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Shacknews Best Trendsetter of 2023 – Street Fighter 6

Capcom had some ideas for Street Fighter 5. Many of those ideas didn’t pan out the way anybody hoped. With many lessons learned from the previous generation, the publisher returned with Street Fighter 6. Instead of playing catchup with other established franchises or chasing trends from other fighters, Capcom remembered that it was Street Fighter that should be setting those trends. With that, Street Fighter 6 came to the table with some exciting new ideas that promise to change the way fighting games are made.

First off, Capcom learned from the mistakes of Street Fighter 5’s delayed Story Mode. Nobody is better at cinematic single-player storytelling in fighting games than NetherRealm. When Capcom tried this, it failed. For Street Fighter 6, the team went back to the drawing board. Instead of trying to lift NetherRealm’s storytelling style, Street Fighter 6 would introduce something entirely new.

World Tour mode would introduce a Grand Theft Auto-like open world, but set it in the Street Fighter world. Similar to Rockstar’s hit series, players could approach this mode however they wished. They could dress up their characters, take on missions, learn from fighters, flirt with fighters, or simply pick fights with anybody who looked at them funny. There’s no star system here for creating mayhem. No, if a vendor or a street performer irks you in any way, you can pick a fight with them. Even better, they’ll fight back.

When stepping away from World Tour, players can jump into multiplayer in an exciting new way. The Battle Hub represents a new social space, styled like a futuristic Japanese arcade, where players could make friends, jump into classic Capcom arcade titles, or put up their virtual quarter and take part in one-on-one battles with random strangers. It’s a novel way to approach multiplayer and provides something more engaging, more intimate, and much friendlier than the informal lobbies of the past.

We’ve already seen Street Fighter 6’s ideas start to catch on. Tekken 8, for example, has its own twist on Street Fighter 6’s ideas with the single-player Arcade Quest and its Fight Lounge lobby. Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, meanwhile, is combining an open-world-style presentation with an arcade lobby system to connect its users. Street Fighter 6 will be considered a pioneer for connecting fighting game player bases in a new way. Fighting games haven’t felt this connected since kids used to gather inside real-world arcades.

Be sure to read over the rest of the Shacknews Awards in our Year of the Games: 2023 feature.

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