Street Fighter 6’s World Tour is worth the price of admission alone

I’m not good at fighting games. I never have been, ever since Street Fighter II on the SNES was my first real contact with them way back in the day. But hearing that Street Fighter 6 would have an extensive single-player mode, known as World Tour, got me more interested to try the new game than literally anything about the overall fighting engine.

And you know what? I was right to be excited. So far I haven’t touched Street Fighter 6’s “real” game, but I’ve been having a great time with World Tour. And, if and when I beat World Tour, I feel like I could quite easily set aside Street Fighter 6, not play any other part of it and feel like I had my money’s worth. At the same time, I also feel like World Tour is designed specifically to gradually teach me about all the key elements of Street Fighter 6’s gameplay one at a time, and help me build the confidence to play normally. And I probably will — at least a bit.

Street Fighter 6

For the unfamiliar, Street Fighter 6’s World Tour mode sees you creating a custom avatar with an admirably comprehensive character creator, then hitting the mean streets of Metro City, setting of Capcom’s famous genre-defining beat ’em up Final Fight. As the story begins, you’re joining a training program run by a local security service, and your instructor is Street Fighter 6 cover boy Luke. He gets you up to speed with the basic controls, and then helpfully informs you that the best way to fulfil your stated goal of “becoming stronger” is to go out into the town, kick the shit out of people and perhaps uncover a few stories along the way.

The narrative setup for World Tour is, not to put too fine a point on it, absolute dogshit — it’s your typical “I WANT TO BECOME STRONGER!!” nonsense — but honestly, that doesn’t matter. World Tour is not here to be a profound reflection on today’s society, our tendency as human beings to turn to violence to solve our problems or anything too deep. It’s supposed to be a thoroughly silly, enjoyable, escapist romp where you can let off some steam, have a bit of fun and hang out with some famous Street Fighter characters.

One nice thing about World Tour’s setting is that, despite not really offering any particular commentary on the state of today’s society, it does clearly acknowledge the world we live in. If there’s something you find particularly irritating about today’s world — such as the obsession with putting avocado on everything, or people who live for social media rather than themselves — then chances are you’ll find it referenced somewhere in World Tour mode. And, best of all, you can usually punch something related to said trend right in the face. There’s even a mime hanging out that you can repeatedly assault.

Street Fighter 6

The funny thing is that World Tour doesn’t present Metro City as a crime-ridden dystopia, even though it is obvious that the city is a real mess; rather, it presents it as a colourful, varied landscape where people are quite happy to engage in fisticuffs as a means of greeting one another in the street.

It’s a land where escaped robotic vaccum cleaners roam the streets, waiting to explode at some passer-by’s ankles. It’s a world where a drone passing overhead might be carrying someone’s dinner, or it might be equipped with heavy weaponry waiting to take down random targets. It’s a world where suit-clad salarymen, fed up with their lot in life, take to the streets alongside food delivery drivers to pound their frustration into their potential clients’ squishy bits.

Despite what you might assume from its overall aesthetic — particularly in its marketing — Street Fighter 6 actually tends to eschew a “gritty urban” feel in favour of a setting that, although relatable in some ways, is clearly fantastical in nature. And it really works! Rather than Metro City’s violent streets feeling depressing and exhausting to explore, they’re fun and exciting. On more than one occasion, I actually had strong flashbacks to vibrant, colourful urban settings of the past — with the one that sprang most frequently to mind being the sadly defunct MMO City of Heroes.

Street Fighter 6

This wasn’t just an aesthetic thing, either; the way in which you wander around the city and discover foes waiting for a scrap feels quite like City of Heroes, too, particularly as every prospective opponent has a level, and the colour in which that level is presented to you gives you an idea of how likely you might be to win an encounter against them. Foes with green levels are small fry, probably not worth bothering with — and pleasingly, the further you outlevel them, the more likely they are to cower in fear or run away at your approach — while yellow and orange foes present a solid challenge, and red foes are likely to smash you into next week.

