My Thoughts on the Street Fighter 6 Beta

Ever since the first gameplay trailer dropped for Street Fighter 6, I’ve wanted to get my hands on it. I’ve never been particularly good at Street Fighter games; in fact, I’m willing to admit that I’m positively terrible at them. But 6 just looked so fun that I had to try it!

And now, thanks to the second closed beta, I have! I’ve gotten to enjoy plenty of matches! I even managed to win a few… out of the multiple dozen in which I got absolutely obliterated.

Win or lose, though, I was having the time of my life! I haven’t had this much fun with a fighting game since Guilty Gear: Strive came out!

Except against that one player who just wouldn’t leave me alone and kept bragging about destroying me, but that’s online games for you.

Aside from that: time of my life!

SF6 has some pretty crazy depth to its combat! When I played dudes around my skill level, we would only occasionally do cool stuff and mess around with the new mechanics. Against more advanced players, though, I got annihilated by some pretty crazy tech and long combos!

This is thanks in large part to the Drive system. This little gauge allows you to do so much, from quick dashes to extend combos to parries to the powerhouse Focus attacks from SF4. Players who can properly manage this gauge can pull of some insane stuff!

But when that gauge runs out and you’re in a burnout state? Things get real bad real fast!

Pressure in SF6 is nuts! When you get locked in the corner, you’re at risk of some truly devastating stuff; whenever my back hit the edge of the screen, my panic immediately flared up! Even when you’re not there, getting around aggressive rush-downs can be tricky; players who use their Drive well can force you onto the defensive for a long time!

Or they’ll just jump behind you while you’re parrying and back-grab you into a corner. People who enjoy mix-ups are gonna love this game.

Training mode in this game has an insane amount of stuff to play around with! You can freely manipulate just about every aspect of the game, allowing you to create your ideal learning environment for just about anything you can imagine! It’s even got frame data and other advanced fighting game jargon for people who wanna know about the numbers side of the game!

Me? I just like pressing buttons and seeing cool things happen. So… I’m gonna ignore all that stuff.

While the actual combat is fun as hell, I do have some complaints about the lobbies and the menu system. There are no menu lobbies here. If you want to get into a match, you’ve got to sit down at a terminal and wait for someone to come to you or find an open terminal and join someone else. It’s like an Arc System Works lobby!

You know. The worst part of every ArcSys game.

I get that in the full game you’ll be able to access more than just the matches in the Battle Hub. But when you just want to hop into a match, the whole process can be a huge pain in the ass. Not to mention that when you disconnect from a game, you’ve got to start the whole thing over again. You can’t even chill in training mode until you’re at the god damn terminal!

The menu was a big hassle as well. For example: I wanted to switch from the new Modern controls (which are fine) to the Classic controls (which is what I prefer). You’d think that would be in the options menu. But no. You need to go into your online profile, select the playable character, and set their controls to either Modern or Classic. And you need to do that with every single character. And no, you can’t change from Modern to Classic during gameplay, even if you’re just playing around in training mode.

I get the feeling this won’t be a problem when the actual game comes out. There were menu options that clearly will do what I wanted the menu to do. But for some reason, they weren’t available for use in the beta. So… hopefully this problem doesn’t stick around.

Proper matchmaking would be nice, too. After being bullied by someone who was way better than me – and way more toxic than just about everyone on the server – I’d prefer to at least have some options to help avoid that. Again: it’s an online game, toxic players are to be expected. I’d just like to have some capability in limiting the field to players near enough to my own skill level.

You know, I’d like to be able to play the game, not just watch my poor character get annihilated because I’m a filthy casual.

On that note, let’s talk characters. I tried just about everyone (except the charge motion characters; sorry Chun-Li and Guile, I will never like you) and they were all a ton of fun to play! I particularly like Ken and Luke; rushing enemies down and throwing out flaming uppercuts was always a good time! I can’t wait for the day I get to try out the full cast!

So… when the game comes out, probably.

Overall, this beta gave me high hopes for Street Fighter 6. It had some issues, but those were small and plenty forgivable. The game is insanely fun to play, plain and simple! It’s the most fun I’ve had with a fighting game for a very long time!

And it only comes out in… June?! I could be dead by then! And Final Fantasy XVI comes out that same month! What am I supposed to do, not play that one?!

Curse you, Capcom and Square, for both giving me exactly what I want!

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