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A near perfect fighting game that makes the future of the genre look bright — Street Fighter 6 review

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • May 30, 2023 at 7:57 p.m. PDT • Comments: 101

It's been quite a wait, but fans all around the world will finally be able to play the complete version of Street Fighter 6 when it launches on June 2 for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Steam. Capcom has provided me with an early review copy of the game, and I've already logged in many hours exploring just about all there is in Street Fighter 6.

Those that were around during Street Fighter 5's launch might remember just how barren that game initially felt of features back in early 2016. Over seven years later, I can safely say that Capcom has taken things in the complete opposite direction by launching Street Fighter 6 rich with all kinds of engaging features and modes.

Once Street Fighter 6 is booted up, players will be immediately greeted by three options consisting of the World Tour, Battle Hub, and Fighting Ground. The load time for this to happen has always been extremely short thus far. I'm never waiting more than 15 seconds for the game to actually start up. I feel like this is important to mention considering how often Street Fighter 5's initial loading would just keep players waiting for a solid minute or even more at times.

The World Tour is essentially the main story mode of SF6. World Tour offers a completely separate experience from the rest of SF6 as it plays more like an action RPG while secretly teaching the player about fighting games.

Battle Hub is where the player will find all the online features of the game. It's important to note that the player's custom avatar will be shared between the World Tour and Battle Hub. Although this is the mode that players can interact with one another from far distances, it's also worth noting that this where players will be able to play classic arcade games developed by Capcom which will rotate during certain periods.

Finally, the rest of SF6's features can be found inside the Fighting Ground. From features ranging from the Arcade Mode to the Versus Mode as well as Extreme Battle and Practice features, this is the ideal place to play against an opponent in an offline setting or just chill with single player content not related to the World Tour. Of course, it should also be noted that many of these features can be utilized while searching for online opponents, which is especially good for those that don't really care about the Battle Hub's lobby and avatar system to quickly jump into some games.

The regular edition of SF6 is being priced at $59.99, while the Deluxe Edition and Ultimate Edition are being priced at $84.99 and $104.99 respectively. With all of this in mind, the question then becomes "Is Street Fighter 6 worth the money?"

Fighting Ground — Versus Mode

SF6 is launching with a roster of 18 characters which consists of Ryu, Luke, Chun-Li, Jamie, Guile, Kimberly, Juri, Ken, Blanka, Dhalsim, Lily, Manon, Cammy, Zangief, JP, Dee Jay, Marisa, and E. Honda. While this is a somewhat small roster, Capcom has already confirmed that Rashid (summer 2023), A.K.I (fall 2023), Ed (winter 2024), and Akuma (spring 2024) will be added as DLC as part of the Year 1 Character Pass. It's important to note that the Year 1 Character Pass is automatically obtained by players who purchase the Deluxe Edition and Ultimate Edition of SF6.

Characters that have returned from a previous Street Fighter entry feel like they've been completely redesigned here. While a character like Ryu might feel familiar, he's not just a port of his Street Fighter 5 incarnation.

In general, the gameplay feels amazing and has kept me addicted to the game. Much of the gameplay revolves around the Drive Gauge mechanic that allows players to use the Drive Impact, Drive Parry, Drive Rush (as a cancel or raw), Overdrive Specials, and Drive Reversal. The system is easy to understand, but there's also a ton of depth involved with the Drive Gauge.

It seems fairly simple for even beginner players to utilize mechanics like the Drive Impact or even use a Drive Rush to cancel from normals to string together rewarding combos. However, there's still plenty of room to develop strategies with this system as mechanics like the Perfect Drive Parry and the raw Drive Rush are going to require a little bit more practice to master.

What's particularly awesome about the Versus Mode is that, upon both players readying up for a rematch, the game will automatically skip intros and instantly start the next match. There's zero wait time. This is really ideal for players that just want to grind out and get some serious practice in without wasting any time.

Different from Street Fighter 5, I find myself walking away from losses thinking "Okay. I think I understand why I lost, so I should implement this into my gameplay next time instead." Street Fighter 6 keeps me wanting to come back for more, win or lose.

Battle Hub

As mentioned before, Battle Hub is where the online features can be found. Of course, we've seen how online features can be rendered completely pointless without good netcode. So just how good is the netcode in Street Fighter 6?