Rather than offering freeform beat ’em up style combat in World Tour mode, combat instead takes place on a separate screen, RPG style. You can engage an opponent in battle in one of several ways. With random passers-by, you can simply walk up to them and ask them for a fight, in which case you both fist-bump and then get on with it. With aggressive gang members, they will chase you upon seeing you, and if they land a hit on you, a battle will begin; conversely, if you land a hit on them before engaging, using one of the Master Moves you acquire from meeting the various “real” Street Fighter characters, you will start with an advantage.

Ever since I played the earlier Dead or Alive games with their large, multi-level stages, I’ve thought that it would be fun to have an RPG or adventure game with fighting game-style combat, and Street Fighter 6’s World Tour mode confirms that I was right. The battle system is really enjoyable to engage with, and provides a good opportunity to get to grips with whichever Master’s moveset you’ve decided to work with.

Street Fighter 6

When battling small-fry thugs, you’ll often take on groups. These will approach you no more than three at a time, with others waiting in the wings until you’ve defeated their comrades. Meanwhile, “Face-Off” battles occur against major characters, and these take the form of more traditional one-on-one Street Fighter 6 battles, complete with a best-of-three structure.

Each opponent also has several special tasks attached to them, and accomplishing these tasks in battle will reward you with various item drops ranging from money and experience to exclusive treasure items that you can either sell or use to complete certain quests. These tasks are there to encourage you to try various techniques or fighting styles, and some highlight the benefits of both the Modern and Classic control schemes that are on offer for players.

Ah yes, the control scheme: one of the things I’ve found most offputting about fighters ever since Street Fighter II back in the day. Not only have I always found basic special move inputs cumbersome and unreliable to perform on a D-Pad, I’ve also always found myself a bit daunted when given six different attack buttons. Which am I supposed to use when? I have no idea, so my fights would often descend into using nothing but the Heavy Kick button, which would only get me so far.

Street Fighter 6

Street Fighter 6’s Modern control scheme, meanwhile, strikes a good balance between tactical flexibility and approachability. The six attack buttons of classic Street Fighter are replaced with just three — weak, medium and strong — and special moves are performed by pressing a dedicated special move button plus a direction, Smash Bros. style. Charge moves still require charging and situational moves still require you to be in the appropriate situation to trigger them; all the Modern control scheme does is remove the necessity to quickly perform tricky D-Pad movements.

The Modern control scheme even features an automatic combo function whereby holding down the right trigger and repeatedly pressing an attack button will attempt to perform a decent combo. While to some veterans this may feel a little like crossing a line into outright “cheating”, for newbies it’s a good means of seeing how different moves connect to one another, and how different combinations of moves can be weaved together to form a powerful string of attacks.

Essentially, what the Modern control scheme does is allow those who are less experienced in the technical side of fighting games to concentrate on the interesting bit: the tactical aspect. If you’re not fretting about which buttons to press when or how to perform specific inputs, you can concentrate on the more important matters of controlling space, observing your opponent, defending where necessary and striking during openings in your opponent’s defence. This way, there’s much less of an initial wall to get over before you can begin really enjoying the game — and World Tour helps you fill in the gaps with its specific tutorial sidequests.

Street Fighter 6

On the whole, then, World Tour is a very good way to enjoy Street Fighter 6, particularly if you’re someone who typically plays solo. There are aspects which could be better — the non-Metro City locations you visit as part of your “tour” feel rather underbaked, for one, since most of them are just a very small “room” you can visit rather than a full open-world environment like Metro City — but in the grand scheme of things, World Tour is a brilliant example of how to build a compelling single-player mode into a fighting game.

It’s not going to replace more specialised examples that provide a similar kind of experience — the Yakuza/Like A Dragon series shouldn’t be worried just yet, for example — but it’s definitely a very worthwhile inclusion in the Street Fighter 6 package, and I absolutely stand by what I say: even if you never play the “main” game of Street Fighter 6, playing through World Tour mode will leave you feeling like you’ve had a worthwhile experience. But chances are, World Tour will give you the confidence to try your hand at “real” Street Fighting anyway!

Join The Discussion

Rice Digital Discord
Rice Digital Twitter
Rice Digital Facebook

Or write us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page by clicking here!

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them. This is at no additional cost to you and helps support Rice Digital!

Pete Davison
Spread the love!

Related post

This will close in 0 seconds