Game news Street Fighter 6: A fighting game for fans and beginners? New impressions at Japan Expo!
Among the many booths at Japan Expo, it’s hard to miss the Street Fighter 6 booth because of its imposing size. So we took the opportunity to give Capcom’s next fighting game a second try and we still come out as good as winning.
- Street Fighter 6, a best-of from previous episodes?
- Modern controls, a godsend for beginners?
To say Street Fighter 6 is expected is of course an understatement. After a fourth installment that was praised by casual gamers and competitive players alike, Street Fighter V had a more eventful existence thanks to a complicated launch. In this context, this new opus is expected in turn to reproduce the feat of Street 4 and make everyone agree. After giving you our first impressions in early June, we faced players at the Japan Expo to put our skills to the test.
Street Fighter 6, a best-of from previous episodes?
Before I give you our impressions, I want to tell you about my relationship with the Street Fighter saga so you can see where my level is. Without having an exceptional level, I spent a lot of time on Street Fighter IV, especially Street Fighter III 3rd Strike thanks to the Online Edition released on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011. More than twenty years after launch, the title is still a delight for its “so 90’s” atmosphere and precise gameplay. But as for Street Fighter V, if I often watched the EVO finals, I played it no more than that. It is for this reason that I waited impatiently to get my hands on this sixth installment, the various trailers of which have been enticing thus far.
Without too many surprises, the build available to the public is the same one we got to try last June, with playable characters Ryu, Chun Li, Luke and Jamie. Despite appearing at the Summer Game Fest, it was not possible to try out Guile. joystick in hand, it is with great pleasure that we find the Street Fighter universe in more beautiful graphics thanks to the RE Engine that continues to work wonders in all Capcom games that use it (Devil May Cry 5, Resident Evil Village, Monster Hunter Rise…). In addition to the particularly detailed models, it is especially the effects of blows such as Drive Impact, a mechanism reminiscent of the Focus from Street Figther IV, that are simply impressive and give a real dynamism to the whole. This is especially true when both players use it at the same time, resulting in a stylish clash.
As we have seen before, Street Fighter 6 is kind of a “best of” in the saga because it contains a lot of mechanics from previous installments. Street Fighter III’s parry, Street Fighter IV’s Focus, Street Fighter V’s Critical Arts… It allows you to imagine all the possibilities that the most determined players will discover when the game is released. However, the title is not stingy with new features thanks to the Drive system that allows you to do many different things. Blow punches, perform special techniques in EX… This is really THE central mechanism of the game that consumes a special meter below the life bar that you don’t have to completely empty or else you will see your burnout character. In this state, your fighter is less efficient and even takes damage if he takes off, which soon proves useless. Unfortunately, in this situation, we have no choice but to wait for the meter to self-repair to be able to attack normally again.
Being a fighting game enthusiast since Mortal Kombat first of the name and Street Fighter II, I finally left the Capcom saga after Episode 4 in favor of the deadly clashes of NetherRealm studios, Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11 in mind. So it’s with a certain humility that I donned the gloves and went back into the ring to discover the highly anticipated Street Fighter 6. The surprise was on the pleasantly felt controller in hand. SF6 is indeed the worthy heir to the franchise, still just as technical, tactical and nervous, but offering its share of new features.
Pleasant to discover and demanding to master, Luke’s character reflects Capcom’s philosophy on this new opus with its explosive attacks, its ultra-smooth design, not to mention its aggravated sense of spectacle and ostentatiousness. Street Fighter 6 wants to be accessible to as many people as possible, which it does wonderfully well, and technically with its sharp gameplay. “Modern” controls capitalize on this general approach to the audience. They ensure that the “casual fighter” can have fun and take punches right away without having to work hard for hours on end. Of course, a seasoned fighter will win, but without deterring new players.
Modern controls, a godsend for beginners?
Besides all these mechanics, the great novelty of Street Fighter 6 is above all the modern controls that really change the situation for novice players. Thanks to this option, the gameplay is completely customized. Instead of six attacks with different punches and kicks, this time we have three keys corresponding to three intensities: weak, medium and strong. By combining with the trigger you can even create very effective combos. In addition to that, the fourth button is dedicated to special techniques, so you don’t have to make combinations on the controller that bother those who don’t play the fighting game so much. And by pressing this button plus a direction of the cross, we can make different attacks. In the case of Ryu, a simple press corresponds to a Hadoken, but combined with the right arrow we get a Shoryuken, on the left a Tatsumaki Senpukyaku etc… Of course this also works with Supers and Critical Arts.
If you’ve ever played a fighting game in your life, you’ll have to recognize that these controls take some getting used to, as you’re still just as used to entering key combinations to perform special moves. Anyway, for someone unfamiliar with versus fighting it must be said that it works and is a great way to make the experience much more accessible. As proof, I played several matches against a player who had never touched a fighting game in his life, and I explained this system to him, and in the end he quickly mastered the controls and had a lot of fun with it. Like what, Capcom may have found the solution to finally make fighting games accessible to as many people as possible.
Street Fighter 6 is a title with big ambitions. On the one hand, the game aims to be a best-of of the previous installments of the saga by using different mechanics to provide a very complete experience that will reveal its full potential in the hands of competitive players. But on the other hand, it offers beginners the opportunity to have fun and be efficient thanks to its modern controls of great intuitiveness that allow to bypass the barrier of key combinations. In any case, with the controller in hand, we find all the fun of Street Fighter sublimated here thanks to the RE Engine that offers graphics that are still just as impressive. In short, we can’t wait to be in 2023!
Street Fighter 6 is slated for 2023 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series.