Gaming

Street Fighter 6: The Ultimate Single-Player Fighting Experience

Introduction

As someone who doesn’t frequently engage in competitive gaming, I am always searching for fighting games that offer a compelling single-player experience. Whether it’s a rich story mode like Soulcalibur VI or addictive arcade content akin to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I find joy in mastering a character’s move set in a low-pressure environment. Unfortunately, Street Fighter 5 didn’t quite hit the mark for me. It was primarily focused on multiplayer gameplay upon release, making it difficult for a novice like me to learn through trial and error.

Looking Forward to Street Fighter 6

Thankfully, Street Fighter 6 appears to have learned from its predecessor’s shortcomings. Developer Capcom has invested significantly more effort into the upcoming sequel’s single-player content. In addition to the classic arcade mode, the new World Tour mode offers a full-fledged RPG experience, allowing players to engage in battles throughout Metro City. While the recent demo provided a small taste of this mode, the full extent of its features remained unclear.

Exploring the Fighting Ground

Before diving into the World Tour mode, I had the opportunity to explore Street Fighter 6’s traditional modes and experiment with the entire roster of fighters. The Fighting Ground mode allowed me to engage in one-on-one battles, team matches, and the classic arcade mode. This provided ample time for me to familiarize myself with the game’s mechanics, including the Drive Impact and counter systems, which added a thrilling back-and-forth dynamic to matches. Previous encounters with the game had been in a more casual setting, so this extended playtime allowed me to feel much more comfortable with the controls and grasp the fluidity of the gameplay.

I also delved into experimenting with all 18 starting characters, gaining a better understanding of the diverse playstyles inherent to each one. Initially, the standard characters like Ken didn’t resonate with me, but I soon found my rhythm with Lily, a lightning-fast fighter who wielded two wooden pogamoggans. From there, I branched out, connecting with Marisa’s powerful offense and Dhalsim’s unpredictable long-range attacks, thanks to his elastic limbs. Each character felt distinct, leading me to believe I will have a few favorites to rotate between rather than sticking to a single main.

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Luke and Jamie clash in Street Fighter 6.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

My time in the Fighting Ground mode also provided insight into the Arcade mode, where I selected a character and embarked on a series of battles. Each character’s round began with a backstory, such as Ken fighting to clear his name after being framed for a terrorist attack. This narrative touch gave me a deeper understanding of each character’s motivations, prompting me to play through each story before fully immersing myself in the rest of the game.

I concluded my time in the Fighting Ground mode by exploring Extreme Battles, which offered amusing matches with various stipulations. While the range of options was somewhat limited, there was enough variety to create enjoyable diversions. My personal favorite involved knocking down an opponent five times while a bull charged across the stage, knocking anything in its path. Such lighthearted options added levity to the overall package, preparing me for the charming silliness of the game’s primary mode.

Embarking on the World Tour

With my initial experimentation complete, it was time to embark on the World Tour mode. Those familiar with Street Fighter 6’s recent demo will recognize its basic premise. This single-player story mode allows players to create a custom character and guide them through a 3D RPG experience set in Metro City. Along the way, players engage in traditional 2D battles.

A player stands in Metro City's Times Square equivalent in Street Fighter 6 World Tour.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The demo only provided a limited glimpse into the World Tour mode, restricting players to a small section of the city. However, the full game promises a more expansive experience. After completing Chapter 1, where I fought strangers in an area reminiscent of Times Square, the city opened up before me. I soon realized that World Tour played remarkably similar to a classic Yakuza game. From food stalls to street thugs initiating battles, the environment felt as though it was plucked directly from that series. It’s an authentic brawling RPG that offers players the freedom to traverse Metro City, search for hidden items, and uncover secrets tucked away in its alleyways. Admittedly, the current slice of the city feels somewhat sparse, with only a few interactive buildings and encounters primarily occurring on the streets. Nevertheless, it still exceeds my expectations for a fighting game story mode. World Tour demonstrates a remarkable level of depth and ambition.

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Chapter 2 granted me a better understanding of how the mode works. My objective was to find Chun-Li, and I eventually located her teaching her techniques in a Chinatown area. Witnessing a delightful cutscene in which she effortlessly defeated a student showcased her fighting prowess. This is where the RPG customization aspect starts to make sense. Equipping Chun-Li’s style allowed my character to inherit her basic moveset. With each battle fought using her style, it leveled up, gradually unlocking her special moves. These unique moves could then be equipped in my character’s special slots and combined with specials from other fighters.

A player runs through a Chinese neighborhood in Street Fighter 6 World Tour.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The skill tree further enhances customization. As I progressed, leveling up unlocked a page of skills presented in a tournament bracket format. I needed to choose between two skills in each “match-up,” knowing that the unchosen option would become unavailable. For instance, if I prioritized kicking power for a character with Chun-Li’s style, I might select it over punching strength. This ingenious system not only offers depth but also serves as a tutorial on character creation and balancing in a fighting game. By the time I reached Chapter 3, I felt ready to start anew, making skill decisions with a clear purpose, based on my intended mix of character styles.

World Tour has the potential to revolutionize single-player content in fighting games. It serves as an innovative tool for teaching players the intricacies of each character, resembling gamified character guides. Beyond that, World Tour provides a more engaging way for solo players to interact with a fighting game. The RPG elements introduce a sense of progression rarely found in the genre, while the 3D exploration offers activities to enjoy between battles. Although I have no intention of delving into the online multiplayer aspect of Street Fighter 6, I am finally confident I will find a fighting game that delivers a fulfilling single-player experience. This newfound approach may open doors for more players to recognize why Street Fighter remains the champion of fighting games.

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Street Fighter 6 is set to release on June 2, available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.


Editors’ Recommendations:

  • Evo manager explains how he and Street Fighter 6 revitalized the event
  • The best video games of June 2023: Street Fighter 6, Diablo IV, and more
  • Street Fighter 6’s World Tour mode is the best fighting game tutorial ever
  • A free Street Fighter 6 demo is available now on PS5 and PS4
  • Everything announced at Capcom Spotlight: Resident Evil 4 demo, Exoprimal, and more

This article is brought to you by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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