From The World Warrior to Turbo, endless hours in the early ’90s for me were spent playing Street Fighter II with my pals. With iconic music and beloved characters, the hit Capcom game defined a new genre in which players faced of 1v1. Mastering your favourite fighters repertoire of moves with the aim of inflicting the humiliating “Perfect” gave serious bragging rights in the school yard. With the launch of Street Fighter 6 it’s finally time to dust off my dragon punch and return to the series that consumed so much of my early gaming days. FIGHT!
Street Fighter 6 Hits The Streets
Played here on PS5 the game is also available on PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Steam. It can be purchased in Standard, Deluxe and Ultimate editions.
It is clear that Capcom is taking a new approach with this new iteration of Street Fighter. The new World Tour mode (which has featured heavily in the game’s marketing) paired with the more approachable “Modern” controls option is a push to try and bring new/lapsed players into the fight.
While World Tour is a novel idea it doesn’t feel like a wholehearted step, but more like a dipping of the toe into something new to gauge interest/backlash. All interactions with the main characters should be fully voiced. Having a mix of voice-over and heavy text takes away from the experience. The whole thing could do with some tightening up and polish to take it to the next level.
Arcade Mode is where this game truly shines, using a manga-style comic book approach to telling each character’s story as you progress through the fights. It really got its hooks in me. Having the option to have each story play out over just five fights hits the sweet spot just perfectly.
Choose Your Fighter
For me, my go-to character, Chun-Li doesn’t feel like the same character that I mastered back in Street Fighter II. I’m sure with such an array of playable characters it’s always going to be hard to please everyone. I was however very impressed with not only the new design for Cammy but playing as she felt so much more like my beloved Chun-Li that she is now my new favoured pick for a fight.
One big gripe I had with the game was its initial installation. As soon as I started the game for the first time, I tried to access the Arcade mode but received an error message stating that I didn’t have access to that content… I thought maybe I had to unlock that by hitting some milestone in the World Tour mode but yet again I came up against the same error when trying to start this mode too.
It was all caused by the fact that the game defaults to installing the Battle Hub mode (online multiplayer) only, requiring manual installation of the other modes via the “Manage Content” menu on the PS5 home screen.
A better approach here would be to ask the player for their preferred mode to install first.
Graphics & Audio
After getting to grips with Street Fighter 6 for a few hours I jumped into SFV on PSPlus to get a measure of what it has directly evolved from. What really stands out from the previous release is the new art style, use of colour and light and the beautifully smooth animations. When combined with the tight responsive controls you’ve got a top notch fighting game in your hands.
The only outlier I would say is on the audio front, especially in the world tour mode. The aesthetic and vibe that the game’s visuals give are that of being cool, streetwise and artistic with its use of colour and spray paint. The music however doesn’t match this with the world tour feeling like being on the menus of the older Gran Turismo games. It’s quite a mismatch.
The Street Fighter I know and love has some really great iconic music that got the adrenaline going for the fights. More of that, please!
This game is a love letter to Street Fighter fans and a celebration of its rich history over the years. I basked in the gorgeous artwork I unlocked as a reward for my progress. The Battle Hub is where most will lay their hat once done with the other modes and not only is it a spot to test your Street Fighter 6 skills against the worldwide community – but venture up into the corner of the map and you will find a pot of gold in the form of a retro arcade.
Here you can jump onto machines to play some of Capcom’s Classic titles like Final Fight, Megaman, the original Street Fighter and the GOAT itself – Street Fighter 2. It’s a really nice touch and games on the machines in this area swap in and out regularly.
As for the trophies, there are 20 bronze, 5 silver, 6 gold and a platinum to aim for in the base game.
Street Fighter 6 delivers some tight, fun gameplay with gorgeous visuals and a litany of content for longtime fans.
The game is far from perfect with a half baked World Tour mode that feels more like a “work-in-progress” than a fully realised new path for the iconic series.
Whether you are a lapsed fan (like me), brand new to the series or a die-hard savant, then the excellent arcade mode. Some great character designs and responsive controls make this a strong entry in the beloved Street Fighter franchise. This one punches its way to the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.