Capcom has hardly had time to catch their breath this year with the release of Resident Evil 4 Remake and now, Street Fighter 6. Street Fighter 5 didn’t do so well, even as players got more acquainted with the game. So, it’s high time Street Fighter 6 made its way to fans. And so far, so good. Street Fighter 6 is peeking at Steam sales and general gamers’ community threads. It’s the talk of the town at the moment, showing early positive signs of skyrocketing the Street Fighter franchise back to its top-place spot among the greats.
Much of the high praise is attributed to the changes Street Fighter 6 makes to the franchise, to the extent that it seems like an entirely new series. As always, new characters are present. But also mega changes in gameplay and development can be seen. If you’re considering taking Street Fighter 6 out for a spin, the question of whether the game surpasses its predecessor has probably crossed your mind. Is it a better sequel? What features does it have? Should I buy it or stick to playing Street Fighter 5? Let’s unpack all of these questions.
What is Street Fighter 6?
Street Fighter 6 is the newest fighting game in the long-running Street Fighter franchise. It’s the seventh main entry that was released worldwide on June 2nd, 2023, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S platforms. Later in the year, Taito will publish an arcade version of the game.
While previous entries retained the basics of the franchise, Street Fighter 6 plays like a new game intended to represent the next evolution of the series. It does so by changing the combat system the series has been using over the years. Further, there are new additions like the all-new World Tour mode, which is a semi open world RPG adventure. As with previous entries before it, Street Fighter 6 also makes changes to the character roster and graphics, all of which add up to a fresh take on the franchise as a whole.
What is Street Fighter 5?
Street Fighter 5, on the other hand, is the fifth main entry in the Street Fighter franchise. It was released in 2016 for the PlayStation 4 and PC platforms. As well as an arcade version released exclusively in Japan in 2019.
Similar to Street Fighter 6, Street Fighter 5 also features intense head-to-head battles. Players choose from 16 iconic characters. Each fighter has a backstory that influences their personality and fighting styles.
Street Fighter 5 launch didn’t go so well, and from then on, the momentum kept going down. So, it’s definitely a treat to finally receive Street Fighter 6 with a few interesting tricks up its sleeve.
The gameplay between Street Fighter 6 and Street Fighter 5 differs completely. Sure, the core fighting mechanics remain the same. However, there are quite a number of buffs that elevate the experience in the former so much more.
Drive Gauge vs V-Gauge
Firstly, you can spot right off the bat the new Drive Gauge system in Street Fighter 6 that wasn’t present in the predecessor. Instead, Street Fighter 5 used a system called V-Gauge. The Drive Gauge is like a meter system that tracks each character’s fuel consumption during fights. The more charged the gauge is, the more access you have to a wealth of offensive, defensive, and movement techniques unique to each fighter. However, if the meter runs out, you go into “Burnout” mode, which means that your opponent stuns and takes out attacks on you without the power to defend yourself.
V-Gauge, on the other hand, allowed players to access V-Skills like landing a crush counter, removing any stun you have, or activating a special move. In comparison, the drive gauge system feels more in-depth. It’s a more eccentric way to up the ante, and certainly one of the systems fans are most excited about.
I’m pretty sure you have noticed some new fun gimmicks in Street Fighter 6. Like a bull suddenly rampaging into the arena, giant balls thrown into the battlefield, electric coils dropping from the sky, and so on. These can most definitely affect a match, where a bull could run through you, opening you up to attacks. Or, you can kick the balls at your opponent to deal extra damage. Street Fighter 5, does not have anything of the sort.
Street Fighter 6 launches with 18 characters you can choose from, while Street Fighter 5 had 16, total. Out of the 18 in the former, 12 are returning characters from precious titles, while 6 are completely brand new. Further, DLC content adds four new characters to the list. In comparison, out of the 16 characters in Street Fighter 5, 12 were returning characters, while 4 were completely new. Further, DLC content added six new characters to the list.
Interestingly, none of the four new characters added in Street Fighter 5 made it to the sequel. On the other hand, Street Fighter 6’s new additions spike more fun, including a prodigy, a graffiti artist, a French supermodel, and a judoka champion, among others.
Placing Street Fighter 5 and Street Fighter 6 side-by-side, you can notice subtle differences in the graphics. Both adopt the same aesthetic. However, Street Fighter looks more vibrant, with colorful special effects and plenty of graffiti. It’s nearly like a realistic work of art while still remaining faithful to its arcade beginnings.
The talk of the town also has the spice of the World Tour sprinkled on it. This all-new semi open world adventure adds a new experience for single players. You can freely explore a variety of street locations worldwide as the custom character you choose, engaging in impromptu battles and training under masters Ryu and Chun-Li.
Street Fighter 5’s story campaign took the individual character stories’ route. It didn’t completely stink. But it wasn’t so great, either.
Verdict: Street Fighter 5 Vs Street Fighter 6
As it is marketed, Street Fighter 6 truly represents a new era and evolution of the Street Fighter franchise. Plenty of new additions, some expected and others a complete surprise to fans, elevate the experience to another level. Street Fighter 5 played it safe. But Campcom took that and decided to overhaul much of the traditional way of doing things. And for that, we remain ever more grateful.