful kicks and great space control. He is also a “rushdown” type of character, capable of overwhelming an opponent’s defenses.
This also showed me how and when’s the best scenario to use Ken’s different special moves. Ultimately, the last two sections of the Character Guides taught me how I should play Ken strategically. Giving practice to incorporating certain special moves like “Quick Dash” to close in on the opponent. From there, learning to initiate a mix-up.
Finally, Combo Trials offers a set of starter combos that can help you get an idea of what normal and special moves can be linked to create a combo. It includes three levels from Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced and it is available to use for Classic and Modern controls.
Audio & Visuals
When it comes to visuals, character renders and backgrounds still follow the same bold colors and anime-esque art style as its predecessors. Especially when compared to SFIV and SFV. Only this time, with improved details and brand-new looks for character design.Iincluding a silly yet noteworthy feature of adding different facial expressions for characters during the versus loading screen. The different backgrounds are also visually stunning and it respectively captures the theme that is proper for the characters. Colors are well-balanced, NPCs in the background are not distracting, and battle arenas that seem to be set at night such as Cammy’s stage are well-lit and pleasing to look at.
To continue, let me briefly talk about Performance. During the time of this review, I had the privilege of playing Street Fighter 6 on the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. As I expected, the performance on both consoles was noticeable. Playing the game on the PlayStation 5 offers a Resolution and Performance Mode. Right off the bat, I’d highly recommend setting the game on Performance Mode if you prefer the traditional way of competing against other players. This maintains fluidity in movement, inputs are responsive and it runs at a stable frame rate of 60 fps. On the other hand, if you are playing game modes such as World Tour or Arcade, it is better to play on Resolution Mode to improve the quality of cutscenes and overall background and visuals.
Perfomance on PS4
Meanwhile, running the game on the PS4 works well. Load times in the loading screen and character renders require a few more seconds to process. This however is not really a big issue for me when I am in the Battle Hub or Fighting Ground. Where is does matter though, are the matches against players and it performed smoothly on the PS4.
What I found bothersome is playing World Tour. It has robust and detailed backgrounds, including countless NPC citizens roaming around Metro City. However, I would sometimes find myself waiting for an NPC to completely load. Or for them to appear where they should be standing. Even textures of my avatar’s clothing would take time to load when I’m cycling through cosmetic pieces. This could be a problem for PS4 players who enjoy playing World Tour. This just pulls them out of the immersive experience. Hopefully, CAPCOM will be able to address this issue with future updates or patch notes.
When it comes to Sound, SF 6’s overall theme is inspired by a hip-hop soundtrack which fits perfectly with the visuals. It is also equipped with a playlist of unique Battle BGMs for the stages and characters. Voice Acting is superb here. I find myself wanting to set the voices in either English or Japanese. Who wouldn’t want to hear Aleks Le voicing Luke who so happens to be the English VA of Zenitsu Agatsuma in Demon Slayer? Or the legendary Caitlin Glass who is the recurring voice actor of Cammy since Street Fighter IV.
Speaking of Sound, Street Fighter 6 introduces a real-time commentary feature. It incorporates the voices of popular Fighting Game Community commentators to narrate matches as they happen. This innovative addition to the game brings excitement to matches. The dynamic commentary that adapts to the current state of the fight. It creates a truly immersive experience as if you’re fighting on the main stage in a tournament. It supports 13 languages with subtitles you can enable or disable anytime. As a Tekken fan, I was pleasantly surprised TastySteve made it into the cast. I immediately tried out this feature to experience his commentary.
This feature can also be customized to suit your individual preferences. You can adjust the volume and intensity of the commentary. The same goes for “Rally Support” where the commentators will cheer for the chosen player during offline matches. However, I think this feature may not appeal to everyone. There may be some who may want to focus on just the gameplay. This might be distracting as the sounds can be annoyingly repetitive.
Overal Sound Design
Finally, another thing to note is the innovative sound design. It really makes you feel that this game has fully embraced inclusivity to its audience. In the options menu, you can enable or disable certain sound effects that can benefit you. For example, you can enable the sound effect that notifies you of the distance from your opponent. As well as a sound effect that plays upon hitting a cross-up, and different sounds that notify you upon landing a high, mid, low attack, and more.
Replayability & Pricepoint
Street Fighter 6 has a lot of replay value. I think it can ensure that players will keep coming back for more with its diverse roster of 18 characters, and the addition of four new confirmed characters that will release down the line. It offers endless opportunities for players to hone their skills. You can also explore new strategies, and discover different approaches when engaging in a competitive match.
I can easily see myself spending hours “labbing” different characters in training mode. On top of that, grinding ranked matches, participating in the community within the Battle Hub, and the occasional gameplay of World Tour. This will will surely keep me going. It’s still early to tell but we assume CAPCOM will be releasing more content in the next years to come that expands the roster of global fighters, new game modes, and additional content for World Tour.
The current price for the Standard Edition of this game is 59.99 USD, which I think it’s fair to say that this game is worth its price considering the amount of content it has for a fighting game. The Standard Edition includes 18 global fighters launch roster and the main game with its Foundational Modes. While the Deluxe Edition is priced at 84.99 USD adding a “Year 1 Character Pass”, additional color pallets for the characters’ outfits, and a bonus of 4,200 Drive Tickets used for in-game purchases. If it’s your first time playing a Street Fighter game, picking up the Standard Edition will suffice, however, if you are a fan of the series, the Deluxe Edition is a must-buy.
Final Thoughts: Capcom Listens
2023 is the year of Fighting Games and what’s a better way to kick things off is with Street Fighter 6 being the first to dominate the stage. It is easily one of the best fighting games to come out this year. It is a remarkable and a outstanding entry to the series. Personally, I think CAPCOM gave it their all for this one since it embraces different aspects such as accessibility, features that the community has been asking for, attention to detail, a refreshing theme, a combination of classic and new fundamentals, as well as catering to a bigger audience.
I enjoyed every hour of my playtime with this game. I’m sure that I’ll be playing more and competing in ranked matches. I cannot recommend this game enough. This is a must-buy for any fighting game player. Or even if you’re just someone who’s curious and want to try it out. I think from now on, Street Fighter 6 should be the standard when it comes to creating new fighting games. See you in the Battle Hub!
Capcom delivers and checks the majority of the boxes when it comes to the classic and new features of Street Fighter 6. It heads down a different direction making it more casual while maintaining the core values of the game, allowing it to be a mainstream fighting game for all players. However, with its awkward performance on the PlayStation 4. The concern is, will World Tour have more content and will the performance issues be fixed. We hope these will be addressed. In the meantime, it is recommended to play Street Fighter 6 on current-gen consoles and PC to fully appreciate and enjoy this game.