The Street Fighter 6 Demo was More Enjoyable than Expected

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d play the Street Fighter 6 demo. For my household, this game is an automatic buy, so I figured that I’d just play when we got it. But, upon hitting a lull over the weekend, and feeling that itch for a little something different from all the turn-based mania of Persona 5 Royal, I went ahead and downloaded the demo onto our PS5. I didn’t know what to expect, only knowing that it showcased a little of its open-world mode; and I was sure it’d have at least a little traditional “versus” action, too. What I got was a nifty, compact, and of all things, new Street Fighter experience.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical when Capcom announced that Street Fighter 6 would include some sort of open-world setting alongside its traditional story, versus, arcade, etc. modes. I mean, it’s a fighting game. That’s what you do in them: fight. Yes, some of them include character backstories, cut scenes, and little bits of plot, too, but Dragon Age: Inquisition they are not. Upon launching the demo, I was met with three options: the open, story-driven World Tour, the online Battle Hub (not operational in the demo), and the Fighting Grounds with a few playable options, namely versus mode. World Tour was my first stop.

Hello and welcome?
(PlayStation 5 capture, © Sony, Capcom)

The first stop in my Street Fighter 6 World Tour was meeting Luke, my trainer, who quickly directed me to identify myself. This led straight into the character creator…a very impressive character creator, no less! As much as I love me a good character creator, I didn’t expect this one to go into such detail. It contained options for every last little thing, from body styles to eye colors to scars and tattoos. And the range of options within options was remarkable, from fine-tuning color choices to tweaking muscle settings. With too many choices at-hand, I ended up going with a mostly stock but slightly altered character I named Vash. She suited just fine.

Vash has no time for Luke’s “games.”
(PlayStation 5 capture, © Sony, Capcom)

The game’s next surprise came when I started the tutorial, which introduced a new, streamlined control scheme. The game assured me that I’d be able to switch over to the classic Street Fighter layout in the full game, but for the World Tour demo, only its “modern” scheme was available. Well, okay then. In it, light, medium, and hard attacks were slightly remapped and special moves attached to the typical quarter-, half-, full-turn analog stick/d-pad controls were mapped to individual button presses.  Unexpected, yes; and I didn’t thoroughly hate it, yes; but throughout the demo, having to keep my street-fighter muscle memory at bay didn’t do me any favors. But, I made it through, and y’know what, it was really fun. I battled both set and random characters, and the tiny bit of Metro City (the game’s setting) that I got to see was pretty enough. Aside from fighting, missions included purchasing and using both food and clothing, and I could definitely see myself becoming a Street Fighter shopaholic, of course.

Though my time in the World Tour was short, it provided a good taste of what was to come, and I’m now far more interested in playing that mode than I was before. But, the “real game” happened in the Fighting Grounds, which is where I headed next. Once there and in the versus mode – the only playable option – the game automatically put me in another tutorial with new guy Luke at the helm, but this time I had the option of choosing my control scheme. That’s where I noticed that game had introduced a third control scheme called “dynamic.” Having been out of the loop, I didn’t know anything about it, and I didn’t try it out. It sounded like a mode that invited less player interaction and more AI involvement. Interesting, but I went with the ol’ standby classic mode.

(PlayStation 5 capture, © Sony, Capcom)

I played versus using both Luke and Ryu, and if I discovered anything new during the process, it’s that I don’t think I like the PS5 DualSense controller for fighting games. Having not played any fighting games on the PS5 since obtaining it, the thought had never occurred before. But, as I was going through the demo, and especially once I picked the classic control scheme, using the controller became more and more uncomfortable. I mean, I love the controller otherwise, but over the course of playing, the buttons began to feel mushy and my hands grew tired quickly. This is what made me go and do something rather rash: download the demo onto my Xbox Series S.

Over on the Xbox, the demo was no different, and I didn’t expect it to be. This experiment was solely about the controls. As it’s up in the air as to which game home system gets Street Fighter 6, I wanted to see if I liked the game’s controls any better using the Xbox controller. I went through the same motions as on the PS, playing through the World Tour using the modern scheme and versus with the classic scheme, and what did I find? Playing with the Xbox controller was better, but not by much. On the plus side, its buttons, especially the d-pad, felt snappier and more responsive. On the downside, it wasn’t any more comfortable than the DualSense. This is personal preference speaking, since my evolution with fighting games and controllers went from Nintendo to PlayStation. I recall playing very few fighting games on any of Microsoft’s boxes; though I did, at one point, have an Xbox-style controller for the PlayStation 3, which I did occasionally use to playing fighting games. But, I always turned back to the ol’ PS sticks. They are what I’m used to, and if we do end up getting the game on the PS5, I guess I’ll get used to the DualSense. Vice versa if we go with getting on the Xbox.

Despite this very personal quibble, I’m looking forward to playing the heck out of Street Fighter 6’s World Tour whenever the game makes its way into my library. And sure, I can’t wait to get in on some new versus/arcade action, too. The game looks gorgeous, and it maintains the Street Fighter traditions that veterans know and love, while also introducing ways to make the game make more accessible to new folks. I don’t know what the lasting appeal of its new World Tour mode may be, but I imagine that replayability will play a large role, as it sounds like one will be able to craft characters in ways well beyond just looks. Whatever the future holds from Street Fighter 6, it seems sure to be a bright one.

Lede image captured by author during PlayStation 5 gameplay of Street Fighter 6 demo (© Sony, Capcom).

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jose Ole says:

    Does it have airblock? After playing Darkstalkers and the Vs series (xmen vs sf, mvc3, tatsunoko vs capcom, etc) coming back to basic street fighter with sf4 has been a huge letdown (SF alpha 3 was pretty good though). Seriously just give us Darkstalkers 4 or Capcom vs Capcom already. Until then GG Xrd will have to fill the void (Strive is ok, but I’ve already unlocked all the trophies so there’s not much else to do with it unless certain friends come over, and there aren’t even proper arcade endings. I honestly put more hours into missing link just to see endings and Justice’s badass intro). Oh well, back to Capcom fighting collection to play Vampire Savior for the 1000th time (how is this game still being ported 20 years later and it’s still a blast to play? Like the skyrim of fighting games)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Nope, no airblock in SF6, at least as far as I could tell in the demo. That was never a thing in the mainline SF games, only Alpha (maybe that’s why you liked it!) and Marvel v. Capcom, which is a fantastic series. (Except for Infinite — what a dud.) I would love to see the true, next gen return of either/both Marvel v. Capcom or SNK v. Capcom, they had some of the best PS2-era fighters going. I have a little experience with Guilty Gear (Xrd Sign) and BlazBlue — good stuff — but that’s about it outside of SF and MK.


  2. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    I was excited for Street Fighter 6 before playing its demo, which I recounted here on Virtual Bastion. After playing it, I REALLY can’t wait for its release on June 2nd!


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