Street Fighter 6 hands-on impressions
Many Street Fighter games have become famous or infamous for the core mechanics that each game has featured since the Street Fighter 2 series ran. Parries in Street Fighter 3, Focus Attacks and their resulting moves in SF4, and the V-System in SF5 all strongly defined the respective games they came from, and I think Street Fighter 6 will be a similar case with the Drive System. .
Right now, Street Fighter 6’s Drive Impact (Focus Attack) maneuver feels like a dominant force, but when we spoke with PG|Punk and Justin Wong about the game at Evo 2022, the Drive Rush mechanic seemed to be a popular way to spend it . meter in their eyes.
Granted, it’s still very early days, and it’s possible that many of these attacks will be tweaked in the future – or currently have been – as builds can often change behind the scenes in these games.
Drive Impact’s ability to stun an opponent while cornered and burn out and absorb two attacks (or more) plus deal a significant amount of damage all in one bar felt extremely powerful and was a very popular tactic early on that I saw use. repeatedly. While this attack can knock you out and can be avoided by jumping or staying out of range, you really felt it when you shot through your Drive Gauge and your opponent cornered you.
Drive Rush felt especially impressive when used in neutral because you could blow punish normal and then cancel Drive Rush and continue the combo for some really solid damage and probably some okizeme setup from there. However, this comes at a great price, at 3 bars, and could quickly lead to burnout.
Unfortunately, without knowing the frame data and really understanding the moves well, the Drive Parry system currently felt invulnerable, but it could be that this mechanic is locked behind a skill wall that few have hit, like hands-on time with Street Fighter 6 most people in the community were very limited.
Some players I spoke to about the game referred to it as Street Fighter 5.5 in terms of gameplay. It’s definitely its own thing, but in many ways, the now-existing Street Fighter game is fairly familiar.
Ryu and Luke felt like their Street Fighter 5 counterparts where you could pick up and do their combos and spacing and things of that nature without much variation in execution or approach. However, Chun-Li and Jamie definitely felt new and fresh.
One thing I feel strongly about, those names you see at the top of the Capcom Pro Tour leaderboards, get used to seeing them more often because people who are strong in SF5 will very likely carry over a lot of their skills to Street Fighter 6 .
If you play Street Fighter 6 exactly like you play SF5, you’re bound to run into trouble as a new meta emerges and new ways to play and enjoy the game.
I had heard quite a bit about how powerful the fireballs were in this game compared to previous editions of Street Fighter, and unfortunately it was not felt THAT strong for me Ryu’s fireball recovers quickly and they travel at a good speed, but they never felt like game changers like they did in Street Fighter 2 or 4.
Maybe I’m missing some of the basic settings and things that are available, but as it stands right now, fireballs felt a little better than they did in Street Fighter 5, depending on the character you’re using.
Maybe it was the input lag or something else, like forgetting that you can’t do EX moves in burnout, but the window for invincible reversals seemed less friendly. The jury is still out on this one.
Almost everyone I played also said the game was “heavy” and a bit slow, kind of like a NetherRealm Studios title. Again, this may have been due to some input lag during the public build, which is not uncommon for pre-release games. These things are often modified during development.
The jumps are also a little floaty now, and that could be due to the things mentioned above, but that’s another aspect of the game that gets tweaked a lot in development, and I’m not worried about Capcom getting it where it needs to be. be.
Street Fighter 5 fans are often used to throwing caution to the wind and draining every resource they have in an attempt to level an opponent as quickly as possible. This leads to a snowball effect in the game, where a few bad guesses can cost you everything and make things feel very one-sided.
There’s a real and tangible problem with this in Street Fighter 6, and it’s burnout. Many times I tried to just release everything I had and then I ended up in a really, really bad place when it didn’t work out.
You need to hold on to your resources so you don’t become vulnerable to a number of situations that will likely cost you a round, but it can be tempting to fire since you start rounds with a full 6 blocks of drive meter.
The ways you play at the beginning, middle, and end of turns should often be adjusted based on the resources you have available, both offensively and defensively. For example, looking for a punishing touch to Drive Rush at the beginning of turns is a really smart idea to build up a life lead, but trying to pull it off in the middle or end of a turn and failing can leave you burned out. and it costs you everything
One of the dominant strategies for most players early on will be a significant amount of Drive Impacts (Focus Attacks). It’s actually a great way to familiarize yourself with new systems in the game and get some really powerful combos and setups.
This is a commitment based option, you can’t run away from it like with Focus Attack in Street Fighter 4. It’s also fairly easy to see it coming if you telegraph it and for the opponent to trigger their own Drive. Effect on reaction. In all cases I’ve seen, the second person to Drive Impact on neutral wins, so it’s not something you can spam and hope for good results.
While you can absorb two hits (or more) with it, you’re much more likely to die if your health is low from absorbing damage than you were in Street Fighter 4.
Throwing out the start or just avoiding Drive Impact and the whiff punishing all the work so there are a lot of chips there, but learning the spacing and timing of this mechanic will be key for people new to the game because I’ll be seeing a lot.
Ryu felt closest to his Street Fighter 5 version, but with some SF4 as well. As mentioned, his fireball traps feel extremely good because the recovery on his Hadouken is quite fast. His mid crouch kick also has a lot of range and seemed to combo well when canceling from things like his fireball or Joudan Kick special from all the places where the first hit landed.
Luke also felt a lot like his SF5 counterpart, meaning strong and lots of options. Capcom seems intent on making Luke good, probably because he’ll be a co-protagonist in the game from what we’re hearing. There was a moment when Luke fired his fireball at me which I blocked but recovered before I could jump in and punish.
Chun-Li feels like an almost brand new character. Her EX Spinning Bird Kick doesn’t work well as an invincible reversal at all, and some of her normals have been heavily reworked. Crouching Medium Punch is now a standard poke instead of a slide attack, and her upward kicks are done ironically by pressing Down, Down + Kick.
The developers said that Chun-Li is a fast and technical character and you really feel it when you play her. Fast movements and a strong throw, but difficult to link attacks and such without path knowledge and muscle memory. It has a number of moves that cancel each other out and was really hard to play without having some time in training mode to practice your new moves and combos.
It’s such a departure from the last two versions we’ve seen in SF4 and 5, I hope fans of the characters won’t mind. When I get the game I’ll probably hold onto it though since I often play Chun-Li when Rose isn’t available.
I had the least amount of time with Jamie and he was the least played character I saw over the weekend. He has some Rekka stuff like Fei-Long that is interesting, and it definitely looks like you’d expect a drunk fighter to fight, but he was hard to handle much at this early stage. I wish I could explore him more, but that will surely come in time.
The game looks better live than it does on stream, but so far it hasn’t seemed to run in true 4K. It looked more like 1080p upscaled to 4K. This was a little disappointing for me, as I wanted to see the game run in true 4K, which will probably require Capcom to run it on PC, as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X often have checkered 4K resolutions in other games. .
I asked the Capcom team what the game was running on, but no one seemed to know. 1080p upscaled to 4K I liked it.
Despite the game feeling a bit lengthy – which could simply be because it’s nowhere near the final build – it really feels like an entry in Street Fighter. Achieving this overall look and feel is extremely important to fans of the franchise, as there is a certain amount of expectation that comes with playing a numbered sequel. Based on past history, I’m not worried that developers will pick it up over time.
In terms of gameplay, I believe the base game will be really fun and enjoyable for fans of the Street Fighter franchise. However, if you’re looking for something completely new and innovative, it’s probably best to look at other fighting games on the market. This is much more of a callback to previous games in the series than a completely fresh and innovative take on the franchise, but then again, that’s how a numbered sequel should be set up. Adding new things but also honoring past games.
I really enjoyed the game and would play it all day and night if I could. Most people at Evo seemed to feel the same way, as the queues to play the game were really long, so it took you about an hour to get to your hands-on time.
Right now, Street Fighter 6 is shaping up to be a really big blast from the past, but with new trappings and mechanics to get fans excited too. Things look promising so far.
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