LifeIsXbox’s Street Fighter 6 review | Most people know I’m not that into fighting games, but somehow I’ve always managed to make an exception for a few series and Street Fighter happens to be one of them. These games tend to have accessible controls, a balanced roster of fighters and some of the coolest background animations of all time.
When Street Fighter 6 was announced and we were told there was going to be an RPG-like World Tour mode included as a single-player campaign, I was immediately sold on the concept and couldn’t wait to see how Capcom would handle this. At the time of writing, I’ve spent about 3-4 times as much time in this mode than in fighting other (more skilled) players, so I guess it’s safe to say this was a good bet on their part.
The hard part about reviewing this title is how the single-player campaign and the multiplayer options should actually be reviewed separately from each other, as they are just so wildly different in execution. But we’ll figure it out as we go!
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PLAION, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- It looks amazing | Now this statement already needs an * because the fights look fantastic as do the major character models from the versus line-up, but the single-player world and NPCs can fall flat. That being said, it’s easy to look past this and appreciate the glorious effects that splash off your screen, the mind-boggling details like how muscles seem to expand while performing certain moves and even some unexpected details like getting your outfit wet in the RPG mode which is even a very rare occurrence but still received some love and care. Oh, and the cinematics are gorgeous as well!
- Character Roster | The roster of versus characters is incredibly well-balanced. I think I’ve only seen Dhalsim being underused in competitive fights, but personally found myself enjoying every single character and how they have a good matchup versus other ones. The newly added characters all play amazing and have become instant fan favourites. I particularly like Lily, a small girl that wields two blunt weapons and can easily put opponents into hard-to-escape combo locks.
- Modern Controls | You can choose to play Street Fighter 6 with classic controls, but the newly added modern controls make it a lot easier to perform some difficult special moves (at the cost of ~20% damage reduction). As someone who isn’t very quick to learn new button combinations, this was a godsend for me and allowed me to see almost all the special attacks without having to lose hours mastering each character.
- Free minigames | Both the Battle Hub and the single-player campaign give you some arcade cabinets to play classic titles on like Final Fight, Street Fighter II Turbo or Mega Man. It’s a lot of value you’re getting in this one game because there is so much to do. The single-player campaign even has minigames like making pizza or the good old “destroy this vehicle as quick as possible” which we remember from the old Street Fighter games.
- Learn as you go | Those minigames aren’t just there for fun. The ones where you smash a car or block basketballs being thrown at you actually teach you about important mechanics that would have otherwise been hidden away only for fighting game pros. Street Fighter 6 is one of the best games around for people who want to start off casually playing the game and taking it more seriously as they get more experienced.
- Addictive Single Player | Capcom added a full-blown Yakuza-like RPG instead of the usual Arcade Story mode (which is still present in the game as well) and it feels like getting an entire free game on top of the base product. You visit different places around the world (hence the name World Tour) and study under famous masters to adopt their fighting style. You level up, you get better gear and upgrade it and use items to boost your damage output or heal back to full life. It’s an RPG in everything but combat execution, as you still have to fight opponents in classic Street Fighter style.
- Quick loading | For a game that relies on fast-travel a lot or picking fights with online opponents, it does a remarkable job at loading everything on the Xbox Series X. There is hardly ever a wait and that’s got to be one of the most underrated features of the latest console generation. Just play. No need to wait. Time is precious!
- Championship commentary | Have you always wanted to play a game of Street Fighter like you’re on a big esports tournament? Well, we’ve got some good news: there is an option to toggle on or off the commentator, which will even reveal some tricks that I’ve found to be very useful information.
- Mechanics | Drives, Supers, Special attacks, grabs, blocks, parries… there are so many cool mechanics at play in SF6 that it starts to feel like a game of rock-paper-scissors with your opponent, trying to guess what they’ll do next and how you can counter it. It’s incredibly satisfying once you get the hang of this and can really start to play mind games of your own in the competitive scene.
- Travel the world | The promise of travelling the world is met… in some form. But outside your USA starting hub and the Nayshall region, most are just the size of a simple arena with a few people in it to talk to or fight.
- Freeroam skills | The skills you learn from master can be used in the overworld. Not just to get the drop on unsuspecting opponents, but also in reaching the rooftop across the street with your upside-down floating kick. That lost one seems to have the most use, as the others pretty much just destroy boxes that are in the way.
- Creative freedom | Before you get started, you’ll be asked to make an avatar character that will represent you both in the single-player campaign and in the Battle Hub when you’re running around trying to find opponents. The options seem to go very wide, but I couldn’t succeed in making a good-looking character myself, and eventually just ended up randomly generating one that I liked. You can also equip special attacks from any masters you’ve studied under in the World Tour, which makes for an exciting versus match-up as you have no idea which skill set the other player will have brought to the table. But, it’s just too bad how sparse the good-looking gear is in the game. I’ve seen online players in the hub with really cool costumes, and I’m still running around in the same leather jacket from the start of the game because nothing of interest is unlocking.
What we Disliked
- Terrible balancing in the World Tour | I haven’t been able to beat the game, and it’s infuriating. Street Fighter 6’s World Tour starts off simple enough with no one really posing a threat to you, but by the end of the game even facing a story encounter one level above your own can be downright brutal as you throw 300dmg punches, and they just counter with a 5K dmg throw. It feels like punching a wall, hoping for it to crack… if said wall would be punching you back. The only way around is grinding some levels, gear and skills for a few hours. And that’s no longer my definition of fun.
- Unnecessary padding | Most of the story quests boil down to “go get this at that location” or “talk to that person”. That’s boring, but fine, I can live with it. Where it really irks me if it says “talk to this person at night” and then right after doing so, having to come back to this place at day, but you first have to walk or fast travel back to your hideout to wait for the day or night to transition and that’s just plain disrespectful of the player’s time.
How long to beat the story | Around 16 hours, including some mandatory grinding
How long to achieve 1000G | 75-100 hours depending on your skill
You’ll love this game if you like these | Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11
Street Fighter 6 is an amazing fighting game that does almost everything right and is filled to the brim with extras. You’re most certainly getting your moneys worth with this one and it’s incredibly hard to put down.
Hadou-ken we play again?
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Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.