Street Fighter 6 is filled to the brim with modes, and I got to tour several of them during a recent preview event at Capcom’s San Fransico office. In addition to spending a ton of time playing World Tour, I delved into Fighting Ground’s competitive and training destinations to test my mettle before the game’s June launch.
Fighting Ground is where each versus mode resides, and I had access to the entire 18-fighter roster. This allowed me to spend my first hands-on time with new faces such as JP. This cane-wielding businessman quickly became a favorite of mine due to his ability to control the playing field by placing portals he could either leap through or detonate like bombs. Additionally, long-ranged attacks, such as having magic spikes erupt underneath players, make him great for keeping opponents at bay. I also enjoyed Lily, the young member of T. Hawk’s Thunderfoot Tribe, who utilizes dual ball-headed war clubs to unleash powerful, wind-based assaults. Manon’s methodical, ballet-like attacks took the most adjustment due to her deliberate animations, but I enjoyed her unique nuances by the end of my session. Old reliables like Ryu and Ken still delight the old-school fan in me. Tack on personal favorites like Juri, Cammy, and Luke, and the roster feels strong out of the gate.
In addition to 1v1 and Team Battles, I tried out Extreme Battle, which spices up battles with modifiers and stipulations, such as dodging charging bulls and knocking falling, exploding Mets from Mega Man into each other. My favorite combines both players’ life bars into a tug-of-war type battle where you have to nail hits to push your portion of the bar to the other end for the win. Mortal Kombat has featured a similar mode in the past, and I’m always a sucker for it as it’s an entertaining break from formal one-on-one bouts.
I dabbled in Arcade Mode, though I could only play as Ken and Lily. Illustrated panels narrated by your chosen fighter weave their stories as you work through the roster. Along the way, you’ll complete challenges such as the famous “break the car” minigame, though I had to smash a semi-truck in this case. Arcade mode can be as short as five matches or as long as twelve, and though the amount of cutscenes remains the same, a Capcom rep vaguely teases that the endings may alter depending on how well you complete objectives during your run.
I’m also impressed by the number of onboarding features for newcomers, rusty players, or those wanting to master the game’s nuances. The simplified inputs from the Modern and Dynamic control schemes rock, but I especially love the Character Guide, which walks you through the moveset and strategies of a single fighter. Even spending only about 10 minutes practicing with JP, I gained a far better understanding of how to use him than I did figuring him out on the fly. Multiple training options for mastering frames, reversals, and other fighting pillars should help turn good players into championship contenders.
Combined with World Tour and the online Battle Mode, Street Fighter 6 is shaping up to be one heck of a package and may be the most feature-dense entry yet. After enjoying its first public demo, we can’t wait to finally throwdown for real when the game launches on June 2.
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