Street Fighter 6 (PlayStation 5) Review

By Luke Hemming 30.05.2023

Review for Street Fighter 6  on PlayStation 5

Regardless of what has been and gone in the digital, duking it out world, one series has stood head and shoulders above the rest, defining the term fighting game since it's first release in the late 80's. In it's various iterations, Street Fighter had maintained a level of quality matched only by the height of a Ken Masters uppercut. As the world moved on however, Capcom embraced the flow, locking away fan favourites and features behind micro-transactions, taking players further away from what made the series so great in the first place. After an anxious wait, Street Fighter 6 comes bounding out of the blocks to, much like Sam Beckett, right what once went wrong.

What is clear, seconds after installing is that for better or worse, Capcom have embraced the gaming culture that is prevalent within the industry currently. Full of cool kids with Youtube channels and the hip-hop beats (that was written right, right?) that alienate anybody over 18. It's incredibly jarring for such an old soul who remembers when the biggest brain explosion was adding a Jamaican and a Native American to the roster. This brave new world is going to be one of the biggest things to get used to if you thought the series peaked with Alpha 3 (it did). The question remains however, is what made Street Fighter great in the first place still there under all the samey sounding bells and whistles?

Screenshot for Street Fighter 6  on PlayStation 5

If looking for that sense of familiarity, the best place to start is Fighting Ground, the mode where this reviewer certainly spent the majority of their time. Arcade Mode gives the best idea of if Street Fighter 6 still retains the gameplay that is expected of a title played competitively around the planet. The short answer is, of course it does. Capcom have never faltered in the creation of a game that brings pure joy to genre, allowing for any young whippersnapper to put up at least a small amount of fight before being utterly trounced by us veterans. Modern control also makes this easier by allowing one button inputs for combos and special moves to counter the players favouring the classic quarter rotation control scheme. All characters play and control beautifully and the new challengers pop on the screen with superb character design and flashy moves, bringing back the feeling of those new character introductions when players were simply World Warriors looking for a new challenge. More characters have been promised after the initial 18 but it's reassuring that in this iteration, new characters blend seamlessly with old favourites from the outset, rather than wondering why Guile isn't laying the smackdown from the beginning.

As well as the standard fight modes such as 1V1 and teams, also included is training mode to hone the moves of said new characters and also a Extreme Battle Mode which is far more fun than it should be. In this mode, what the game defines as gimmicks can be set during a match such as decreased vitality, no special moves and even getting rammed by a bull every few seconds. It's a neat idea which acts as a neat distraction however, Arcade Mode still remained the preference, not only in this mode but throughout. A tight, no-frills experience allowing the lore to be expanded through the classic, gorgeously drawn images in cutscenes and also being a short and sweet run through to encourage trying out everyone else besides Ken on the roster (seriously though, nobody can beat Ken).

Screenshot for Street Fighter 6  on PlayStation 5

One of the strangest features included deserves its own paragraph alone. That feature is real-time commentary. Capcom has aimed to bring the feeling of an EVO tournament to the home and enlisted the help of popular members of the Fighting Game Community to provide play by play reactions to the on-screen action. For many this must feel incredibly thrilling, hearing icons such as Jeremy 'Vicious' Lopez (don't worry, no idea either) confirming that yes, that was a Sonic Boom and yes, it connected. In fairness clearly a lot of work has been put into this and it does work well and correspond closely with what is happening on screen. Again though, it's a fantastic way to make some older fans of the franchise feel excluded and alienated with no idea who or why these people are reaffirming the fact that I am, as I always suspected, awesome.

The Battle Hub is aimed at developing a sense of community and make the online experience a more social affair than simply waiting for a match to connect. Using your previously created avatar, matches can be initiated by walking around and interacting with other avatars sharing the same virtual space (think Playstation Home without the movie trailers). Capcom have also stated there are cabinets to play some classic arcade games from their backlog while you wait which will be updated and rotated when the mood takes them. This is also the platform for where future tournaments and events will be held, keeping a separate but easily accessible space if Arcade Mode has been clocked and an extra challenge is craved.

Screenshot for Street Fighter 6  on PlayStation 5

Last and possibly least is World Tour mode, what has been advertised as the next best thing for the franchise. The majority of the marketing before release has focused on this mode, allowing players to create their own avatar and tour the world under the guidance of initial mentor Luke (named after this reviewer for his Street Fighter prowess).

Beginning in Metro City, the home of Final Fight, players fully explore the areas taking on missions, fighting random civilians who seem happy to drop everything in their daily routine and meeting mentors to learn their skills and abilities and add them to their own. Unfortunately, for all the ambition, this feels like, in all honesty, the most tacked-on, naffest mode available. In terms of framing this as a single player RPG, that feels like a very loose term. Story is bare bones for the majority of the chapters and basically serves as, go over there, look, there's Ryu, he's going to teach you a fireball now, move on, next mentor mechanic. The original characters such as Alice also grate quickly and the urge to skip cutscenes and just look for a fighter that has a move-set you want to copy becomes overwhelming very quickly. The saving grace, however, is these moves once learnt can be implemented and used when playing as your custom character in the Battle Hub.

The avatar creation tool also holds up well enough providing plenty of options for creativity. Avatar customisation also feels like the place where micro-transactions will thrive, a massive bug bare in this economic climate. It is important to state, however, that the game can be fully enjoyed without an extra penny spent after the initial purchase.

Screenshot for Street Fighter 6  on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Street Fighter 6 in its simplest form remains a fantastic, fun experience, retaining the same gameplay that has been tweaked and improved throughout the years to ensure it remains top of the pile. Jarring attempts to meet the needs of young players alongside a World Tour mode that fails to meet the hype placed upon it, however, stop this from being an essential purchase. Stick to Arcade Mode and enjoy what made this franchise so great in the first place. A fantastic fighter is there, just buried under the fluff.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Fighting

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Sandy Wilson

There are 1 members online at the moment.