Put simply, Capcom completely knocked it out of the park when it comes to the netcode. Those that have played in the beta probably already know that I'm in no way exaggerating when I say that SF6 offers an almost perfect online fighting game experience, at least for now.

I cannot stress enough just how amazing SF6 plays in an online environment. It's bar none the best netcode I've personally experienced for a fighting game. Playing in the Battle Hub hardly feels any different from playing offline.

While lobbies were often barren during this pre-launch window, Capcom did provide a timespan in which reviewers were allowed to play against one another. After nearly 100 matches online, only about two of these games had bad connections for me.

I should mention that one of these laggy matches was just due to me attempting to play on the European server just to see how things would hold up. Funnily enough, I wouldn't even go so far as to say that it was an unplayable experience, though it's not one that I'm looking to repeat.

For context, Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5's respective online experiences have typically been unplayable and frustrating for me to the point where I'd just stop playing those games online altogether. Meanwhile, I keep forgetting that I'm even playing online while within the Battle Hub.

Of course, if a connection does become too laggy, players can mutually agree to end a match with a "No Contest" ruling, by holding the start and select buttons during an online match. This will be an absolute godsend for the ranked mode as there's hardly any feeling worse that can be experienced in a fighting game than unfairly losing points due to an unstable connection.

Aside from playing online, players can also access "arcade cabinets" featuring classic Capcom games. During my time in the Battle Hub, I spotted multiple versions of Street Fighter 2, Final Fight, SonSon, and Super Puzzle Fighter 2.

For the first time ever, I was able to try out Final Fight through one of Battle Hub's arcade cabinets. I was even able to apply as many continues as I wanted without spending any money.

As previously mentioned, Capcom will be regularly rotating out different arcade games in the Battle Hub so it'll be worth it to check back frequently to see what games are playable.

It's also possible to play against opponents using your custom avatar featuring special moves from several different characters. Of course, it's important to be mindful of your avatar's physical attributes as these will affect your hitboxes and hurtboxes.

There are also a few shops in the area in which players can spend in-game currency to change their character's appearance, whether in the form of changing physical attributes or apparel. Unfortunately, I don't really have much to say about this feature at the moment since I never spotted anybody trying out the Avatar Battle mode and, well, it "takes two to tango."

Regardless, Battle Hub is definitely the place to be for online interactions. Even the lobbies themselves are somehow fun and interesting since everyone has to walk around using their avatars. Thanks to Capcom's immaculate netcode, there are sure to be a lot of good experiences to be had here.

World Tour

World Tour acts as the main story mode for Street Fighter 6. I had a lot of mixed impressions of World Tour by the time I finished my playthrough of it.

First off, I think it's worth mentioning that the way trailers have been structured for the World Tour mode have created impressions indicating that the story is something that it just isn't. Funnily enough, most of the characters in the SF6 roster have absolutely no stakes in the story and don't involve themselves in anything that happens.

In fact, interaction with most of the characters is purely optional. Even just meeting some of the fighters is locked behind the completion of specific side quests.

Additionally, most of the playable characters are simply contained within their own one-screen areas of the world map, completely away from the events of World Tour. No other location is even remotely as vast as Metro City or Old Nayshall.

If you do choose to interact with the playable characters and increase your bond points with them, they'll start opening up to you and telling you stories about their past or how they feel about other characters. You'll get some really charming moments with these and you will see sides of Street Fighter characters that have never been seen before.

I don't want to spoil too much about how these moments play out, but I'll say that I particularly enjoyed a scene where Ryu was attempting to operate a cell phone. Needless to say, it was moments like these that had me laughing.

Since your avatar character has virtually no backstory or real motivations, the story mostly revolves around your rival, Bosch. The avatar spends a lot of time trying to figure out what's going on with Bosch, almost to the point of stalking him.

Whenever Bosch wasn't in the picture, there were a lot of plot-driven missions that just felt like they were padding out the story's length. A lot of the things that the avatar is tasked with doing don't really amount to anything. In general, there are a lot of missions that just involve you going from Point A to Point B to Point C. It became tiring after a while.

Having said that, there are also some really fun moments in the World Tour. The story really ended up dragging out to be way longer than it needed to be, but there are some events that made it all worth it for me.

However, the World Tour also has its share of surprisingly dark and shocking themes at times. While some might end up calling Capcom's storytelling as "bold," I do wonder if it might occur to some as being "insensitive."

