Choose Your Fighter
It should be out by now. I’ll bet it was supposed to be out by now. The Royal Rumble deal? the SNL sketch? the Korean rating? C’mon. Still, I’m not complaining about the fact that Capcom’s Street Fighter 6 is still four months away, no sir. And that’s because it’s shaping up to be an incredibly promising release. This is what happens when you allow something to bake to completion, something that Street Fighter V was most definitely not allowed to do by its fateful launch.
It’s all good, as the drip feed of information has given eager fight fans the opportunity to check out the game’s 18-strong launch roster, performing vital reconnaissance on their personal World Warriors of choice.
The World Warriors
Returning from previous Street Fighter iterations, we have some of the most iconic fighters in gaming, with veterans Ryu, Chun Li, Dhalsim, Zangief, Honda, Blanka, and Guile all present and correct. In fact, the entirety of the original World Warrior line-up is on deck, even if Ken is now rocking his all-new The Fugitive gimmick. There is, currently, no sign of any of the Shadaloo warlords, given SF6‘s place in the timeline. But we do know that a popular boss character is en route, courtesy of that notorious roster leak.
Surprisingly, of the post-Street Fighter II crew, only Super Street Fighter II stars Cammy and Dee Jay are in the mix. The Street Figher Alpha and Street Fighter III rosters have zero representation whatsoever (At least for the time being). From Street Fighter IV, only my squeeze Juri has made the cut, while the only SFV debutants are Luke (who was never supposed to be in SFV in the first place), and two leaked DLC characters. This lineup embodies the core theme that Street Fighter 6 is “Veterans vs. Newcomers”
A new New Generation, if you will.
Stepping into the Street Fighter ring for the first time, we have an array of colorful and exciting new stars. Led by the poster kid trio Luke, Jamie, and the effervescent Kimberly, SF6 offers up several characters that have already captured the hearts of cosplayers, streamers, and the fan artist community, including the lithe grappler Manon, the powerhouse that is Marisa, the wholesome and physics-defying Lily, and the mysterious JP — who may or may not be the villain of the piece.
On social media, there is a welcome sense of acceptance for all of these characters — a far cry from the arcade days of yore, when it cost mucho buckos in order to test out newcomers, and thus often saw them loitering in the shadows. And while Here Come The Cool Kids is a risky (and usually foolhardy) venture, some of these combatants have already been excitedly claimed by players — even before they’ve had a chance to check them out in person. That’s a fine omen of character variety, and one which should see SF6 get off to a great start, online and in local competition.
Me? you don’t need to ask. And I can’t wait to get back to it. But some of the youngsters have definitely caught my eye, and I’m hoping to be far more varied in my character choices than I have previously been. Street Fighter 6 is looking to allow that variety, from an aesthetic and gameplay stance, and while SFV was criticized for its single-minded “This is THE optimal combo”, new mechanics such as Perfect Parry, Drive Rush, Drive Impact, and even Burnout look to ensure that adaptation to the moment will be the key factor in the SF6 meta. Which will hopefully afford us a more varied player strategy
How do you think the roster is shaping up? And who are you hoping to take to the ring come June? Conversely, who still needs to join the roster in order to truly make you feel at one with the new sequel?
As relevant today as it ever was: Choose Your Fighter.
Street Fighter 6 launches June 2, 2023 on PlayStation, PC, and Xbox platforms. Be sure to check out the new theme song, our thoughts on its new protagonists, and the 50 things I loved in the beta