Episode 485: Street Fighter VI’s New Characters Aren’t All That New


Well, the Street Fighter VI beta playthrough has been over for a while now. While I would’ve loved to be a playtester for the game, Capcom didn’t send me a code! I’m pretty miffed by that but, seeing as I’m just a lowly blogger from a lowly geek site (in a 3rd world country, no less!), I basically had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting one. Shame on me for keeping my hopes up. Sigh. Oh, well. I guess I just gotta be content watching all of the lucky shmucks who got to play the Street Fighter VI beta, which were a lot.

Apparently, it looks like Capcom might have made a mistake regarding who to send the code to as another set of leaks came regarding the characters who aren’t even in the demo! It turns out Capcom already recorded a bunch of lines for the commentator’s tracks, wherein they talk about specifics like their moves and special attacks. Someone managed to data mine the game and extract these recordings and put it out on the Internet for all to see! Nice job, Capcom!

Some of the comments by the commentators are hardly surprising. I mean, Blanka has different Rolling Attacks? Cammy has a Cannon Spike? Dhalsim can spit out Yoga Fire? We knew these returning characters would bring their old moves with them as well. What did find shocking were the recorded comments for the supposedly new characters. That’s because, well, they don’t exactly feel new.

To illustrate my point even without delving into the leaked audio, let’s talk about one of the new characters who was playable in the closed beta, Kimberly. Kimberly is a spry ninja in training who uses her speed to try an overwhelm her opponent. She has a great upward moving spinning kick which can be used as an anti-air. She also has a command dash which can end in different kicks. She also has an airborne command throw. If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Kimberly is a pretty close copy of Guy, which does make sense since she is his student.

It doesn’t end with Kimberly because a lot of the new additions to the roster could be thought of as replacements for certain older characters. Even based on some character descriptions from the original roster leak, you can tell they did kind of recycle some fighters but just repackaged in a new body or some sort.

Take newcomer Lily for example. She’s a tiny native American Indian so you might think her moves would revolve around her speed or she would use her weapons to give her some additional range with her buttons. Well, based on the audio commentary for Lily, it turns out she’s more like a grappler with a lot of mobility. Yeah, she doesn’t look the part, but with moves talking about snatching them up and slamming them down to the ground with moves like the Mexican Typhoon, flying around the field with moves like the Condor Dive and taking out jumpers with a Tomahawk Buster.

Don’t those moves sound familiar? Well, that’s because Lily is using the special attacks made famous by her father, T. Hawk! So, while she may be much smaller than her father, it does seem like Lily is kind of Street Fighter 6’s version of T. Hawk as she does have all of her father’s special moves.

Another example would be Manon. While all of her moves are in French, the audio commentary does reveal a few choice details about how Manon should play like and how similar she might be to another former Street Fighter character. The commentator track mentions how Manon, while being stylish, is trained in Judo and she is very proficient at using command throws. The audio also mentions how Manon has long legs and can unleash some damage with them, probably with something like a step-in kick.

This sounds suspiciously a whole lot like another Street Fighter veteran, Abel. In fact, her outfit in the leaked character roster makes it look like she’s paying homage to Abel as the color schemes are suspiciously similar. The audio files don’t really mention Abel or if Manon even knows him, though. However, based on the fact she’s a grappler and knows Judo, I wouldn’t be surprised if she plays very similar to him.

Am I saying Capcom has become creatively bankrupt and are just reusing the special moves from previous fighters from the earlier games? No, it’s not exactly that. While Kimberly does have a similar movelist to Guy in a lot of aspects, she does have a couple of unique moves like the Shuriken Bomb, which oddly enough feels a lot like Ibuki’s Rokushaku Horokudama, which is her V-Trigger 1. She does have a pseudo teleport move, which is her most unique move. Even with Manon and Lily, the recorded commentary tracks to mention some kind of mechanic inherently distinct to only them. So I hardly think they’ll play like exact copies of who they’re mimicking.

Besides, I would think having to develop a totally new character from scratch and make them totally unique from other older characters is tough because, well, there have been so many characters who have already appeared in previous Street Fighter games. There’s bound to be some crossover even when you think you have a fresh new creation. I also believe some familiarity with how a character plays would be very beneficial for veterans as they already have some prior knowledge on how they’re going to play. It just becomes more of figuring out how to use these old moves to fit the new game.

While I do understand all of this, there is a small part of me that’s still disappointed because I do love it when Capcom does try to introduce someone new. If they stuck to recycling character archetypes and didn’t take the risk of making someone totally new, we wouldn’t have gotten some fan favorites like Fei Long, Makoto, Dudley, C. Viper and, yes, Juri. Can you imagine a Street Fighter now without Juri? Sure, no one really plays her that much but she’s still a strong fan favorite!

There is still hope as, despite the leaks, it’s still hard to tell how the rest of the newcomers will play. We still don’t have any concrete information on what JP’s moves will be like or how Marisa’s Super Armor unique mechanic will work. So, maybe, just maybe, Capcom did pour all of their creative juices into these new characters.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.


What do you think of Street Fighter 6’s new characters? Let me know in the comments section below!


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