None of the themes bothered me personally, and I'll even say that I overall enjoyed the story of World Tour even though it ended up being completely different from what I was expecting. Still, I get the sense that World Tour's story won't be for everyone.

When I began World Tour, I thought it'd be a good idea to practice my Flash Knuckle timings from Luke's moveset. This ended up being a terrible idea for multiple reasons.

I didn't realize this until the very end of the game, but the combo of crouch medium punch, Drive Rush cancel, crouch medium punch, crouch heavy punch, "perfect" medium Flash Knuckle, "perfect" light Flash Knuckle, and heavy Flash Knuckle doesn't work for my avatar. More specifically, the medium Flash Knuckle couldn't be linked into a light Flash Knuckle assumingly because my avatar is slightly shorter than Luke.

Part of the reason why it took me so long to figure this out is because the screen sizes for a lot of the fights are different from your standard match. My avatar didn't even exclaim "perfect" when achieving the perfect timing for Flash Knuckles like Luke does, so I just assumed that I was mistiming my combos.

It also didn't help how having multiple enemies on the screen really screwed with combo timings. Because "hit stop" would occur for each enemy I struck, even Luke's simplest combo of mashing the medium punch button would fail due to this. Additionally, my character would often turn around to face another opponent while I'm trying to juggle the one in front of me.

I also found it pretty annoying how World Tour initially starts the player off with Modern Controls. This doesn't last for too long, but players have to play a good chunk of the story before they get access to Drive Gauge functions, which feels extremely limiting.

In the early stages of the mode, many of the enemies barely even fight back. As a result, it's extremely simple to challenge a level 28 NPC as a level 5 and beat them since they'll never bother throwing out a single attack if you just simply smother them with attacks. Due to this, it's possible to gain enough experience points for two to three level ups from a single battle.

The type of enemies I came across ranged from an enemy type that only blocked (to teach the player about grabs), opponents that can only be hit with low hitting moves, and airborne enemies that required a lot of mindless jumping.

A lot of the enemies just weren't interesting to fight. It's almost like the game is trying to teach a player something by continuously having the player throw opponents that only block and won't fight back. I think that there's just a little too much handholding in the early stages of World Tour, but this could be a good thing for less experienced gamers.

Approaching the later segments of World Tour, opponents' health bars started becoming too beefy which greatly extended how long it took to defeat certain enemies. However, this was eventually solved by leveling up and using the "enhance" mechanic for clothing to increase my damage.

One thing that I was extremely appreciative, however, is that World Tour can easily be played on an arcade stick. By simply holding down the heavy punch button, the camera could be shifted left or right using light punch and medium punch, while it could be shifted down or up by pressing the light kick and medium kick buttons.

Overall, it's best to think of World Tour as its own separate thing within Street Fighter 6. Rather than treating it like a fighting game, it's necessary to treat it more like an action RPG.

If I'm being totally honest, I'm not entirely sure I would've finished World Tour if not for this review. However, I'm actually glad that I did as the mode ended up growing more and more for me after getting far enough into it. Following this, I kept coming back to it every day until I beat it. The mode actually does become addicting if given enough chances.

World Tour has a particularly slow and grindy start, but it does eventually take off by keeping with it. It's certainly a different type of experience than I was expecting, in ways that are both good and bad.

Overall, World Tour took me about 20 hours to complete. Since I now know exactly what I'm doing, I'm pretty confident that I can complete the mode in less time during a second playthrough.

With all of that said, my advice to everyone wanting to play this mode is to get rid of whatever expectations you might have for it. Additionally, don't go in with the mindset of learning Street Fighter 6 with it unless you're completely new to fighting games.

You'll also want to understand that this story is just one story within the world of Street Fighter. Hardly any of the Street Fighter characters involve themselves in the events of World Tour.

Treat it like an RPG, not like a fighting game. Accept World Tour for what it is rather than what you might be expecting it to be. Do this, and you should have a fun time with this mode.

Fighting Ground — Arcade Mode

Street Fighter 6 will launch with a fairly basic Arcade Mode. At the beginning and end of each playthrough, players will learn a little bit about each fighter's story through illustrations.

It's possible to go through the mode with either five or twelve matches with various difficulty settings. One or two of these matches can simply be bonus stages, but these can also be turned off.

