Yesterday at the Tokyo Games Show, Capcom officially announced the addition of Ken, Blanka, E.Honda, and Dhalsim to the Street Fighter 6 roster. Technically, none of this should come as a surprise. Not only are they all Street Fighter loyalists, they pretty much are whole The cast list was leaked in June thanks to some rogue character art. One thing that did come as a pleasant surprise, however, is to learn that Ken, pictured in this leaked document as looking rather scruffy and rocking a “sad, middle-aged dad” look, is anything but.
Indeed, when I went to play the latest version of Street Fighter 6 at Capcom’s UK offices earlier in the week, Ken was killing it. Instead of suffering a mid-life crisis, Ken was dragging it across the screen like an absolute battering ram, clearly pumped full of the same crazy protein Ryu’s partner was downing from their last SF outing, as they’d both had their fill. -to Redfield Beefcake this time.
Actually, there’s still a bit of sad dad in Ken’s official story. He’s being framed, you see, and he’s been forced to leave his family and go into hiding while he clears his name. So I get the floppy haircut and intense workout, I really do (and let’s face it, it’s a damn sight better than the half-up-do he was trying to do in SF5). But you certainly wouldn’t know about any of his lingering tragedies from my TGS preview build, as those free matches were just to play off some of the other new characters announced since E3, including Guile, Jamie, newcomer Kimberly and Juri. Alas, no Blanka, Dhalsim or E.Honda yet, but Ken… Ken sure can crack some skulls, I’ll tell you that.
Now I will be in front. I’ve never really liked Street Fighter. I had a good time button mashing as a youngster on Street Fighter II Turbo on our family SNES and tried to get back into the series around Street Fighter IV when it came out as a launch title for the 3DS. But let’s face it. I don’t have the time or mental energy to memorize the myriad of different moves required to play Street Fighter properly. Super Smash Bros is about as complicated as I can manage these days, and that’s because every character has the exact same buttons.
And yet, as Smash Bros has proven time and time again, there’s still plenty of room for depth and nuance when everyone has the same basic moveset – and it’s something that Street Fighter 6 finally cottons to. As Ed mentioned from the halls of Geoff Fest back in June, SF6’s “Modern Controls” are really a piece of gaming for casuals like me. Activating these in the pre-match creation screen essentially crushes each character’s moveset into a Smash Bros-esque directional + face button prompt, giving noobs like me a chance to finally get to grips with these fancy moves. and look good doing it too. Yes, it’ll probably lead to an inevitable amount of spam when playing against people online, but in a local setting where you’ve just got a couple of friends (or fellow game journalists) doing it for a bit of fun, Modern Controls feels like a great means of the opening of the player base.
When playing as Ken, for example, I was finally able to drop his uppercuts, knee jabs, and famous hadoukens (at least I know the actual button prompt for it, as it’s ingrained in the psyche of all games as deep as the Konami code ). But Modern Controls also opened the door for me to play as other, completely new characters like Kimberly, who I had never met before. She’s a real firecracker, Kimberly, disappearing in puffs of smoke spray as she runs past her opponents and blinds them with her powerful kicks. I also particularly liked how he uses the opponent’s abs to drive their torso up the wall while simultaneously giving them a quick boot to the face. Even better was her bland animation as she moves away from other players on the screen. There is something so smug, so mocking about this connoisseur of treasure that I couldn’t help but admire the audacity of it all. It’s a good feeling, though, to be able to instantly break these characters down and see what they’re all about, and it feels like the most accessible Street Fighter game ever.
That’s not to say that Street Fighter 6 is suddenly easy to master. Far from it, actually. You see, there are still many commands attached to the ends of your game pad in SF6, and chief among them is Drive Parry, the lamp at the heart of the game’s Drive System. The Drive Gauge, for example, sits just below your health bar, and its chunks will drain over time as you perform certain specials. Drive Impact hits, responsible for those bright bursts of color on the screen, can absorb incoming attacks, while Drive Rushes can launch you forward from an illegal or other cancelable attack, allowing you to close the gap between you and your opponent in double quick time. Drive Reversals, meanwhile, aren’t very powerful, but can counter and block incoming attacks when you’re in a tight spot.
The way you replenish your Drive Gauge, however, is by unleashing your glowing blue Drive Parry at opportune moments, absorbing (and smugly repelling) all incoming attacks. However, you can’t just hold down the parry button like an uber troll, as that also depletes your Drive Gauge. And if your Drive Gauge is completely depleted, you enter Burnout, leaving you vulnerable and unable to counter until it fills up again. However, provided you keep an eye on the Drive Gauge, the races are more lively and strategic than ever. Indeed, hitting the bumper at just the right moment to completely cancel an Overdrive Art (the new name for SF5’s EX Special Move attacks) is very exciting, and is yet another way Street Fighter 6 helps create more moments for the other casuals. the tide of battle on a dime.
Meanwhile, step into L2, and there’s still a lot of commands and buttons to remember and slowly internalize – but my main takeaway from my time with Street Fighter 6 is that everything is a little more user-friendly and accessible than any another game in the series. And while I didn’t get to see it in action during the preview session, I’m interested to see how the open world’s Open World Tour mode plays out (here’s hoping it’s not another Subspace Emissary -type disaster on that front), too just as your customizable avatar will spin the bird kicking and kicking through its colorful streets and train stations (which you can see in the new trailer at the top of this article).
And the good news is that a closed beta test is taking place on PC (and consoles via crossplay) between October 7th and 10th, which will include ranked, casual and battle hub matches, as well as training, open tournaments and extreme battle modes. . Eight characters will be available – Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken, Juri, Kimberly, Guile, Jamie and Luke – and you can sign up to try it out on Capcom’s website.