Street Fighter 6: the revival episode for Capcom's legendary license?

Street Fighter 6: the revival episode for Capcom’s legendary license?

Street Fighter, a historic video game license, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Capcom took the opportunity to officially announce what was an open secret: Street Fighter 6 is well under development.

If the publisher was rather stingy with details, the short teaser presented already allows us to develop some theories. Between what has been shown and the expectations of the players, we are trying to see with you what this new opus could look like.

Summary

  • What does the teaser say?
    • Luke: symbol of renewal?
    • A change of graphics
    • Release date, platforms…
  • What are players waiting for?
    • A full game on release
    • Complicate the fights…
    • …while providing a bit of fun
    • A return to Xbox?

What does the teaser say?

Luke: symbol of renewal?

In this teaser, we obviously recognize the flagship character of the Street Fighter license (and Capcom’s mascot): Ryu. But he is not the only one to flex his muscles through these few seconds of video.

In effect, Luke is also in the game. This character is much less known than Ryu, but is nonetheless important. Street Fighter V players know this, this is the very last character introduced in this opus (November 29, 2021).

Capcom had also warned us: his arrival at this precise moment was not due to chance. Its destiny was therefore already linked to the future of the license and its future projects. With this teaser, things clear up a bit. Luke could well be the star of this new opus.

Note also that this short video offers us a rather interesting symbolic parallel. On the one hand we have an aging and calm bearded Ryu, whose sweaty body may portend a certain fatigue. On the other, we have a young and easy-going Luke, full of energy and with the future ahead of him.

This dichotomy is probably not insignificant and we can see a good number of things in it. Luke may well become Ryu’s disciple, as Gouken was for the latter in time. He would then be responsible for training him and calming his passion so that he would find the wisdom that now seems to be Ryu’s.

More metaphorically, one can imagine the parallel drawn between youth and old age as a representation of the past of the license facing its future. With his fighting style closer to MMA than classic martial arts, Luke offers a new vision of shoto.

From there to say that this new opus will initiate a transition to a more “modern” vision of combat throughout the license, there is only one step that some might be tempted to take.

However, it is far too early to draw hasty conclusions. In any case, Luke will certainly influence the direction of this sixth opus, whether in terms of history or gameplay as Alex was able to do with Street Fighter III.

A change of graphics

What strikes seeing this teaser is the new graphic paw chosen by Capcom. If the visuals of Street Fighter have gained over time in realism, they have always kept this little arcade side, the true DNA of the license.

Here, the publisher has opted for a photo-realistic teaser which is more reminiscent of Mortal Kombat trailers than those stamped Capcom. If this choice could well be only promotional, there are good reasons to think that an important graphic change will be operated with this Street Fighter VI.

This is not the first time that Capcom has decided to opt for more realism. By choosing the Unreal Engine 4 to develop Street Fighter V, the company already asserted this desire. Speaking of this fifth installment, it was originally supposed to get closer to the teaser that we saw.

If we look at the concept art of Ryu at the time, they turn out to be very close to the sweaty veteran of this short video. But the project of Yoshinori Ono, historical producer of the Street Fighter series, and Polygon Picture then struggled to convince Capcom.

It will therefore be abandoned in favor of the Street Fighter V that we know. Choosing such a representation in this way is undoubtedly not an innocent gesture, and there is therefore a good chance that Street Fighter VI will look more like this teaser than the previous installments in the saga.

Release date, platforms

As we said, Capcom was rather stingy with details. So we don’t have no release window for this game, nor even information about its various supports. No wonder, that said. This is a teaser and an official announcement.

It is rare that such information is given so quickly. What is certain is that Street Fighter VI should not be released anytime soon. For comparison, it had elapsed a little more than a year between the announcement of Street Fighter V and its release in February 2016.

For more information, you will probably need wait for E3 or even EVO. This event centered on the versus fighting is indeed the perfect place to talk about this monument of its kind. For information, it will be held from Friday August 5 to Sunday August 7, 2022.

What are players waiting for?

