STREET FIGHTER 6 REVIEW (PS5)
FINAL STREETS OF RAGE FIGHTER Z
Release Date: June 2nd, 2022
Platforms: PS4/PS4/Xbox Series/STEAM
*Review copy provided to me by Capcom*
Street Fighter 6 is the latest entry into legendary fighting series and is developed and published by Capcom. Coming off the lukewarm received Street Fighter 5, Capcom felt its time to modernized the series and try to give it the shakeup that it needs. But, was this shakeup beneficial to the series or does it hurt you more than seeing Jackie Chan in a Chun Li dress? Only one way to find out, so lets kick it into action!
Fist go pow, kicks go plank, bodies go ouch.
''SO MANY PEOPLE TO BEAT UP, SO LITTLE TIME''
Street Fighter 6 is one of those ''glow up'' type of moments, especially when getting pitted up against the previous entry into the series, Street Fighter 5, which received mixed reactions from both hardcore and casual fans alike. However here with Street Fighter 6, some restructuring of the games art style, roster, features and gameplay mechanics have been tweaked quite a bit, especially with an implementation of a Modern control scheme, which makes it easier for even non-competitive fighting game players to finally sink their teeth into the juggernaut known as Street Fighter. Its like being on a diet for a month and then passing by a burger joint and being like ohhh man, I'm hungry as all sin, and then taking a huge bite, body goes into shock, you pass out, have a heart attack, wake up in the hospital and think ''damn that was a good burger''. This is similar to how it feels going from Street Fighter 5 to Street Fighter 6, only... without the added trauma. With a rounded cast of 18 characters featuring both new entrants and old classic characters, intriguing Battle Hub that lets you run around like a little freak of nature spinning bird kicking your heart out, and a World Tour campaign mode - Street Fighter 6 aims to keep players occupied for a long time. But... being occupied with content, doesn't necessarily mean everything about the game is good, sadly. As like all other forms of media and entertainment, for every one good thing, a bad thing must follow. Yes, just like someone with I.B.S. eating a super good greasy pizza. Oh man its so good, but 20 minutes later, your new home will be the bathroom. Oops.
As time has went on for the Street Fighter series, mostly starting at Street Fighter 2 with its mandatory 500 different versions of the game, you have seen the series evolve via its graphics or with the way it runs on each system its on per generation, upgrading and introducing new game play mechanics that are unique to the title itself or attempts to push the series forward, for better or worse. Please no more ''INDESTRUCTIBLE'' theme music, I beg you. Its up there with my second most hated video game theme song next to ''MY HANDS'' from Final Fantasy 13. Seriously ''I wake in the morning, putting on my make uppppp'' What in the living Chocobo does that have to do with FINAL FANTASY. But enough of that, back to what I was talking about. As I was saying, with each iteration comes an evolution or addition to the series, with parries for Street Fighter 3 Ultra Omega Classic Turbo Arcade EX 5 Hyper Speed Edition being introduced, focus based attacks for Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter 5 with the V-System and now with Street Fighter 6, it evolves once more with the Drive System. What is that? are you sure you want to know? the story of my life... ok no, I'm not finding a way to throw in another Spider-Man 2 reference for the 100th time in my reviews. In a nutshell, the Drive System utilizes multiple abilities by characters that are controlled by your Drive Gauge, and these include abilities such as Drive Impact, Drive Reversals, Parrying, Rushing. It takes an already competitive level of competition to a new level as now you have to account your for opponents drive gauge limits too, so you do not rush into an incoming infinite loop of an ass kicking like I've made the mistake of doing because I'm such a noob. Your strategy and trying to outwit your opponent in Street Fighter 6 begins immediately upon match start due to your Drive Meter starting at full capacity. This allows you to pick and choose if you want to be more defensive and then counter into a Drive set move or waste them all immediately to try to get in surprise damage and then tucking your Overdrive special moves in your pocket for later in order to deal extra damage for your combos by getting timing right, landing a Drive Rush Cancel and proceeding into a multi-combo Drive attack to put your foe on the ropes, etc. Choice is completely up to you and your own playstyle, regardless of your favorite character.
