A few days ago the Japan Expo Paris was held, a historic festival entirely dedicated to Japanese culture. Between cosplay competitions and themed events, we took another look at the sixth chapter of the “king of fighting games” Street Fighter (here our Street Fighter 6 trial). During the fair, ample space was dedicated to a presentation of the game mechanics and performances between top players. Absolute protagonists of the panel were Luffyformer Street Fighter world champion e Mr. Crimsonwinner of the recent Red Bull Kumite in which he defeated, in a row, every Eastern and Western champion of the recent past.
While the Parisian build is basically the same one that appeared at the Summer Game Fest, this presentation allowed us to take a deeper look the mechanics of the title. Without detracting from the press officers and content creators of the American presentation, the analytical eye and learning speed of world-class players have managed to bring to light mechanics that have remained hidden until now, as well as raise issues that only clashes between competitors humans they could bring out.
A completely new approach
In each chapter of its famous saga, Capcom has decided to completely renew the combat system, inserting a new mechanic that acts as a “key to the reading” and backbone of the meetings (the parry system of the third chapter, the focus attack of the fourth, the v-system of the fifth). Street Fighter 6, on the other hand, shows that it wants to collect gameplay features from previous episodes. Behind the new “Drive” system, the Japanese developer intends to concentrate everything that made the historic series great, giving it at the same time an internal coherence that makes the clashes balanced and fun.
Here then is that the Guide Parry becomes an obvious reference to Street Fighter III, while the Drive the impact turns out to be a “revised and corrected” version of the Street Fighter 4 focus attack. Three super levels appear as in the Street Fighter Alpha series and some shots will “stun” the opponent in a similar way to how it happens with the mechanics of the crush counter by Street Fighter V. In order to be able to evaluate the solidity of a system that concentrates so many souls within it, the analysis of the video material offered in the fair context was essential. The two French players clashed in a “first to 2” (first to win two games out of three) already showing good confidence with the playful backbone of the product. The most important aspect that immediately catches the eye is the extreme importance of the “micromanagement“of the Overdrive bar, which regulates all game mechanics. In a sort of” Copernican revolution “compared to the past of the series, rather than starting with low resources and” building “them during the match, you will immediately have the entire bar and you will have to manage your resources sparingly, in order to avoid the very dangerous state of Burntwhich will significantly slow down the movements, will cause damage on parry and above all it will preclude access to any game mechanics for precious seconds.
The most frequent mistake made by these top players, obviously not yet masters of the new combat system, was precisely run into this malususing one too much enhanced special ability. For the first time in a Street Fighter, we will not only have to pay attention to the damage of our combos and the possibility of pressing the opponent’s rise (in Japanese called “okizeme”), but also to their “cost”.
Empty your Drive Gauge is extremely penalizingand often it will be preferable to give up a handful of damage in order to avoid Burnout. Capcom has managed with a single mechanic to discourage the abuse of bullets and increase the variety of combos, devising a new and interesting mechanic at the same time. The presence of many mechanics will allow a high degree of gameplay customization, while the Burnout sword of Damocles will hold the reins of a combat system that otherwise would risk becoming too “crazy” and poorly balanced. Among the many facets of the Drive system, the one that impressed us most was the “Drive Rush”, which had not been grasped the full potential during the previous appearances of the title. Inspired by Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack Dash Cancel (FADC), it allows you to cancel the recovery of any normal and special moves in a quick snap forward. At first glance, it looks like a mechanic designed to penetrate the opponent’s defense with a sudden move, but in reality it hides another implication: the first “outgoing” blow that you perform after the sprint will have properties of counter strikewhich will allow the execution of combos otherwise not achievable.
In the gameplay segment between the two pro players we have seen Mister Crimson’s Luke several times trying to successfully combine a medium punch and a strong one in crouch positionfollowing a Drive Rush. Combining the two hits would normally be impossible, and being able to do so adds an extra layer of depth to a mechanic only apparently simple. Other elements of break with the past that emerged from the presentation concern the system of sockets.
Primarily, “avoiding” a hold now will leave the contenders at a considerable distance from each other. This will prevent the “brawling” feeling of post-taken situations in previous chapters, where it was often difficult to understand which of the two characters could strike first. Additionally, throws will now also have a “counter hit” effect when used to punish a certain move. Performing a counterattack of this type, with increased damage, will produce an approach of the camera, think of the change of shot during grappling in Tekken 7. Own to the current build is the inability to use “crossup” attacks on the opponent closed in the corner. This term refers to being able to step over the opponent and hit him from behind, forcing him to change his parry.
In Street Fighter 6, this will only be possible in the middle of the screen, while the final portion of the screen seems to have a sort of “invisible wall” that will preclude the use of this option. The mechanics of the Drive Impact, on the other hand, aroused some perplexity. It is basically a very powerful attack that, upon coming into contact with an opponent’s blow, will absorb it, stunning the opponent and making him vulnerable to our combo. The blow is not parable against a corner challenger, and this could make it a little too effective and versatilealthough the game already includes a large number of responses, let’s think about parrying, jumping away or using a plug to interrupt it.
A Street Fighter for everyone
The presentation ended with the participation of the audience present in the room, made up largely of players not used to the fighting game genre and therefore curious to try the simplicity of the system. Modernwhich allows you to perform special moves with the press of a single button. Although this control scheme contains obvious limitations with respect to the version Classicalinstead designed for competitions, it could be a good way to allow newbies to approach the combat system in a light way and for fun purposes.
In fact, the bystanders were able to perform with simplicity choreographic combinations and special moves from the first game. In short, the organizers of Japan Expo, together with Capcom Europe, have managed to present the new Street Fighter in an accurate and inclusive way, allowing players of all abilities to test the adrenaline-pumping fights of Ryu, Ken and associates. The wait for the release of the new Capcom fighting game is more than justified and for our part we can’t wait to find out more information on the production, which in all probability will be disseminated on the occasion of EVO 2022, an appointment in which we hope to see also a new character in action: stay with us, because the journey has just begun.