A full game on release

This is probably the biggest downside of Street Fighter V: lack of output content. A questionable choice which was however intended. As Yoshinori Ono argued, this opus had been thought of as a “scalable platform”:

This is a marathon, not a sprint for us, and we appreciate all the messages of support we have received as we embark on this journey together.

Thus, many characters, modes and others stages had been added (or tweaked) over time. But for many, it was already too late. Annoyed by the lack of content offered, they had simply abandoned their heart license. So much so that between March 31 and September 30 of 2016, it was only sold only 100,000 copies of the game.

A very sad score which, fortunately, will grow over time. If today Street Fighter V is a more than complete game, it would undoubtedly have gained from being one as soon as it was released. Yoshinori Ono himself recognized this mistake:

We are aware that if we had more content at launch, the game would have been more enthusiastically received by our fans who enjoy Street Fighter in ways other than the single player mode. There is a delicate balance to strike between casual and hardcore players. We know the game should be satisfying for everyone and we will continue to work hard to achieve the perfect team to make Street Fighter a good game for everyone.

If today Ono is no longer part of the team, we dare to hope that Capcom will have learned the lesson all the same and will offer us a complete Street Fighter VI upon release.

It also means an overhaul of the current artificial progression system which allows you to unlock essential content by farming for hours or, simply, by spending a little more money.

Complicate the fights

In terms of substance, there is also work to be done. Some players have pointed out combos that are easier to pull off than before. Couple this with an attack-based combat system (and therefore with few defenses) and you get a sometimes confused and repetitive game, leaving less room for mindgame.

According to purists, Street Fighter V would have benefited from giving less space to its combo game or else complicate its execution. One solution would be to return to the Street Fighter IV links window (1 frame). In short, these players want a return to basics to rebalance the gap between veterans and novices.

And since we’re talking back to basics, it’s time to talk about the Perfect Parry. This ultimate parade has long been the heyday of the battles of versus fighting, sometimes allowing exceptional turnarounds based solely on the skill.

Veterans will no doubt remember the well-known moment 37 on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, during which Daigo Umehara made no less than fifteen Perfect Parry in a row, thus winning the game when he had only a poor pixel of life left.

Unfortunately, this mechanic disappeared with Street Fighter IV (replaced by the focus attack then by the v-skill in Street Fighter V). The amateur gamer’s skill and fierce fights therefore hope for his return with this Street Fighter VI.

While providing a bit of fun

For players with a lighter gaming experience in mind, some expectations are also allowed. Because if we know Street Fighter a lot for its competitive side, the license sometimes stood out thanks to these “fun” modes, intended for players who are not looking for performance at all costs.

Among them, we note in particular the Dramatic Battle (Street Fighter Alpha series) or Scramble Mode  (Street Fighter X Tekken). If the first invited you to form a team of two fighters (two players or a player and a computer) to face simultaneously a character controlled by the computer, the second allowed to see two teams of two compete.

Note that the Tekken series is particularly successful in the addition of such modes with, in particular, its Tekken Ball and his Tekken Bowl. To see if Street Fighter VI will take this path or not. If so, this new opus would then break with Street Fighter V which had mainly focused on the competitive aspect.

A return to Xbox?

Xbox players had been unable to enjoy Street Fighter V on their favorite console. In fact, the game was only available on PC and PS4. A console exclusive for Sony therefore which had put many fans of the license on the floor.

They hope that this new episode will this time be available on consoles from Microsoft. Capcom did not provide details on this subject, as we have seen. Nevertheless, don’t we say that no news rhymes with good news?

The console exclusivity of Street Fighter V had indeed been unveiled as soon as the title was made official in December 2014. If today Capcom has therefore not given any information concerning the different media of the game, it may well be that this exclusivity is not renewed.

Like The King of Fighters, Street Fighter could well find its way to Xbox consoles, to the delight of players. Case to follow.

Brent Dubin
Brent Dubin, known as the Gaming Giant among Globe Live Media staff, is the chief Gaming Reporter for Globe Live Media. Having attended all the major events of Gaming around the World, he is sure to give you exactly the update related to gaming World you are looking for.