Street Fighter 6 Review
Capcom releases their best ever fighting game
May 30, 2023

World Tour

Street Fighter 6 is resting a lot of its aspirations on World Tour, an open-world RPG that Capcom hopes will finally be compelling single player content for its franchise. Unlike other single player story modes that just sees you watch a long cinematic movie broken up by the occasional CPU fight with a scripted ending, World Tour is much closer to a Yakuza game. You are encouraged to explore, to craft a unique build, to find wacky side quests, to build relationships with your favorite characters, and in general just be as goofy as possible the entire time. And while it has a few small flaws, it absolutely works.

Character Creator

In World Tour, you are the protagonist. The first thing you're ask to do is make a character in the game's character creator, which is maybe the most expansive character creator in any game I've seen. If you've played the beta or the demo, you've gotten to mess around with this already, but it's so huge that it's almost overwhelming.

Don't feel like you have to make the perfect character out of the gate. SF6 lets you rebuild your character from scratch at any time, and gives you 50+ save slots to save your favorite avatar presets. Switching between them can be done any time during the game for a negligible in-game currency cost, money that is quickly and easily replenished. Capcom also even lets you share up to 3 of your favorite avatar creations on the SF6 servers. People can search your name and download the avatar recipe directly to their own game. If you have more to share, you can take a screenshot of a nicely formatted spreadsheet that shows you all the values needed to make the character and post it to social media easily.

While it is easy to make a human-like character, it's even easier to make an abomination, and it's clear Capcom both knows this will happen and actively encourages it. I played the first 8 or so hours of World Tour using a normal-looking avatar, but after building a second character that looked like a freak, all the cutscenes became five times funnier and caused me to laugh out loud dozens of times. Even if you're generally averse to making weird-looking characters in these types of modes, I'd encourage you to experiment with it and watch back any of the cutscenes you've unlocked in the game's Gallery mode. It will put in your active World Tour character each time you watch it, so you'll never miss out.

Say hello to GillNye, the misshapen humanoid who's training to be the strongest fighter in the world.

The character you create isn't just for looks, either. Their height, the length of their arms and legs, and other factors will contribute to how they fight in battles. It's entirely possible to build a character with long arms and simply spam long range punch normals and specials, for example. Certain combos you're used to may not work with your avatar's proportions, though. Three crouching jabs canceled into Spiral Arrow works with Cammy in the normal game, but did not work with my avatar who had long arms but short legs, as the Spiral Arrow was too stubby to reach.

The Flow of World Tour

After making a character and a brief tutorial, you're thrust into Metro City with Luke as your "Master", and you're left to begin experiencing the core gameplay loop of World Tour, which is to walk around and beat up civilians for money and prizes.

About half of all civilians in the world will have a name and level over their head, which indicates you can challenge them to a fight. Every civilian also has a list of conditions you can meet for extra rewards; for example, maybe you'll earn a bit more money if you land two throws this match, and you can see this list before engaging or during the fight by pausing the game.

You can challenge any person with a nametag above their head. You can view special rewards that you'll get for accomplishing certain tasks in the fight.

Once you engage with them, which is done with a simple button press or by attacking them on the world map, you'll enter a battle screen that matches your exact location. You aren't whisked away to a standard stage, you actually fight on a makeshift Street Fighter stage right where you're standing. It adds a lot to the feel and immersion of the open world, and nearby NPCs will come running and cheer on the carnage.

The premise of the world helps sell this concept; street fighting is a way of life for basically everyone, and beating someone up on the sidewalk is as common of a greeting as saying hello. This extremely goofy premise makes World Tour mode work, because it encourages you to fight everyone you can find. Nobody is safe, from tourists to old ladies to businessmen; they're all too happy to get punched in the face for your entertainment. I found myself getting in the spirit of the mode and trash talking the various NPCs before fighting them. Even just finding someone wearing some weird outfit or having the name of someone I know in real life was enough for me to beat them up.

Press a button to engage in any fight and enter a 2D Street Fighter stage that matches the exact location you're standing.

Outside of beating up civilians, you are encouraged to find and complete quests. These will be marked on your map and ask you to do standard RPG things, usually beating up certain people or bringing items back and forth. There are a surprising amount of side quests in the game, many of them teaching you the mechanics of the fighting engine.

Masters and Customization

As you progress the main plot, you will encounter the main Street Fighter characters, called "masters", and you will enroll with them to learn their moves and deepen your relationship with them. Not all the masters are on the main plot path, so you will have to do some side questing to find them all.

At any time, your character takes on the style of exactly one master, which gives you that character's neutral animations, walk speed, jump arc, and normal attacks. Special and super attacks are fully customizable from any learned special or super move from any of your masters, and you can mix and match to your heart's content with the restriction of one special move per input (so quarter circle forward gets one slot, no matter if the move is punch or kick).

This is the key hook of all of World Tour, and is the prime reason why I think the mode is worth the time even of players who only want to play the competitive game. Mixing specials from different fighters in SF6's already-creative combo engine gives you lots of possibilities. What if a shoto had an SPD? What if you combined a charge fireball with a shoryuken and a dive kick? It's easy to swap this in and out and experiment in new ways. And never mind the joy of watching your goofy avatar do all the various move animations and win poses. I played with Blanka as my master for a while, just so I could see my long-armed avatar walk like a gorilla on his path to martial arts mastery and it made me laugh every single battle.

You can improve the relationship between you and each master in two ways, measured by "style" points and "bond" points. Style points are earned for using that master's style in battle, or by defeating NPCs that take on that style themselves (usually in areas near where the NPC lives). When you rank up a style, you'll earn new special moves and the master will challenge you to fights to see how your training is going.

