Capcom’s announcement of Street Fighter 6 has sent fans abuzz at the prospect of a brand new entry into the franchise. After all, not only is Street Fighter one of the most storied fighting game franchises, it’s also one of the most willing to chuck that legacy out the door.
Ever since the fighting game genre’s heyday in the 1990s, Capcom has been reinventing its flagship fighter in small but meaningful ways. From Street Fighter III’s parry system to the Street Fighter Alpha series’ custom combos, each installment changes enough that it can almost feel like it’s from a different franchise.
This continued with the franchise’s revival in the mid-2000s with Street Fighter IV and its current incarnation, Street Fighter V.
Now, with Street Fighter 6, many fans are expecting a similar level of change. This also means that many are expressing their wishes for the new game. This is an exercise we here at Variable are all too happy to engage in. As such, without much further ado, here are six things we’d like to see in Street Fighter 6.
1. Improved online play
When Street Fighter V launched in 2016, it was supposed to bring with it a revolution in online play. After all, the game would be the first big fighting game to implement rollback netcode. This is an advanced networking implementation that practically eliminates lag and online input delay. (Read: Fighting in the time of COVID: the problems of online play and how the community has adapted)
But Street Fighter V‘s rollback implementation leaves much to be desired. The game still suffers from “drift,” a phenomenon where the timing of both players’ games gets off sync. This causes games to become “one-sided,” where one player suffers from glitches, while their opponent does not.
Adding insult to injury is that Capcom’s later Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite came with much better network play. But the improvements in that game seemingly never made it to Street Fighter V. This is on top of Capcom shutting down fan efforts to fix the issue with the game’s online play.
With this in mind, we hope that Capcom takes in all the criticism with Street Fighter V‘s online and makes it so that these issues aren’t repeated in Street Fighter 6.
2. A return to classic Street Fighter II gameplay
Capcom’s penchant for reinventing the Street Fighter franchise with every installment means that certain installments will feel less “Street Fighter” than other. Street Fighter V is one of those games.
When it came out in 1992, Street Fighter II established space control, how much screen real estate each normal attack and special move takes up on screen, as the core of the series (and 2D fighters in general). Street Fighter V, on the other hand, is more aggressive. It takes more from modern animé-styled fighting games, like Dragon Ball FighterZ, and 3D fighters, like Tekken.
In those games, controlling time and understanding how long it takes a move to come out and to end is more important. A combination of factors (slower walk speeds and shorter-ranged attacks) mean that Street Fighter V tends to want players to stay up close. Players are encouraged to try to maintain their advantage, making sure that any gap in their offense is small enough that any attempt for their opponent to fight back is easily punished.
While Street Fighter V can be fun, we wouldn’t mind if Street Fighter 6 went back to how Street Fighter II played. Beyond being much closer to the series’ roots, space-control-based gameplay is also much easier to grasp. The amount of space each move controls can easily be seen—no more spending countless hours pouring through charts and animation frames.
Making Street Fighter 6 play more like Street Fighter II would make both series veterans and newcomers happy, which is a win-win in our book.
3. More gameplay modes
Let’s face it, fighting games give players very little to do outside of their core competitive modes. While this may be fine for competitive players, the more casual crowd needs a bit more to do.
Before fighting games had online play, most developers would add unique modes to their fighting games’ home console ports. These included RPG-like modes where players could level up their characters and even cooperative modes that pit two players against a boss.
Eventually, as online play became more common, these modes were phased out.
While the change was understandable—fighting games are a multiplayer genre after all—it would hurt to bring these modes back. These would give more casual players things to do beyond getting beat up by veterans online. Beyond that, they could also be a way to teach them how to play fighting games.
Fighting games are admittedly hard to learn, especially for new players. But using fun modes to prepare newer players to eventually go up against other players online.
4. A more comprehensive training mode
Once a player decides to take their game to the next level, the most obvious step is to go into training mode. Now make no mistake, Street Fighter V‘s training mode is quite competent, especially with all that’s been added to it.
That said, other games have since caught up and added even more features.
Games like Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R on Steam even allow players to step into a replay of another match. This lets them put themselves in another player’s shoes, seeing how they would do in specific situations from live matches.
Meanwhile, some indie fighters like Skullgirls have a slow-motion option in their training modes, allowing players to practice difficult combos at a more comfortable pace.
If we had our way, Street Fighter 6 would add these and more to the features already found in Street Fighter V. This would give it one of the most complete training modes in any fighting game.
5. A decent-sized starting roster
Characters are the core of any fighting game. This is something Street Fighter V stumbled on when it launched in 2016. Back then, the game came with only 16 characters. This was a paltry number compared to the 44 found in Street Fighter IV‘s final incarnation, Ultra Street Fighter IV.
With Street Fighter V‘s cast eventually growing to 45 characters with DLC, it would be a mistake to once again reduce Street Fighter 6‘s to what the former had at launch.
In addition, recent releases, such as The King of Fighters XV (which launched with 39 characters), have raised the bar when it comes to launch rosters.
With this in mind, we’re hoping for a roster that’s at least in the mid-20s. Not only does this allow the game to stack up more favorably to both its predecessors and its rivals, it also gives players more options. More characters means more chances for players to find one that gels with them after all. This will help ease the transition to the new game, especially for those whose main characters don’t make the cut.
6. Guest characters from other Capcom franchises
In the genre’s 1990s heyday, Capcom released a plethora of fighting games, covering various niches and styles. Those days are gone and it’s difficult for any company to support more than one fighting game franchise.
But that doesn’t mean that the characters from those games should remain forgotten. Instead, Capcom could help keep them alive by adding them as guest characters in Street Fighter 6.
Now Capcom has already set a precedent for this. Last year saw the release of Akira from Rival Schools as a DLC character for Street Fighter V. Admittedly, this was easy as Rival Schools had some nebulous links to the Street Fighter canon. But Capcom has been more than willing to do canon-busting crossovers before.
In addition, Capcom has already shown its willingness to do crossover content with Street Fighter V. They’ve released more than a few crossover costumes referencing games like Darkstalkers and Star Gladiator that game. It’s now time to take this to the next logical step—bringing the characters from those games as guests in Street Fighter 6.
Doing so would help Capcom celebrate its storied history with the fighting game genre. Beyond that, it could help raise awareness for these characters and the franchises they hail from, possibly helping them get re-releases or even new releases in the future.
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