''MINECRAFT CULTISTS MEET UP FOR SOME ROLEPLAYING''
Beware however, should your meter become depleted, you will enter a state fatigue or a burnout, this stops you from blocking efficiently and your enemies attacks become stronger due to your weakened state. If this happens to you, retire, give up and go home and be a family man because your chances of winning and mounting a heroic comeback just got slashed in half. I mean you might be able to throw a hail hadouken and move, dodge, attack and use special moves to get away from your opponent in an intense survival for your life, but just give it up bro, give it up man. Like your button on your pants being strung together by a piece of string because you gained 20 pounds over summer break by visiting Grandmas house like Doug Funnie did. Just tear the button off, free the belly and let it go. Fatigue of the meter aside, making use of at least one bar of your Driver Meter can also give you a higher advantage in combat versus NPCs or even regular squishy humans as well by using your Drive Impact as a form of super armor that can allow you to take on up to two major hits and offsetting the damage, should it land and those hits pushed aside like a kid that's in front of you at a ride at Disneyland you want to go on, which I'm speaking from experience in that department, again, should this connect, it will temporarily stun your opponent, leaving them vulnerable to a major combo on your behalf, yes, even if they block, they're screwed. The best way to use this mechanic from what I noticed is blocking, Drive Impact, stunning and backing them into wall and making it extremely difficult for any counters to be shot back at you, close or even mid range, it locks it down. While it doesn't do as much damage as your normal stronger attacks do, it can definitely get you out of a tight spot, should you be in a pickle, and goes from strictly an offensive capability to defensive as well. Its very DRIVERSE. Haha. Ok ya that pun was bad, but you can appreciate it somewhat... right? I'm Shoryuken!. Alright, I swear that's my last one. Once more, with a roster of 18 characters, with 12 of these being returning characters, it offers you enough new with the old to make it feel like a nostalgic experience, but at same time, makes it feel like the new generation of fighters is right around the corner, waiting for their time to shine, with characters like Kimberly having a super fluid and ninja like inspired moveset and Jamie who uses a brawling fighting style that makes him an overall powerhouse of a menace. But yeah.. that's only the fighting for online in Battle Hub and the mechanics that go along with that. I mean sure Battle Hub is great, one big large arcade room where you can meet players, play some arcades, challenge for casual or ranked matches or buy merch that you'll never use just because it looks cool, that's all good and all, but now we come to my favorite part of this game, World Tour.
Finally we come to my favorite part of the game itself, like I just stated, and that is World Tour, Street Fighter 6’s ambitious solo player experience. That's right, campaign mode baby. In this mode you focus on creating your own custom character and dive into the Street Fighter universe. That's pretty literal to be honest because you can legit run through semi open cities, towns, locations like France and the UK and run into people named Mario and be like ''It's a meeee, Mario!'' and then kick his ass just for having the audacity to be in your presence. Moving through this roughly 15 to 20 hour storyline, 25 hours if you're like me, a person who gets stuck on specific boss battles during the game and feels the need to run through areas, buy EXP boosts, travel to another area to fight high level enemies and then REPEAT THAT STRAT for like SEVEN straight hours, and grind out battles like its a traditional RPG. Yup. I have no life, and I'm not a man, so I can't go home and be a family man even if I wanted to, so I might as well just spend all my time in this game, right?. Anyways, as you move through this story, you will interact with characters from the main roster of old, such as Chun Li, Ken, Ryu, Cammy, Blanka and many others and you are able to take on personal training from them, either by completing side quests for them, missions, or giving them gifts to increase your characters bond and relationship. Once at a high enough level, they will teach you their special moves that you're able to add you your own characters moveset after making them your Master. Yes, this in fact means you can have multiple masters, dozens of unique attacks to equip and have an extremely diverse level of freedom for combat. For example I currently have a moveset that consists of attacks like Spinning Bird Kick from Chun Li and Hadouken from Ken and Ryu and spinning rush from Blanka. There's simply no end to the type of combinations you can make, and honestly, this reminds me quite a bit of titles like Dragon Ball Xenoverse, as in that game, you're able to do the same, you train with a master, acquire their skills, and then equip them, and it works absolutely perfectly here in Street Fighter 6 too. Plus the game sorta also feels like Jumpforce. Wait wait, where are you going, no its not THAT bad, I'm talking about as far as running around and traversal is concerned, you big silly, not gameplay. Being able to run around New York city that is run by Mike Haggar of Final Fight fame, you will run into NPC's you can challenge, all ranging from low levels to higher levels in order to gain items and experience points and even fight against... wait... is that NPC named Amy? How dare you. HOW DARE YOU. ILL KILL YOU. DIE. Huh? anyways moving on.
