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Truth be told, I was not a fighting game kid. My only experience with the genre prior to high school and college was a random Blazeblue game from the PS2 era, and it was definitely a confusing one. The concept of motion inputs was not even a thing that existed in my head at that point so I just mashed and prayed it worked. Well, at least that part has not changed. However, when it comes to fighters that are not Smash Bros. related, my knowledge is a bit lackluster. So, I decided it would be worth looking into the newest addition to the Street Fighter series.
The announcement of Street Fighter 6 late last year was met with some initial hesitancy over its logo, but that quickly dissipated after the 30-minute showcase of the game which came out a little over a month ago. Since then, the hype surrounding the game only grew with the showcase seeming to be almost universally loved. Fast forward a bit and the game has been out for a few days. So here are some of my thoughts on the game so far.
For starters, this game looks damn amazing. The name Street Fighter has always invoked a more rebellious, punky feel, and SF6 seems to have nailed that really well. A big reason for that is how the game chooses to approach its aesthetic, utilizing big, colorful spray paint effects as the centerpiece of the game’s new core mechanic, Drive Rush. The developers even went as far as to implement it into characters like one of the newest members of the cast Kimberly, whose rush-down, beat-em-up playstyle fits well with a spray-paint vibe.
Though the super-photo realism might not be for everyone, it is certainly impressive graphics-wise. Luke definitely looks like a guy I would run into at the gym, and Ken definitely looks…well, homeless. Some characters, however, probably do not need to be as photo-realistic even if it is not a huge turn-off (I’m looking at you Honda).
The game also feels pretty fun to play. It can be a bit mashy to start out (as all fighting tends to when playing at lower levels) but it is clear that the game’s mechanics carry with them a lot of depth. The previously mentioned Drive Rush not only gives you an armored attack but also a dash movement option, a parry that restores meter, and another option to use out of special cancels.
Of course, all of that assumes the people playing only care about the competitive aspects, which is not necessarily true. In fact, the developers seem to have made a big effort to push their single-player content as much as possible. While I have yet to play much of the World Tour mode, there is a lot to like. For starters, there is a ton of customization options for the player’s in-game avatar, so much so that it’s not unreasonable to spend an hour or two making them before starting.
On top of that, the gameplay is basically just a mix of open-world and JRPG elements centered around Street Fighter 6 combat, which itself feels great. Honestly, the only negative about the game thus far is how buggy it can be. There are a lot of times when I have been playing a random online match only to get immediately disconnected.
What’s worse is that it is not just an online problem. The World Tour mode itself lags a lot, to the point that the game itself will slow down while trying to play. This would be bad enough in any game, but especially in a fighting game mode where playing on certain controls naturally makes the game a bit more technical these slowdowns are pretty damn awful.
All in All, it is still a fantastic game, especially for casual fans who want other stuff to do besides just the normal Street Fighter experience. I cannot speak confidently on the game’s story and character arcs since my knowledge is still pretty limited, but it is gearing up to be pretty fun. With this game just released and Tekken 8 apparently coming out soon as well, it’s as good a time as any to get into fighting games and the broader FGC.
Have you played Street Fighter 6 at all? Let me know in the comments.
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