Did anyone else catch that Street Fighter 6 showcase last week?

Holy shit.

Capcom dropped a video showcase for the upcoming Street Fighter 6, which detailed the various different game modes in the title. All of the usual suspects were present: a ranked ladder, casual matches, and an arcade mode. You know – the same features that every game in the genre has.

That’s not what I want to talk about though. Capcom didn’t really want to talk about those modes either. The presentation was something like 30 minutes, and all of what I just mentioned were bullet points. That’s all they needed to be. People like me, people who play fighting games almost exclusively for the pvp, don’t really need a lot of convincing to buy a new fighting game. You put out a couple trailers that showcase how cool your characters are, and we’ll put down a 100 dollar preorder.

Example: Manon has a command throw, and she taunts her opponent every time she grabs them? Shut up and take my money.

I’m not who Capcom needs to convince. I’m already aboard the hype train, and have been ever since I saw how Manon played. I can see myself playing Street Fighter 6 as her, and that’s enough to get me.

No – the people you actually need to convince are people that aren’t already pilled. The people who will buy a fighting game, and never play it online. People that will only play casual matches with their friends. People that are looking to get into their first fighting game, and are wondering if Street Fighter 6 is a good place to start.

To that end, Capcom spent quite a bit of time showing off the World Tour mode in Street Fighter 6. This mode let’s players create a custom avatar, which they’ll use to explore a variety of different open-world environments. You can fight any of the NPCs roaming around, and learn new fighting techniques as you level up. In a lot of ways, World Tour reminded me of the Like A Dragon (formerly Yakuza) titles, and I mean that as the highest of compliments.

You’ll also be able to train under the different Street Fighter characters in World Tour mode. This let’s players learn the backstory of each of the masters, and the particulars of their special moves. You can even teach these attacks to your avatar to develop a fully customized fighting style, which you can use across World Tour, and within the newly added Avatar online mode.

The other neat benefit to training under each of the masters is that some of their moves can be used to access new areas within World Tour. This adds an almost Zelda-like aspect to the game, which will provide even more incentive to train with each, and every master across your playtime in World Tour.

Key art of Chun Li from Street Fighter 6.

There’s a lot of exciting potential to World Tour from all of what Capcom chose to showcase. Obviously I can only speculate until I play the title, but it looks like Street Fighter 6 wants to be more than a good fighting game. It wants to offer content to a wide range of players, while still having the meat, and potatoes that existing fans love. World Tour appears to be a response to the common criticism that fighting games simply don’t have a lot to offer players who aren’t already interested in being online competitors. And I, for one, am all for it. I would love for more people to experience the same joy that I do when playing games in this genre. I really hope World Tour opens that door, so more people can understand why I find fighters so damn compelling.

That’s not all though – World Tour was the big ticket item during the showcase, but Capcom also spent quite a bit of time showcasing the versatility of their custom game mode known as Extreme Battle. In private lobbies, or in offline multiplayer, players will be able to setup a variety of different rulesets to play under. Some of the examples shown highlighted how matches could have hazards that would randomly spawn, or objectives like knocking the opponent down a certain number of times.

The exact level of customization isn’t known, but I like what I saw from Extreme Battle. This seems like Capcom’s answer to the popular party modes in the Smash Brothers titles. I don’t think they’ll make Street Fighter a household name in the same way that Smash Brothers is presently, but I do think that, like World Tour, custom games will help to get new players through the door.

Extreme Battle also have the opportunity to make Street Fighter 6 a better pick-up and play game then almost any other fighting game on the market. As an example, you could turn the game into lows, and throws where the win condition is to score a certain number of knockdowns from sweeps, and throws. This might sound antithetical to the experience of fighting games, but the core of what makes them tick comes from understanding what your opponent wants to do, and countering with the appropriate counter-measure. That’s still present even if you simplify the execution, and keep both players on an even footing, regardless of their prior experience.

All of what Capcom showed from Extreme Battle is so exciting to me as I regularly struggle to showcase fighting games in a positive light to my friends. My hope is that I’ll be able to use this mode to lower the barrier to entry so the appeal of Street Fighter 6 is more immediately understood. Hopefully I can light the same fire in them that I’ve had for the better part of the last decade, so they’ll join me online. Or, at the very least, get them into the game enough to where I can talk about it without having their eyes cloud over.

Manon from Street Fighter 6 attacking Zangeif with her super.

Toward the end of the showcase, Shuhei Matsumoto, the game’s director, said that the team are looking to revolutionize fighting games with Street Fighter 6. That’s a tall order, but from what they showcased, I’m hopeful that they’ll deliver on their ambitious goal. So many of the games in this genre have been designed for players like me. We’re happy with the status quo, but that won’t cut it for newer players, or those with existing preconceptions about fighters.

As it stands, we don’t know how effective World Tour, or Extreme Battle will be for opening the door to newcomers. All of these new modes are positioning Street Fighter 6 in a way where it might be able to convince players who’re on the fence to actually pick up the title. And I really hope they find what I did all those years ago, if for no other reason then it’ll give me more people to talk to about my favourite genre.

There should be a Street Fighter 6 demo featuring World Tour mode available at the time of publication on all platforms (sans Switch). If anything I’ve said has made you curious give it a whirl, and let me know what you think.