Street Fighter 6 Battle Center — virtual paradise of the fighting game community

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It may be too early to call, especially when we still have a few months of 2022, but I’m already sure who is the leader in the 2023 game, and that’s Street Fighter 6.

I’ve already played Street Fighter 6, the last installment of Capcom’s 35-year franchise, so I already knew this beta was going to be special. But after a weekend spent in the closed beta version of Street Fighter 6, his Battle Hub came close to conveying this atmosphere online, and then something.

Fighting games such as Dragon Ball FighterZ and Guilty Gear Drive have already experimented with turning the lobby into a virtual space, but Capcom has gone all nine yards by creating an arcade-sized lobby for the fighting game community (FGC). Instead of looking at dull menus while you wait for the players to pick up, you create your own avatar to walk around, chat with friends, or just walk up to the closet and take your seat to spend time in training mode, or sit across from another player to challenge them.

You can still just turn on the selection of players for rating and random matches as usual, but there is something special about the fact that you can chat virtual shoulders with FGC professionals and queue up next to their office to accept the challenge. In fact, I did just that during the closed beta, and as expected, I was picked up by the former Street Fighter 5 champion Evo Problem X.

You will still want to spend time in the menu, where you can configure many parameters, such as your chosen fighter, classic or modern controls, or personalize your profile banner and the challenger screen. The most interesting thing is that some of the options are adapted exclusively for you, so the stage you choose will not necessarily be the way your opponent sees it (viewers can say goodbye to boring fights at training stages), and if you turn on in-game commentary, you can even make him always cheer for you.

Given how games effectively become social spaces, perhaps the direction of the metaverse is expected, as you complete daily tasks and earn credits that can be spent in the store to equip your avatar. But there are also nice little things, such as a large screen that tracks the winning streak of players, a stage decorated with pixel graphics in the style of Street Fighter Chibi, where you can take selfies, or cabinets where you can play classic Capcom arcade games such as Final Fight or Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo on rotation.

None of this would matter if the game itself wasn’t up to scratch. But after spending significantly more hours than just trying to figure everything out on the spot in the showroom, I appreciated the depth of the new Drive system’s capabilities, especially how to react to Drive strikes or abuse it to push opponents against the wall and stun them briefly so that I could easily perform critical art. This also included Kimberly’s players performing terrifying juggling combos with American ninja jerk and spray gun mechanics.

All this is based on the most incredible network code, in sharp contrast to the lag that spoiled Street Fighter 5. solid 60 FPS almost all the time. I even played with an opponent from Australia, where the connection was alarmingly red, and it was stable. On this solid foundation and in a paradise for fighters, Street Fighter 6 will be the best fighting game ever created by Capcom.

Street Fighter 6 is coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S and PC in 2023.

 

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