Sometimes stuff comes out of nowhere and ends up being critical move forward for an entire genre. Notably Warcraft 3, while eagerly awaited, was far better, and had much more influence on future games/gaming than anyone could have expected even in a genre (RTS) that had been run through by 2003 like a 2 dollar whore.
Street Fighter 6 just may be this type of historic game in the fighting genre. I thought the hype around SF4 was great as it brought a lot of people both into and back into fighting games, especially ones that weren’t Tekken. SF5 just didn’t do it for me and I barely played it, mostly as the graphics looked actually worse to me than SF4. This version is something else.
First off, I was intimidated by the new systems (drive rush, perfect parry, etc.) but having played with people that were completely new to the game with just a few matches of play able to pick up on perfect parries and the drive rush, one can see how easy these are to start to use. Since most folks can’t even do a QCF nor a DP consistently, these are single or double tap button presses that the opponent must respond to or he will take a beating, making a newer player able to effect the match regardless of lack of other knowledge.
Second, the feel of the game, the weight of the hits, characters, effects, is simply outstanding. I’m not going out on a limb already to say that this is probably the best 2D style fighter ever made and I am not, generally, a fan of Street Fighter over King of Fighters or some of SNK’s other games (Last Blade, Samurai Shodown). SF has always been super slow to me, with very limited mobility on the screen and tons of positioning plays which just bored me compared to the much more dynamic KOF that has many different types of jumps, dodging (which makes approaching easier and faster) and a focus on fast play. No longer. SF 6 resolves ALL of those issues, making it much easier to move across the screen and engage with the other player. Fireballs and zoning are still a thing, but they are not the ridiculous spacing play that (intermediate) players suffered with in old games.
Lastly the graphics– the characters look incredible, and as we play more we will forget just how good they look, how amazing the animations and how awesome the fanservice is! It’s been very fun to see how the characters evolved as they have ‘aged’ from the original SF Alpha series where all the characters look like little kids.
Overall, not just highly recommended, but give the game a try as I very much believe SF6 is going to be considered one of the best fighting games ever made. And I leave you with some high level Chun Li, who I think so far is the strongest character in the game, but we’ll see as EVO and other tournaments hit.