Street Fighter 6 World Tour Mode is everything I love about fighting games

Capcom /
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Enter Street Fighter 6

I loved Street Fighter IV so much. My friends and I played it all the time. The characters were fun and the art style was a great look. When SFV came out I lost all interest. The game mostly catered to the online crowd, the single player stuff was incredibly slow paced and weird, and the vast majority of the female characters looks like the kind of stuff you get if you search a female game character on Google with the safe search turned off. Even the characters who were still in high school were hyper sexualized. It was just weird.

When Street Fighter 6 approached I thought nothing of it. I hadn’t played a fighting game in a good long while. It wasn’t really on my radar. But as it came out a LOT of my friends started hitting me up, asking me if I picked it up yet. One friend who knows me very well said, “Get it, I keep playing this game and mentally saying ‘Eric would love this’.” So I got it and, wow, it did not disappoint.

Sure the online mode is absolutely filled with a million people playing Street Fighter like high school football players who think they have a chance at the NFL, but the single player mode is a thing of beauty. Most of all the World Tour Mode.

I’m finally talking about the World Tour Mode, thank you for your patience.

The World Tour Mode is the kind of thing the scope of which I haven’t seen in a single player fighting game experience since the aforementioned SoulCalibur 3 dropped on the PS2 back in 2005 stealing my heart.

In Street Fighter 6’s World Tour Mode, you’re introduced to Luke, a character introduced in the previous game who runs a “security company” and trains fighters including yourself. When I say “yourself” it’s because it’s a character you make from scratch yourself, using one of the most complex character creation tools I’ve seen in years. You can make whatever you want, a gleaming cyborg, a demonic fighter, a femme fatale, a youthful combatant. Or, you can go the route I did and make yourself. In my case, an overweight, six-foot-one, graying 42 year old with minimal muscle definition.

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During this mode your character goes on a quest in which various long-running Street Fighter characters (and the weird new ones) can be your mentor. Focusing on their fighting style allows you to come up with your own move set. My character currently has the fireball and double kick of Dee Jay, the upper cut of Luke, and the electric shock of Blanka. You can even pick your fighting stance from any of your mentors. This determines the speed and strength of your standard punches and kicks.

You also throw on various types of clothing which change your stats. Why my kicks become stronger if I’m wearing a backwards ballcap makes NO sense but I’ll take it. I love customization.

The mode features a lot of really cool looking cutscenes, usually classic characters absolutely dunking on newcomers.

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There’s also a treat for long time Capcom fans. Two, actually.

Some of the characters you’ll encounter in this mode are exclusive to this mode and feature a LOT of familiar faces. For example, while you’re in Metro City (yup, from Final Fight) don’t be surprised if you run into the boss of the first stage from Final Fight.

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You can also find arcade cabinets with old Capcom games in them as well as occasionally finding game chips from merchants allowing you to play old Capcom games at any time from the main menu. No microtransactions, just free games. It reminds me a lot of the joy of finding a buried NES in the early Animal Crossing and using it to play Legend of Zelda.

My favorite bit about the story mode is that it absolutely embraces what makes fighting game stories weird. You’re in a world where everyone is down to throw down. Some dude in a suit hustling to work? He’ll make time. That woman in athletic gear eating pizza? Let’s go. A mime entertaining a crowd? Put him in an invisible coffin.

You’ll encounter gangs of ruffians that wear boxes on their head. Lions in armor. You’ll have a dance session with Dee Jay. Help Blanka make up a cryptid in his hometown in order to drum up more business while ignoring the fact that he, himself, is a cryptid. You’ll battle super tall ballerina men, hot dog vendors, fire breathers, and more. And with the fact that all these NPCs can use different fighters move sets as well you never know what you’re going to get into other then a lot of fun.

Seriously, if you miss the golden days of fighting games with wealths of single player fun this is such a return. I’ve been getting nothing but serotonin out of this game and I think you will too. Street Fighter 6 is out now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S and Steam.