Street Fighter 6 Review

Player(s): 1-2
Extra Features: Online Multiplayer, Leaderboards, Download Content

Street Fighter V was quite the roller-coaster of a fighting game. The game started out at the bare bottom, literally feeling like a beta, and worked its way up to greatness through several updates and additional characters. Even though I had my own problems with SFV, it did reinvent the feel of many of the classic characters and it does stand out for doing that. It still isn’t one of my favorite SFs. For me, the best Street Fighters are Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III and Street Fighter Alpha 2. I now have an extra one that ranks among them though. And yes, Street Fighter VI is REALLY that good!


Alright, so let’s get to what everyone wants to know - how is the fighting gameplay? It is the most fluid Street Fighter gameplay I have ever experienced. The game definitely has its own style. It’s like it pulls out all the good bits from SFIV and SFV. The character models are very detailed. On the VS menu (before each fight) the game gives you the option to mess with the expressions of each fighter and you can see a lot of detail in their faces from up close. The game has a total of 18 characters. From the cast you have 12 returning classic characters and 6 new characters. Luke was the last addition to SFV so he feels kind of new in SFVI, but he is actually returning. The classic characters are familiar, but they all have a different feel to them just like in SFV. With the new characters, some of them have moves that are similar to other classic characters and some of them are completely fresh. Every character in this game is a lot of fun to play!

There is a new gauge below the health bar known as the “Drive Gauge”. The Drive Gauge can be used to perform Overdrive (basically “EX”) attacks and you can basically think of it as your block gauge as well since it goes down as you block attacks. Drive Parries and Drive Impacts also take down your drive gauge as you perform them. Once the drive gauge is fully depleted, you enter “Burnout” which will take away all your drive gauge moves and it will make it to where you take chip damage from attacks. While in Burnout, your drive gauge slowly recovers until it is maxed once again. Long story short, in Burnout, you’re basically a SFII character. The most interesting part about the drive gauge is that there is no chip damage while you have it. Fireball characters can no longer sit back and spam fireballs to take your precious health (unless you are in Burnout).


Drive Parries are similar to SFIII parries. When you tap the two medium attacks, your character enters a state where you can parry attacks. If you dash forward during that parry stance, your character performs a fast dash (Drive Rush) that you can attack from. After a successful Drive Parry, you can also perform a Drive Reversal, which is sort of like an Alpha Counter. Drive Impact is a super armor heavy attack. If Drive Impact hits, it will cause the opponent to fly back to the ground or wall splat against a wall. Drive Impact can be countered with another Drive Impact, which causes a stun. As usual, all characters have their own Overdrive attacks and Super Arts. Each character has three levels of meter that can be used to perform one of three Super Arts (Super Moves). All characters have a level 1, level 2, and level 3 super art.

Along with Classic controls, the game now has Modern controls. Modern controls are an easier setup of controls for more casual players. They are a good choice if you can’t get adjusted to the usual 6 button layout on default console controls. Modern controls have all four faces buttons as the only attack buttons. You have a Light, Medium, Heavy and Special button setup for all four face buttons. Drive Impact, Drive Parry, Throw and Auto are set to your shoulder buttons. You hold Auto to perform Overdrive attacks and you can hold it while pressing a normal attack button to perform auto combos (some of them end with super arts). While I prefer classic controls, it’s good to see Capcom customizing their usual setup for newer players. Above your health bar, it shows the type of control type that you’re using (“C” for classic and “M” for Modern).


The game also has a total of 16 unique stages, which is amazing for a day one fighter. Stages are vibrant and full of life in so many ways. Some stages have objects such as leaves that will fly into the air while characters step by them. There are often unique background character animations for when a fighter gets knocked to the ground and when a fighter wins per stage. The game’s main menu soundtrack gives off Street Fighter III urban vibes. The character select screen has hip-hop music that plays on it. After choosing a character, both characters look as if they are headed for a steel cage match in some modes.

Street Fighter VI is actually a game of many parts. The main parts to the game are Fighting Ground, Battle Hub and World Tour. From the start of the game, you get to choose which mode to start. Fighting Ground is your standard Street Fighter mode that has been present ever since Street Fighter IV. Fighting Ground has Arcade Mode (story mode), Practice (Training, Tutorials, Character Guides, Combo Trials), Versus, Special Match, and Online (Ranked or Casual). Story mode is more like an Alpha arcade mode. It gives you still pics while telling your character’s story as you battle CPU opponents. Practice has the standard training mode, tutorials for learning basics and advanced techniques, Character Guides for learning more about each character’s moves and strategies and there are also the usual combo trials. Special Match is a type of party mode similar to what Mortal Kombat likes to have. You can set up certain rules and gimmicks per fight such as dropping Mega Man hard hat enemies into the fight for support. You can receive matchmaking fight requests while exploring any mode if you choose to do so.

All players must create an avatar to go into Battle Hub or World Tour mode. Your avatar can be shared across both modes. Battle Hub is a literal virtual hang out room. You can explore a big stadium and socialize with other players. The stadium has SFVI arcade machines where you can enjoy casual matches against other players in the hub. There is also a central section where you fight other player’s avatars with your own. In the very back is an arcade area where you can choose to play one of few old-school Capcom arcade games that change every few days – Final Fight, Son-Son, Legendary Wings, etc. There is a leaderboard for all classic games. You can also spectate all games. Along with playing games and socializing, you can also purchase items for your avatar.


World Tour is an open world exploration mode. The main goal is really to customize your avatar. It has objectives that you must go through with each “master” (or SF character) in order to learn moves from them and progress through the story of World Tour. Along the way, you can engage in side quests and fight random people on the street for extra unlockables. All enemies have literal cardboard boxes on their head. After learning moves from characters, you can customize your own avatar style of fighting and special moves. For instance, you can have a Guile style of attack and perform spinning piledrivers and spinning bird kicks. While it’s a little fun to dabble around in World Tour, the entire mode starts to feel bland after only a few hours of play. Fights play out in 2D Street Fighter style matches and you can just literally spam buttons in order to win. The mode tries to teach you SF techniques but honestly falls flat when explaining them and putting them to good use that will help you out for SF matches outside of the mode. If you’ve played Mortal Kombat Armageddon’s adventure mode, it’s sort of similar to that only with less fun. I’d give World Tour about a 6/10 rating overall.

While Street Fighter VI has its shortcomings, the majority of the game is just so good that the little things don’t really even matter. This game is like Capcom’s way of saying “we hear you” after such a lackluster Street Fighter V launch back in the day. They have really put a lot into this game and it shows. I’m not even that hardcore of a fighting game fan anymore and when I play fighting games, I prefer to play Mortal Kombat games. Street Fighter is usually dead last when it comes to fighting games that I enjoy. Street Fighter VI is so good that it makes me want to sit down and actually learn a Street Fighter game after so many years of nudging them away in favor of other fighters. The game is not easy to master, but it’s definitely gotten easier to play and this installment is just plain fun. For a Street Fighter to be so very good from the start, I have GREAT interests in seeing how this game continues to develop during its lifespan.

The Good:
+ So much content from the start! (modes galore)
+ Online play is fantastic with a good connection (and yes, it has crossplay)
+ the core fighting is the best its ever been
+ A bunch of helpful information for beginners and anyone wanting to learn fighting games
+ Battle Hub is a good social environment (sort of like an arcade)
+ I could keep going with more +’s, but I have to end it here

The Bad:
- Even though World Tour is ok, it starts to feel bland quickly

Final Rating: 80% - Street Fighter VI has a little bit of everything but most importantly, it’s a fantastic fighter!


Note: A review code for this game was provided by the publisher.

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