Scenes will play out at the beginning of each playthrough, just before the final battle, and after beating Arcade Mode. However, these stories feel like they only provide a starting point for each character rather than telling the whole thing.

Upon beating the Arcade Mode, the player will be rewarded with several pieces of artwork. Disappointingly, the final match for each character is more of a "fight your rival" sort of deal rather than facing off with a unique and challenging boss character.

If you've played the Arcade Mode in a fighting game before, then you probably already know what to expect here. The presence of the mode is certainly appreciated for legacy reasons, but I don't expect players to spend a lot of time with this mode.

There's no doubt that there's some fun to be had here, but players are going to be spending a lot more time playing against one another. In the grand scheme of things, that's really what matters in fighting games.

Fighting Ground — Extreme Battle

Extreme Battle is the perfect mode for chilling out with friends and for parties. Through this mode, it's possible to change the rules of Street Fighter 6.

Possibilities include competing to see who can score five knockdowns first, fulfilling unique conditions before the opponent, reaching a target score, and more. All of this can be done while being attacked by bulls, bombs, etc.

Of course, this isn't a mode that's meant to be taken too seriously. Regardless, it's a good addition. Play it to just have some laughs with friends.

Fighting Ground — Practice

It's in this submenu that players can find all sorts of tutorials and practice tools ranging from character guides, combo trials, and a training mode rich with all kinds of useful tools. From what I've seen of them, these are excellent teaching tools that go the extra mile to really demonstrate how characters are intended to be played.

Combo trials have been broken up into beginning, intermediate, and advanced sections. The combos themselves are, for the most part, practical enough to be used in real matches rather than just being challenging for the sake of difficulty.

The training mode is quite simply amazing. With this, it's a fairly simple process to lab out specific scenarios or just document a character's frame data. Training mode has it so that it's easy to see the exact frames behind each move's start up, active, recovery, block advantage, hit advantage, invincibility, punish counter frames, and more.

Capcom has even added some preset training options that teach players about concepts like whiff punishing, defending against Drive Impact, throw escaping, anti-airing and more. These are perfect for new players and experienced players alike.

With just a few options being changed, the characters being used in the training room can be changed without going back to the character select screen. It's even possible to adjust a character's resources such as Jamie's Drink Level with training options.

Considering how strong the netcode is, I imagine most players won't even need this feature, but it's also possible to train with increased input delay. This training mode has just about everything a player needs to improve their games.

Final Thoughts

Street Fighter 6 is an almost perfect game. For any player that may have felt burnt out from the previous Street Fighter entry, now's the perfect time to jump back into the series.

Both newcomers and fighting game pros will want to pick this one up. There's something here for everyone.

Whenever FGC veterans have heard about how developers are making a fighting game easier to jump into, there's typically been cause for concern. However, it really feels like Capcom has struck a perfect balance with making a fighting game that's both easy to jump into for casual players while still having loads of depth for more advanced players.

While there are a few negative points I have concerning the World Tour, I do still overall rate it as a unique and fun experience. As such, I'm already doing a second playthrough of World Tour.

Probably the most important things about SF6 are its gameplay and netcode. Needless to say, Capcom gets perfect scores in both of these areas.

If SF6 is the first fighting game of this generation, then the future is truly looking bright for fighting game fans.

Street Fighter 6 is absolutely worth the money and I'd recommend it to just about anyone. Even within just the short span of time that I've been able to play the game, this game already feels like it could be the best entry in the series.


• General gameplay feels intuitive, rewarding, and is extremely addicting.

• Amazing netcode that makes lag almost feel like a thing of the past.

• World Tour functions as an action RPG within a fighting game that tells a unique story within the Street Fighter universe.

• Plenty of modes ranging from Arcade Mode, Extreme Battle, Versus Mode, and World Tour to keep players occupied.

• Thanks to a training mode filled with useful features, character guides, and combo trials, there are plenty of tools that can help players level up their games.

• Avatar creation system allows players to show their creative side.


• World Tour mode feels tedious. Does a rather poor job at teaching about fighting games. A very mixed bag overall.

• Arcade mode doesn't provide too deep of a look into character stories and there isn't an epic final boss waiting for you at the end.

• Most character themes in Street Fighter 6 are either forgettable or just outright bad.

Review Score: 9.5/10

Note: On behalf of EventHubs, I was provided an early copy of the Steam version of Street Fighter 6 for the purpose of this review.

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