We’re just a couple of days away from the release of Street Fighter 6. To really add to the hype, Capcom invited a bunch of pros from the fighting game industry to test out what is believed to be a modified version of the Gold build of the game. As someone who is eagerly awaiting its release, I’ve been diving into the ocean of new content and details that has been released from the aforementioned pros. I’ve only heard good things from it so far, which only makes me more excited! I really can’t wait to try out the single player World Tour mode because of how expansive it looks!
That’s not to say I consider World Tour to be the main course of Street Fighter 6. No, that’s just the dessert because, like every Street Fighter game, the meat and potatoes is going to be the one-on-one fighting found in Fighting Ground. Right now, I’m not sure who I’m going to pick as my main as the one I’ve been using before, Vega/Claw, is not going to be selectable, at least, not yet anyway. I’ve narrowed it down to 4 so far: Manon, Marisa, Dee Jay and Blanka.
Blanka should’ve been a shoo-in as my main pick as he was my main pick for a while when I was having a character crisis way back in Street Fighter 4’s heyday. I know he’s hated because of all the shenanigans he could do, like doing a light Rolling Attack to get in close and then throw, do a surprise cross-up with his Backstep Rolling Attack or just mash the punch buttons to do his Electric Thunder special attack. It was just so fun to mash the punch buttons rapidly to get a special attack to come out. Well, Capcom decided mashing buttons to unleash a special attack is suddenly ridiculous apparently because Blanka’s Electric Thunder now comes out with a quarter-circle back with punch motion now.
In fact, all of the legacy characters who used to have mashing button special attacks had them changed to motions in Street Fighter 6. E. Honda’s Hundred Hand Slap is now also done with a quarter-circle back with punch motion. Chun-Li’s legendary Lightning Legs attack is performed with a quarter-circle motion with kick. This is what it was changed to in Street Fighter 5 but Capcom did make it so it could come out by mashing kick buttons. That’s fine as we’ll all adapt but I do wish Capcom gave players an option to do the classic “mash the attack button” special attack method.
Now, I do get why Capcom is making the change. Street Fighter 6 feels like a more methodical fighter from what I’ve seen, where execution of when the special attacks come out is very important to closing out combos. Mashing buttons to get a special move out is easy as even a beginner can do that. However, for pros who needs exact timing and execution to win matches, especially with Capcom planning to shell out a millions smakeroos to the Capcom Cup winner, mashing buttons is much harder than twist of the controller to do precisely.
Speaking of beginners, Capcom has certainly addressed the need for newcomers to be able to do special moves on command with the Modern Controls scheme. With Modern Controls, all players need to do is hold down a direction and press the Special attack button and the listed special attack will come out. No need for twisting the controls in one way to toss out a Hadouken or waggling the joystick in an unnatural Z-motion to do a Shoryuken. They’re all done with a simple direction and the Special button. Easy-peasy… and no need to mash the buttons to do E. Honda’s Hundred Hand Slap or Chun-Li’s Lightning Legs anymore. Modern Controls will definitely be a boon for newbies.
Even though I understand why Capcom is ditching the button mashing Special attacks as per the reasons stated above, my primitive brain which is resistant to change doesn’t like it. It just feels… weird. Mashing buttons to unleash one of those rapid fire special attacks could be called Baby’s First Street Fighter Special Attack. That’s because it usually is! Way back in Street Fighter II, I bet a lot of pros got their start by simply spamming something like E. Honda’s Hundred Hand Slap and was amazed they actually did something, well, special.
You could say Modern Controls will have that same effect but is it really the same? Would you feel the same elation of throwing your first Hadouken if all you had to do was press a single button when compared to doing the complicated process of rolling the directional pad from down to forward then pressing a punch button? I don’t think so. Doing your very first legit special attack is always going to be memorable and, for many, that would be spamming the punch or kick button. Heck, against newbies, just spamming E. Honda’s Hundred Hand Slap can take you far!
I’m not saying Capcom should ditch the directional motions they’ve implemented for these special attacks. What I’m just saying is they could just leave the option in there. I don’t think pros would really mind as I can’t see them accidentally unleashing Blanka’s Electric Thunder because the pressed the punch button too many times. Rather, I see the button mashing specials to be the gateway from Modern controls to Classic controls. Some new players may never try graduating to Classic controls because doing motions can be intimidating. Rapidly mashing attack buttons, on the other hand, is something everyone, especially newbies can do.
There is a chance Capcom will add mashing buttons to do special moves in the future but that seems to be a long shot. I don’t think people are going to be clamoring for things like Blanka’s Electric Thunder to revert back to the archaic way to executing the move. However, I will miss the idea of it being there because it was just fun to push a bunch of buttons to unleash electric hell on your opponent. I’ll still try out Blanka because, if he still has most of his annoying stuff, I’m sure I’ll still have an enjoyable time frustrating people online with his shenanigans.
What do you think of Capcom removing all button mashing special attacks? Is it an antiquated way of performing these attacks or do you think it still has its uses? Let me know in the comments section below!