''OUCH, RIGHT IN THE ARMPIT''
Fighting isn't the only thing to do in World Tour however, besides your interactions and mastering moves of masters, you may get your RPG on by raising your characters level to boost stats on your skill tree, raise the level of your Master for more unique attacks, equip stat altering gear, acquire new powerful skills, do plethora of side quests that serve as both ways to get rare items and train, learn the difficulty, managing inventory for health and defensive level items to use to gain advantage in battles and even... huh? Steve? is that you STEVE!? you may not be Minecraft STEVE but you have his name so you TOO shall feel my wrath. Sidetracked again with kicking someone's butt, I apologize. On topic however, while World Tour has a ton of potential with allowing you to travel to different locations within the Street Fighter Universe like the arcade games, see missions like ''New Kids On The Block'' and immediately start singing PLEASEEE DONT GO GIRL! and head back to the 80s, climb a random building and see some dude named The Watcher that looks like a generic super hero, bond with your waifu chun li by showering her with gifts like me, get a silly costume from Blanka and wear it 90% of your playthrough and completely ruin all serious moments in the story campaign, even though all that is great, it does suffer from a somewhat lackluster narrative overall. With lots of predictable story beats, plot twists, insipid characters, it sorta feels like you just move from one event to another with no real thought put into it and the more interesting aspects are OUTSIDE the story via free roam experience. Its pretty weird. For example in one particular incident you must travel to Rome to create a counterfeit bag to replace one that your idiot friend has stolen, which leads nowhere, and another has you going to Brazil to buy your mentor, Luke, a couple souvenirs. Yup... that's the entire mission. Bro, its the modern era, you LITERALLY text me on a SMART PHONE, I'm pretty sure your jock self can use Ebay to find something you want, you idiot. While that sound like a bummer, which it is, its not all bad because the story does offer moments of both seriousness and light hearted tones that is both beneficial and fitting for the values of what Street Fighter aims to be. Just traversing around cities and town is goofy enough as it is with using your abilities like Spinning Bird Kick to cross over pits or obstacles, fighting against Roombas and... fridges, which just makes you think, ok what type of object is going to come alive and fight me next? the talking toilet from Look Whos Talking?. Dumb, yes, but it offers a reasonable amount of charm and its own difficulties. Im serious, the fridges whipped my ass, because I couldn't figure out if they were against blocking high or lower attacks, so I just spammed my special moves and hoped for the damn best.
Being able to step outside combat is also a strength of this mode by engaging in side adventures like mini games that cleverly disguise actual fight techniques as challenges. For example you have chopping bottles in a style reminiscent of Guile and Blankas special moves, making pizza by executing special move inputs, throwback to Street Fighter 2's car busting mini game that requires using combos to demolish cars within a time limit. They are extremely fun and engaging and make up for any downtime you might have in World Tour overall. As stated before, even during world tour, a big draw for this is to outfit your character with moves from other fighters, so by the time you reach the end story boss, you will have attacks that are able to defeat them in a fairly easy fashion by being able to teleport like Dhalism, piledrive grapple like Zangief, Ken's Dragonlash, etc. As Shia once said, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE and he was absolutely 100% correct. Good ol Shia, he believed in us when no one else would, just like Tom, right Tom?. The best part is, with all the skills and power you've leveled up during world tour, you may transfer all that over to the online setting in Battle Hub, which is an online social space that allows you to queue for both ranekd and unranked match making. Its basically Playstation Home without the cringe and just keeping the awesome. But its not all Sonic Booms and big Cammy booty attacks, sadly, because I have some gripes to go along with my praises, obviously. While they aren't major, they do hinder or annoy me, and they all pretty much pertain to World Tour. My biggest gripe is the difficulty spike mid game, its manageable just fine for the most part, even for a noob like me, but come mid game, it goes from a Normal setting to Hard mode that has one simple grapple move take 50% of your health, yes, EVEN as a level 50 with defensive gear on. It becomes so bad that in two to three major grapples or hits, you're dead, and this FORCES to have to back out of fights or tournaments you were in, to spend hours grinding.. thus making you have to RE-DO the tournament all over again from the start. Another issue I have is the pacing of the story mode, it once again has the bane of my existence, PADDING. The first part of the story flows well with you working with Luke and your friend Bosch, meeting Chun Li, but then it just has you run from one area, go to sleep till next day, run to another area, fight one guy, go back to the city area to sleep to change day cycle, come back to the area you were in earlier, fight one more person or buy one item and REPEAT. It gets so FREAKING ANNOYING.
''0-100 AND STILL FEELING GOOD''
At the end of the day, Street Fighter 6 is probably my most favorite entry into this franchise since Street Fighter 2. Yes, its not perfect due to some less than stellar servers that constantly boot you from the game during your time spent in Battle Hub, brash difficulty spikes in World Tour and its use of really bad padding, those for sure are major annoyances, but those aside, with the game offering you a story campaign to allow people who aren't ONLY competitive players to ease their way into the franchise, fun locations to explore and discover, get trained by your favorite street fighter character, utilizing the moves of your favorite character and making them your own, collecting all gear and stat upgrades, complete all major and minor side quests, and even down to the awesome community that currently exists in the online Battle Hub with all the other Street Fighter enthusiasts - with all those positives, it leaves you with over 20 hours of story gameplay and dozens upon dozens more for years to come by facing your friends or strangers online in battles of whos the best around. Which is saying something. So with all this having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW!