Street Fighter 6 Closed Network Preview

street-fighter-6-closed-network-preview 893957

I’ll be honest, the last time I was serious about Street Fighter was with the release of Super Street Fighter 4, all the way back in 2010. Street Fighter 6, however, even from its onset, appears to be a significant jump forward from 2016’s Street Fighter 5

Thankfully, after spending some time with Street Fighter 6’s closed-network test, I can safely report that Capcom has once again reinvigorated its beloved fighting game franchise while still maintaining its signature style, making it worthy of the street fighter moniker. 

YouTube video

Capcom has recently been on a roll in terms of sleek UI and UX elements, with games like Exoprimal and Street Fighter 6 being no exception. Street Fighter 6’s menu features a simple but striking use of blacks and whites that mimic the urban feel of the game, accentuated further by splashes of colour via the player avatar, among other elements present in the game that feel like lively graffiti splattered on to the concrete facade of the city.  

The contrast between colourful and desaturated elements seeps into some of the stages themselves. With geometry in the distance often appearing void of colour with only the edges frayed with pigmentation as it envelopes foreground elements, punctuated further with swaths of colour found in neon signs, Sakura cherry-blossom trees and other stage-specific elements. 

Street Fighter 6’s menu features a simple but striking use of blacks and whites that mimic the urban feel of the game…”

Matches feel as fast and responsive as ever. The most significant change comes from a new optional simplified control scheme, which maps quarter-circle or character-specific moves to a single button and entire combo strings for special moves. Thankfully, players can revert back to a classic input method if so desired from the character select screen, which, in Street Fighter 6, can be accessed anytime by pressing the square button on the controller inside the hub area. 

Street-Fighter-6-Closed-Network-Preview 781738

Speaking of the hub area, Street Fighter 6 features a robust and interactive social hub where players must physically walk up to and sit down on any available cabinet to initiate a match. If the said cabinet is currently only used by the player, training mode can be initiated until another person joins the game. 

At first, the option of simply having a menu to parse through instead of walking around a 3D space was something I wish the network test offered. However, after actually taking my time to explore the area, I began to like Street Fighter 6’s hub, thanks to additional cabinets that offered classic Capcom arcade titles, an in-game store to buy cosmetics for your avatar, and small flourishes here and there that made the lobby feel more than just a means to find an online opponent.  

“Aesthetically, Street Fighter 6 feels closest to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, with a new level of refinement that adds a sense of realism indicative of the RE Engine.”

If I had one minor complaint about Street Fighter 6’s hub area, it would be for those, like myself, who opt to use a fighting stick rather than the DualSense or any other dual-analogue controller. The lack of a second stick makes turning the camera impossible, which isn’t a big issue but makes the experience feel slightly more cumbersome than necessary, but something Capcom can and will likely address when the full game launches sometime next year. 

Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Juri make up the returning characters available during the closed network test. While Kimberly, Luke and Jamie make up the three additional newcomers available to test out. Aesthetically, Street Fighter 6 feels closest to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, with a new level of refinement that adds a sense of realism indicative of the RE Engine.  

Street-Fighter-6-Closed-Network-Preview 309047

In terms of the new characters, Jamie and Kimberly feel limber and fast, while Luke feels closer to someone like Ken and Sagat with a focus on heavy-hitting boxer-style attacks. Overall, however, Street Fighter 6‘s fights feel the most fluid it has ever felt since it transitioned into 3D, making the experience far less rigid than both 4 and 5. It may take returning players some time to get used to, but the faster feel is undoubtedly a welcome change. 

Street Fighter 6’s fights themselves feature what you’d expect from the long-running series, simple but hard-to-master inputs that generally require quarter-circle motions or wind-ups that require a charge, while super and special moves require double the input. 

Street Fighter 6’s closed network test left me feeling excited about a series I haven’t been into for a very long time…”

The drive gauge system, which is new for Street Fighter 6, introduces the ability to parry projectile-based attacks by holding the medium input buttons while holding the heavy attacks will result in a drive impact attack. Drive impact attacks seem to grant invulnerability frames and can be used to get out of a bad spot or chain into a combo or super move more efficiently.  

Holding the parry buttons and double tapping the stick or d-pad will initiate a drive rush or a quick dash that grants players the ability to close the distance quickly. Abusing these mechanics is mitigated by the burn-out state, which exhausts the players’ stamina and puts them at a momentary disadvantage. 

Street-Fighter-6-Closed-Network-Preview 453515

Overdrive attacks replace EX-moves, which are, essentially, powered-up versions of base moves but not quite super finishers, which can be activated by ending the input chain with double the punch or kick input required of the base attack. 

My favourite aspect of Street Fighter 6’s drive gauge system is how badly you can punish opponents if they are backed up against the wall. A single drive gauge counter can easily lead to a juggle combo resulting in massive damage. Learning to maintain your drive gauge while working them into your regular combos and specials is where the fun lies in Street Fighter 6. 

Street Fighter 6’s closed network test left me feeling excited about a series I haven’t been into for a very long time, making the wait for the full game sometime next year all the more anticipated.  

Latest Stories

google nest wi fi pro review 547870

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro Review

794941

Willow (Series) Review

Talking Trailers With Nathan Maddams— The Callisto Protocol 1

The Callisto Protocol—Talking Trailers With Nathan Maddams

a first look at fae farm from phoenix labs 615728

A First Look at Fae Farm from Phoenix Labs

the knight witch xbox series x review 642658

The Knight Witch (Xbox Series X) Review