Photo Credit: CAPCOM
Since their heyday in the ‘90s, fighting games have always had steep learning curves. The director of Street Fighter 6, Takayuki Nakayama of Capcom, stated in an interview with Oricon News that he believes fighting games declined in popularity during the 2000s in part due to their high skill barrier. He also goes on to say that while it feels exhilarating to win against another player, the demoralizing effect of losing may have driven people away. He plans to change that with Street Fighter 6.
The first and foremost is the introduction of a selectable Modern control scheme in addition to Classic. With Classic, players control their characters just like in previous entries. Traditionally, the way to do a Hadouken with Ryu or Ken, is to input down, down-forward, forward any punch button. When using the Modern control setting, a Hadouken is as simple as pressing the Special Move button. Press it in combination with a direction and you can get several additional special moves. Nakayama states, “I don’t think you need to enter difficult commands to do something amazing.” One perfect example of this is the ability to do a combo by pressing one button repeatedly.
Grizzled fighting game veterans need not worry that Modern controls will over-simplify the game however. While the new system will level the playing field between old hands and new, it comes at a cost. When using Modern controls, players will do less damage in comparison to Classic. Making special moves and combos easier to do won’t negate years of knowing what to do in a neutral state, when not to press a button, and understanding frame data. Nakayama himself believes the skill gap between experienced and new players isn’t going anywhere,
“…I think that people who have been playing for a long time have an absolute advantage. It's not just about the system and the controls, but there are also parts that have an absolute advantage, such as reading each other's moves, experience, and mentality.”
But now, at least, newcomers won’t feel at a disadvantage when trying to pull off complicated special moves.
The other part of Nakayama’s answer to making Street Fighter 6 more accessible lies in fixing crucial mistake committed by Street Fighter 5 during its launch. When it came out without a single-player story mode, newcomers and fans alike were perplexed and the game received a cold reception. For fighting game veterans, they could look forward to online play against other experienced competitors. Players new to the genre however didn’t stand a chance and had no story mode to get invested in the characters and practice.
Street Fighter 6 will launch with a World Tour mode, a single player experience that players can enjoy alone by themselves without stressing about facing other players. In World Tour, players can create their own fighter, cherry picking special moves they want to use and customizing their appearance. From there, they can enter the Battle Hub and challenge other players once they feel comfortable. If players don’t feel up to it, they can stay in World Tour mode and enjoy the story and characters.
By introducing selectable control types and launching with a story mode featuring a customizable fighter avatar, Street Fighter 6 looks to be the most accessible entry into the series yet.
Street Fighter 6 launches June 2, 2023.
Wallace is a long-time PC gaming nerd that is slowly being pulled into the world of consoles. His genres of choice are fighting games, immersive open worlds, platformers, and turn-based strategy games.