2023 might well be a bumper year for the fighting game genre, with Street Fighter 6 kicking things off and paving the path for titles like Mortal Kombat 1, and potentially Tekken 8. Those games will likely be hoping for the same kind of reception that Street Fighter 6 has received from critics ahead of its launch on 2 June 2023, because reviews are all wildly positive.
The latest instalment of the long-running 2D one-on-one fighting game series has launched with a very full package, likely a direct response to the comparatively barebones release of its predecessor, Street Fighter 5. The star of the show is World Tour, a single-player RPG adventure that spans the globe, and sees players train a rookie fighter to be the best in the world – with a bit of guidance from the Street Fighter cast.
The game also includes a socially-orientated online multiplayer mode that recreates the feel of being in an arcade, as well as a slew of tutorials and training options for coming to grips with specific characters. New to Street Fighter 6 is also an alternative control scheme that simplifies things into four buttons, and eliminates the need for complex inputs – catered to beginners, but still viable (and legal) at a professional tournament level. Developer Capcom is likely hoping that its efforts pay off in attracting a much broader audience with this title.
Here’s just some of the praise from games media outlets.
GamesHub – 5 out of 5 Stars
The GamesHub review of Street Fighter 6 praised the wealth of offerings the game provided, drawing special attention to its overall uplifting, hospitable approach in every aspect, and its positive, stylish vibe. The World Tour adventure mode was described as a clever way to onboard newcomers to the game with incentivised training, and the Battle Hub was praised for creating an exciting sense of place online, and recreating the feeling of playing Street Fighter in a communal space with strangers.
‘Street Fighter 6 is an exceedingly good fighting game. But more than that, it’s an excellent training tool. It’s a fulfilling adventure. It’s a lively community gathering place. It’s an endearingly idealistic and inspiring world of appreciation for martial arts and friendly competition, exceptionally executed in every respect.’
GameSpot – 9/10
In writing for GameSpot, Jason Fanelli called Street Fighter 6 a ‘return to form for the franchise that welcomes both new fighters and seasoned pros.’
Like other reviewers, he praised the game’s new Drive System, a mechanic that provides each character with a suite of approachable manoeuvres like parries, armour breaks, dashes, and reversals. Positive sentiment was also given to the character roster, as well as the online netcode, which provided a smooth experience no matter where his opponent was around the world.
‘I can’t get enough of Street Fighter 6. It’s been my last thought when I go to bed and my first thought when I wake up. It has a beautifully constructed fighting system, but also offers modes that take the game very seriously and, in other cases, not seriously at all. With the releases of new Tekken and Mortal Kombat games, it very much feels like we’re in a new golden era for the fighting game genre. Thankfully, Street Fighter 6 steps into the arena looking good and fighting fit.’
Eurogamer – 4 stars out of 5
Wesley Yin-Poole at Eurogamer drew much attention to the fact that Street Fighter 6 felt like a response to the underwhelming launch of Street Fighter 5. He spoke at length of the silliness of the ‘overwhelmingly endearing’ World Tour mode, which sees your character able to challenge virtually anyone on the street to a fight, as well as household appliances in some instances.
He also saw the value of the mode in attracting new players: ‘Street Fighter 6 is a fighting game not just for fighting game fans, but for pretty much everyone. There will be some who will never play Street Fighter – or any fighting game – in a competitive setting, either online or local. This bizarre single-player sojourn is for them. Unashamedly, joyously for them.’
He also drew attention to the strong social aspects of the Battle Hub that were reminiscent of arcades – ‘I am thankful Street Fighter 6 has rekindled a bit of that magic for me’. However, he seemed divided on the Modern Control scheme, unsure of whether its benefits outweigh the potential downsides compared to the ‘Classic’ control scheme, and also took some ire with the busy user interface. Regardless, he loved the experience.
‘This is a Street Fighter with more than a modern control scheme – it is a modern take on the genre. It is welcoming, accessible and progressive. It is social, silly and spectacular. And it is very special indeed.’
Polygon – Recommended
Writing for Polygon, Axel Bosso also saw Street Fighter 6 as an approachable training tool, echoing sentiments regarding the approachable World Tour mode and how it stealthily prepares you with the fundamentals you need for a real one-on-one match.
‘Street Fighter 6’s developers went all-in, delivering spectacle and approachability, robust tools and tutorials, all without limiting the game’s potential. You’ll find a deeply layered combat system that doesn’t limit player expression; instead of trying to make things simpler by reducing character moves and options, you’re given an abundance, all of it correctly explained and presented, encouraging your own discoveries.’
‘Street Fighter 6 is the biggest and most approachable package in the franchise to date, waiting for you with open, gentle arms.’
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