The final batch of characters for Capcom’s upcoming Street Fighter 6 was finally shown off during the most recent Sony State of Play. So now all that left is the waiting. It’s going to be a while before Street Fighter 6 is released in June so I’m hoping Capcom can really stoke the fires of anticipation by announcing a new beta test, hopefully one that’s open to everyone, before them. That’s because I can hardly wait for it because it looks sick in the nicest way possible!
Simply put, I have Street Fighter 6 on the mind so I had to find some way to release the pressure building up inside me. So, I though, why not write something about it? Since I didn’t touch the beta, I can’t give any thoughts about the gameplay or anything like that. What I can I write about? Well, as someone who’s played a lot of Street Fighter, I’ve gotten accustomed to the looks of the roster and, as there are a lot of returning fighters in Street Fighter 6, I decided to rank their redesigns. I’m going to be basing scores on both how better or worse they look from their more recent incarnation and if they look good or bad in a general sense. There’s a lot of them so I’m just going to tackle the first 6 characters released in order, which would be Ryu, Luke, Chun-Li, Guile, Juri and Ken, before moving on to the latter batch next time.
The very first character Capcom revealed for Street Fighter 6 was, of course, Ryu. He’s generally the poster boy for the franchise so it makes sense. We only got a very brief glimpse of Ryu early on as we only saw close ups of him during the teaser trailer all those months ago. We have gotten a clearer view of him since then as Ryu was one of the playable characters of the during both the closed beta tests. Street Fighter 6’s Ryu is basically a slightly modified take on “Hot Ryu” from Street Fighter 5, a design I really liked and one I think Capcom should’ve used in that game. He’s still basically the Ryu we all know but now sporting a vagabond beard and bare-chested. Street Fighter 6 adds new pieces of clothing, a haori, which looks like the one his master Gouken wears in Street Fighter 4, and very humble looking sandals made from rope. He’s still rocking the headband, though.
I have a very strong bias for this Ryu design since, as I mentioned before, it’s just Hot Ryu from Street Fighter 5 but with some half-cloak looking thing and sandals. The haori is a nice addition since it does add a little complexity to his typically boring plain look. As it’s the same thing Gouken wore, it does make it seem like Ryu has transcended a little bit from Street Fighter 5. Not quite a master yet but getting very close to it. It’s a mark improvement and it shows Ryu has finally come to his own a little more.
Rating: 8 Shinkuu Hadokens out of 10
I debated whether to add Luke here as he still feels like a brand-new character. However, he was Street Fighter 5’s final DLC character so I do have to include him in the “returning characters group. Luke’s original design in Street Fighter 5 was, well, it was ugly. He had weird proportions as his gorilla-like forearms were unsettling to see at times. He also had gaudy tattoos all over his body. Luke covers up the tats with a shirt and a hoodie, akin to what a professional fighter would wear when training in cold weather. He’s also now wearing pants instead of baggy shorts, which is a big improvement. Capcom also did away with his weird cowlick hairstyle and giving him a more pretty boy haircut for Street Fighter 6.
My problem is Capcom didn’t do enough to change Luke for Street Fighter 6. He’s still got the off-putting proportions and, in some cases, it’s worse! The Popeye forearms are still there and making him fight barefoot highlights how large his feet are. They also buffed him out a smidge but, in doing so, they made his head look a little too small for his frame. There are times when I think Capcom is totally aware of this as they made do some win poses to make him look like an actual gorilla! Luke does look better than before but he still a strange looking ugly duckling.
Rating: 5 massive forearms out of 10
Capcom did seem to do a lot of minor changes to Chun-Li’s overall look. The most obvious one comes from her outfit. She’s now sporting a more normal looking qipao and instead of dark stockings and knee-high boots, Chun-Li is wearing sensible skintight leggings and actual martial arts slippers. What did take me aback were the subtle tweaks they did with Chun-Li’s face. She still wears her signature hair buns but she looks less like an anime character now as Capcom did away with her usual big eyes and gave her more, well, Asian features all around, narrowing her eyes in the process.
Capcom still hasn’t ditched the trend of making Chun-Li’s thighs and hips as massive as they can get away with. This does destroy her proportions somewhat in Street Fighter 6 they do look awkward when she does some moves. All-in-all, however, I really do like the change in Chun-Li’s overall look. As this is after Street Fighter 3, it should look like Chun-Li has settled down from crime fighting and this more casual look suits her during this time period. It did take me a while to adjust to her smaller eyes but, once I got over it, I have to say it does word with her overall aesthetic.
Rating: 8 massive thighs out of 10
I never really understood why Guile would wear a green undershirt and Army camouflage cargo pants when he’s supposed to be in the Air Force. Capcom must’ve realized this as Guile now sports an actual full body flight suit in Street Fighter 6. He still had to show off his guns so the sleeves have been rolled up, though. I also do like how they adjusted his fighting stance here as he hunches over more like a boxer now.
Unfortunately, Guile’s most unique element, his spikey flat-top hair, doesn’t really make the transition over to Street Fighter 6 all that well. It’s too perfectly level and it kinda falls in the uncanny valley to me. It looks like he’s wearing a hat instead of sporting his actual hair. I also don’t like the addition of facial hair to his normally clean-shaven look. I think if Capcom gave him more of a five o’clock shadow, he would look better instead of the shallow mustache and goatee he’s sporting now.
Rating: 7 spikey flat-tops out of 10
In a short span of time, Juri has become one of Street Fighter’s most popular characters. No mean feat considering she first appeared in Street Fighter 4 and she’s very difficult to use effectively thanks to her Fuha mechanics. I can see why she’s well-liked, though, as her overall design is really good. Juri basically reverts to her original look from Street Fighter 4 but with some tweaks, eschewing the motorcycle racing outfit she sported in Street Fighter 5. Her pants seems to actually be skin-tight pairs them with low-cut chaps. Juri also ditched the arm sleeves she wore in Street Fighter 4, choosing to wear traditional fighter padded gloves. She also lost the eyepatch, now choosing to hide her Feng Shui Engine eye with her multicolored hair.
Juri now also chose to reveal more skin as her dudou, the teeny blouse with the spider design she wore in Street Fighter 4, is now gone and it looks like she either got a spider tattoo to cover up her naughty bits or it’s just painted on. She does cover up some of herself with a very small top with a single button hanging on for dear life to keep it from flying off. I really do love Juri’s new look as it suits the entire “evil sadistic insane girl” vibe she’s always had. The only thing I would’ve changed are her pants as I prefer the baggy pants look instead of the chaps.
Rating: 9 spider tattoos out of 10
Possibly the most radical departure from the past, Capcom is putting Ken through the wringer in Street Fighter 6. On the run for a crime he (allegedly) didn’t commit, Ken is going for a more low-key look, choosing to wear more plain looking clothes, like a shirt and sweatpants. He also now wears a big jacket, which must be useful when trying to hide your face from the cops. Ken also is now wearing safety shoes as, according to the aforementioned jacket, is working incognito at the Eagle Shipping Company and he needs the foot protection. Being on the lam seems to mean you don’t have time for grooming as Ken’s hair is unkempt and some facial hair stubble.
I really don’t like Ken’s makeover in Street Fighter 6. It’s in service of the story, sure. However, that doesn’t mean I have to like it! It just feels too un-Ken like for him to be wearing this kind of outfit. Impoverished Ken just isn’t my style. At least he doesn’t have banana hair anymore.
That’s it for now. I’ll go tackle Blanka, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Dee Jay, Zangief and Cammy next time.
What’s your favorite redesign from the returning Street Fighter 6 characters so far? Let me know in the comments section below!