Street Fighter 6 has finally gotten its gameplay reveal at the June 2022 State of Play. After a visual reveal months prior, fans are so happy to finally see some actual gameplay, and the “Street” in Street Fighter has never been more apparent with this trailer’s heavy focus on Metro City. The fighting shown is also quite fast-paced and exciting.
There’s still plenty that fans are waiting to see, however. Street Fighter V might be a great game now, but it was not when it launched. Furthermore, there are certain things in the trailer (like the open-world elements) that worry gamers. If Street Fighter 6 wants to bring things to the next level, these are improvements that need to happen.
Better Rollback Netcode
One of the biggest topics right now in fighting games is rollback netcode. Most fighters used delay-based netcode, which makes online experiences rocky. Rollback helps streamline online experiences and fans hope it will appear in Street Fighter 6.
V did receive a patch to improve its netplay with rollback, but this was not received universally positively. Additionally, it was only patched in after fans released their own unofficial version. Therefore, it is essential that SF6 has good online play from the beginning. If it hopes to compete with other fighters, it needs it.
More Single-Player Modes
When Street Fighter V launched, it had a paltry amount of single-player content. This would be gradually rectified, but it still lacks a lot of panache. Training mode does not have a lot of standard features, for instance. Additional options for frame and input tracking would go a long way.
V had a pretty unique take on arcade mode based on various games throughout the series. Fans hope this will return but be accompanied by a more classic arcade ladder as well. With the addition of the World Tour mode in 6, a mission mode would also make sense. Score-based minigames would also be a welcome addition.
Street Fighter III Content
Street Fighter 6 is implied to be the latest game in the timeline. Previously, that was Street Fighter IIIwith its sequels positioning themselves closer to II. This hasn’t been explicitly confirmed, but it’s heavily implied by the appearance of Li-Fen and the hip-hop soundtrack. These were big elements of IIIand fans hope to see even more of the underrated classic.
There is a leaked roster that features a lot of returning characters, but none from III. This is disappointing for fans who really hoped Makoto would return. The gameplay does appear to be taking more beats from III than II, which is good, as it’s one of Capcom’s best arcade games. It is possible that more elements from III will appear eventually.
When it comes to online play, it’s not just the connection that needs improvement. Being able to pick up a match could use some tweaks. Currently, it’s hard to just jump into matches in Street Fighter V. Players must navigate through a confusing series of menus first.
Even after they do that, they must navigate V‘s odd “rival system.” It should really be a lot simpler to connect with friends online than having to call for “rival lobbies.” Even in quickplay, the lobbies can be frustrating, as they’re not split between skill levels. Fixing these problems would be a major improvement.
Reduced Input Lag
A lot of the common requests for improvements are wanted by all hardcore Street Fighter fans. Even minor things can impact the fun of playing and nobody wants a repeat of Street Fighter V ‘s launch. One of the biggest yet under-shared problems with the launch was input delay. It was massive when the game was released, sometimes getting up to 10 frames lost on input.
Input delays can be a really big issue for fighting games. This is especially true when multiple types of controllers can be used, like the fight sticks that Street Fighter helped pioneer. Some fighting game series never patch out their input delay, and some, like Super Smash Bros Ultimate, never fix their delay. If SF6 wants to improve relationships with hardcore fans off the bat, it needs no delay.
Better Story Mode
SFV Initially lacked a lot of single-player options that were added in later updates, and this included a large story mode that finally saw the defeat of iconic Street Fighter villain M. Bison. This was a major event several games have been building toward. Unfortunately, the story mode was criticized for poor writing and odd framing.
For instance, Street Fighter had built up a conflict between Ryu and his inner darkness, the Satsui no Hado. In V‘s story mode, he simply overcomes this offscreen. This awkward lack of storytelling for so many big plot developments was very controversial. Given the new World Tour mode, improvements to the plotting and pacing would be a welcome improvement.
More Online Modes
It can not be understated how important connectivity is for a fighting game these days. Street Fighter is not the worst online fighter, but it could stand to improve. V only really has casual and ranked online modes, and it could definitely benefit from some additional options, like team battles or tournaments.
V also lacks an online training mode between matches, which several of its competitors have. It lacks true incentives for playing online besides Fight Money. If Street Fighter can add in these extra features, it will see a big improvement.
Street Fighter V featured a ton of costumes and other DLC. These were fun bonuses that definitely offered fun fanservice for a small fee. However, some fans thought this was too much, as they’d rather earn the in-game costumes. The game did feature an in-game currency called “fight money,” but the whole thing smacks of microtransactions.
It’s not just cosmetics; full characters were also locked behind these paywalls. While this DLC would be packaged with special editions, early adopters had to constantly pay for content in a game lacking it. While some microtransactions are fine, fans would hope that 6 moves away from this formula. It would be an improvement and remind players of fighting game glory days.
Video game loading screens were practically nonexistent in the 90s. If someone finished a round of Street Fighter II, they did not have to wait long to get back into the action. But with the advent of pretty HD graphics, that has changed. Waiting for rounds to restart in modern fighting games can take an eternity.
This wasn’t any different in Street Fighter V. Loading screens are some of the biggest mood killers, forcing the player to wait when they want to wail. Street Fighter 6 may look pretty, but it needs to solve this problem. This improvement would put it leaps ahead of the competition.
Not Feel Like Street Fighter II Again
Street Fighter II is one of the finest fighting games ever made and it invented a lot of the genre’s best tropes. However, IV and V both modeled themselves heavily on II. Most of the roster of 6 still consists of characters from II. Fans are sick of the focus on SFII and if Street Fighter truly wants to improve, it needs to move on.
Capcom wants to redefine what it means to be a fighting game. It’s an admirable goal, but one they can not accomplish if the game still looks like one from the 90s. The art style is doing a great job of differentiating it and the game is introducing plenty of new characters as well. These are good steps, but only time will tell if these are enough.
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