Capcom has announced new characters for Street Fighter 6 almost monthly since the next installment in the series was announced. After a period of showing off that early build (featuring Ryu, Chun Li, Luke, and newcomer Jamie) at trade shows, we’ve now had a chance to get our hands on the new challengers. Guile, Juri, another newcomer Kimberly, and the recently announced Street Fighter legend Ken are now playable, each showing even more creativity in combat that Street Fighter 6 seems to bring to the table.
There are also a couple of new stages. ‘Carrier Byron Taylor’, a massive military aircraft carrier named after Guile’s superior in the Air Force (one for the lore nerds), which, despite being a gigantic gray battleship, is a lively background. A large colorful flag flutters in the wind on the deck, and like Guile’s stages from previous games, there are many people watching the fight, cheering on the combatants. In fact, Guile himself appears in the background if you’re not playing as him, hands a pilot his helmet and punches him. The other, ‘Tian Hong Yuan’, is a beautiful Chinese-inspired backdrop filled with vibrant colors and lanterns that hang from anywhere that has one.
Capcom has also added two additional voices to the real-time commentary feature: Tasty Steve and, as the first ‘color commentator’, FGC royalty James Chen. If you watch competitive Street Fighter, do you hear Steve lose his mind for a particularly over-the-top moment, or do you hear James utter his trademark, “GOING TO KILL HIMSELF?” line when landing a Super is as much a part of the experience as all “Hadokens!” and “Shoryukens!”. As such, they are welcome additions to the list of commenters thus far. There are more than a few iconic voices in the FGC – it will be interesting to see which ones Capcom sees fit to include over time.
Old dogs, new tricks
However, the first here is the man of the hour: the newly announced Ken Masters. An inevitable inclusion perhaps, but an undeniable fan favourite, only with a twist on his classic design. Turns out the leaks were true: Ken has been through some rough times since Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (yes, SF3 is the ‘last’ game if we go chronologically, but that’s a whole article in itself), and now he’s working at the Metro City shipyard. The billionaire playboy is now a disheveled and unkempt man, with only the pants of his iconic red gi as an indicator of his classic look, now largely covered by a large overcoat. Despite a visual overhaul, he is very much the usual aggressive version of Ryu, more focused on the front foot than he has been in most games; they didn’t use this as an opportunity to make sweeping changes to their game plan, instead doubling down on what you expect from the character.
His V-Skill 1 move from Street Fighter 5, which allowed Ken to run to continue pressing, is now just a standard move he can perform by pressing two kick buttons, with the ability to put in a different type of kick. attack at the end of it depending on the button pressed. While in this running state, performing some of his classic special moves, like Dragon Punch or Hurricane Kick, for example, grants them some slightly different properties, though in our time with the game we weren’t able to explore this as fully as we would. I like it. It looks like this will allow Ken to dash forward and spread out combos for extra damage and keep offensive pressure on his opponent. He also has two new kick-based attacks: one that attacks forward and lets you press a button to get a medium, low, or top mix; and one that acts a bit like his Street Fighter 5 V-Reversal, a forward flying kick that pulls the opponent closer to him, again allowing for that signature offensive pressure.
Fan-favorite Juri, again, is very similar to her previous incarnations, this time playing sort of a half-and-half version of her Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5 iterations. Her core mechanic of ‘storing’ the actions of Fuha who can spend on specific moves is still around, but relies less on her than in Street Fighter 5. She always has several special moves at her disposal, and none of them require actions to access, spending a stock now extending these existing moves. in your arsenal or by giving them different properties, allowing for bigger combos and more damage. This change is huge for the character because having to make the decision between finishing a combo with more damage or finishing it with the move that adds a Fuha stock feels more like a meaningful choice – it’s not mandatory for your success, but the risk vs. reward item worth keeping in mind at all times. Oh, and she’s got her dive kick back, which is always a deadly weapon to have in this character’s toolbox.
Guile, well, this is Guile. He has his Flash Kick and he has his Sonic Booms, just like always. Right now, there’s no real “big body” character in the game, so Guile is probably the hardest hitter – it seems like all of his stuff hits like a truck. Big, meaty punches and kicks that feel super satisfying to land and a load more ‘target combos’ in his arsenal that give him more time to charge up his attacks, allowing him to hit one of his signature special moves at the end of a series of strikes. Like the rest of the list, many of his V-Skill and V-Trigger abilities from Street Fighter 5 are now just standard parts of his moveset, and his V-Trigger ‘Solid Puncher’ is now one of the three super moves. he has access and allows him to launch a blast of Sonic Booms of varying speeds.
One interesting element that we didn’t really have time to fully explore is that pushing forward and punching at the end of a Sonic Boom tackle or up and kicking when Flash Kicking at the same time gives the moves different properties, something that better players will be looking to hit consistently and it will be interesting to see how combos and damage change depending on whether you landed one of these perfect attacks.
Finally, and probably the funniest character on the current roster, is newcomer Kimberly. Disciple of Bushinryu, the martial art practiced by Final Fight and the occasional character of Street Fighter Guy and his master Zeku from Street Fighter 5, only with a flashier, street dance-influenced twist. Like her sensei before her, she has a command run that can have a low or overhead slide attack tagged at the end, as well as the ability to cancel it to fool an opponent. However, it has a brilliant new property: if you run into the opponent with the dash command, Kimberly runs towards them, jumps, and gets airdropped or dive kicked, forcing the opponent to guess or take a hit.
Kimberly also has a “normal command” attack performed with a hard, forward kick where she jumps towards the opponent and, even if she blocks the attack, bounces away from them, straight up, or even onto them, forcing the opponent back. to guess which path she will block. This will affect everyone, every time, for at least a week after launch, while people figure out the best way to deal with it! She also gains an additional benefit after she gains super level three from her, where she starts listening to the music on her portable tape player; again, unfortunately we didn’t have time to really explore the properties of this. These moves, combined with her spray bomb traps and ability to teleport (!) make her a formidable and extremely exciting character who is all about taking on the opponent and forcing them to guess over and over again. She is very funny.
It’s no surprise that the two new characters are probably the most interesting because Capcom is on a hot streak of adding really cool new characters to the Street Fighter universe. Menat, G, FANG, Zeku – they all have unique playstyles that make them stand out from the great Street Fighter V roster. Right now, the general vibe of the returning group feels like fleshed out versions of their Street Fighter counterparts. 5, but with their V-System moves and abilities fused into their standard movesets, they already feel more versatile and you can be a lot more creative. and expressive with them than you can in the previous post.
So far, the leaked roster seems to be correct, and while it remains to be seen if all of them make it to the launch lineup (which might be pretty optimistic, to be fair), there are plenty of characters that, according to our time spent on early eight, it will be fascinating to see how they combine with the new universal mechanics of Street Fighter 6. Who will be next?
Put your dukes with him best fighting games around.