Bond points are not related to battle at all, and instead are earned by doing special side quests the master puts you on, gifting them certain items they like (obtained as rewards from battle or in shops), or talking to them and saying the right responses to their heartfelt questions. As you rank up bond points, you'll get special interactions that teach you about the character's back story, unique artwork, and learn more about their motivations for fighting. I don't want to spoil any of these interactions, but even as someone with very little interest in Street Fighter's lore, I wanted to see some of the characters through to the end. If they can win me over, I'm sure people who love the Street Fighter universe will appreciate it even more.

I wanted to give a special mention to the text conversations that happen throughout the game. Your adventure starts by Luke chatting with you over text, and as you meet more masters and NPCs, each of them will start to text you about the various in-game events. Something about the way they implemented this is just extremely charming. The speed at which each person texts suggests something about how comfortable they are with technology. The emotes and language they use to cheer you up will make you smile and feel very in-character. Some of the texts happen extremely fast, but you can always wait until the end and scroll up to read what you missed. I always looked forward to a new text notification when it happened.

Can World Tour Teach You How to Play Street Fighter?

Outside of being a goofy single player mode for beating up on low-level CPUs, some people may be wondering if playing World Tour will help them learn how to play Street Fighter "properly". While it won't get you all the way there, I think this organic way of learning the system is probably the best attempt yet from a fighting game.

Most NPC battles will be simple fights against a low-level CPU, who mostly just stand there while you pummel them with whatever attack you want. These NPCs often take on the normals of the masters, but almost all of them have unique specials designed for teaching you the game. They will have very obvious projectiles or long-range low attacks with 120 frames of startup, forcing you to jump, block low, or counter on the way in. They don't outright say "jump over this move", but players will naturally find the answer when they're asked to fight these characters dozens of times in low stakes matches.

After an hour or two, you will learn about the "pressure point" system. NPCs will occasionally flash white after you block an unsafe move or they begin the windup of a very slow but safe on block move. If you hit them during this time (to signify a punish or counter hit, respectively), you will get a huge screen freeze and stun them for any combo of your choice. Some NPCs will sit there blocking the entire time while flashing white, indicating that you can hit them with an overhead or throw them to defeat blocking. Eventually, they'll tailor some of the harder fights to move-read your attacks until you sit there and stop spamming thoughtlessly. You'll be forced to wait for the pressure point opportunity to deal big damage, which means you'll have to watch your opponent's movements like a real fight.

I'm not sure to what extent these lessons will stick with someone who simply wants to mash buttons during the fights and move on to the next lore conversation. But the game is hard to beat without at least paying attention to them like you would a normal RPG battle mechanic, so for a player who is already incentivized to learn about how fighting games work, I think these lessons will be internalized much better than reading a dialog screen.


World Tour does a lot of things well, but it is an extremely ambitious mode that sometimes rubs up against the player.

Aesthetically, World Tour is not nearly on the level of other open world games you might have played in the last few years. The graphics are a bit more washed out, the character detail is worse, and there is pop-in as you walk around the world. You'll also need to specifically turn on an option in settings to allow the battles to be 60fps; be sure to do this, even though you'll take a graphical hit. For me, it never detracted from the fun, but just temper your expectations.

You must play the game with Modern controls until the end of Chapter 1, which you can blitz through in about 15 minutes. If you are a Classic player, I recommend not worrying too much about what happens in Chapter 1 and just speeding through until you can switch controls. Everything that happens here can be accessed later.

In order to make the onboarding experience as easy as possible for new players, they don't let you use your Drive Gauge for anything (OD moves, parry, impact, rush) for several of the first in-game chapters. I wish this came maybe a bit earlier in the process, since you're quite limited without that, but once you get there the possibilities begin to open up.

I played the game on an arcade stick, which means I spent a lot of time fighting with the camera. You can hold HP and press other face buttons to adjust the camera while still moving your character, and while this is perfectly serviceable, I did notice myself struggling to find the right buttons to look at certain things when needed. It's not a deal breaker, but just be prepared for the occasional frustrating moment.

There are also lots of hotkeys that require you to click the left stick in, and my stick did not have an L3 button. I learned which keyboard keys did those functions and just reached up to press those when I needed to; usually they were menu keys that could not be re-bound for looking at important stats. You also need to click L3 to run, which is extremely important in the large open world. I ended up binding run over the "cancel emote" button, the only button available for a rebind that wasn't on a mandatory gameplay feature, and I recommend all stick players do the same.

Like with most of SF6, the game has many menus, some of which are confusing to navigate. You'll have multiple shortcut keys and I suggest you learn how to use them, especially for quickly pulling up the map (3P button + LP) or your equip screen (3P button + MP). If there was a way to pin my current active side quest to a marker, I couldn't find it, so you'll have to bring up the map constantly.

World Tour also only has one save file. If you want to start the quest over from scratch, you'll have to erase the entire file. I don't think this erases your avatar presets; these might be separate from the save file, although I'm too scared to check. Fortunately you can relive all the game's goofy cutscenes in the Gallery mode, but I think it's an oversight to not allow multiple concurrent save slots. It seems to me you could just mark a given save slot as the "Active World Tour" slot from the main menu for things like which character shows up in Battle Hub, so I don't understand the limitation here.


I think World Tour accomplishes all its objectives. It's a fun single player mode that lets players experience the lore of the Street Fighter universe, all while subtly teaching them bits and pieces about how to actually play. It has good heft to it; I'm taking my time, doing all quests and trying to experiment with different builds, and I'm 20 hours in and nowhere close to done. Beating up innocent civilians never stopped being funny, and whenever the game seems to drag a bit, you'll quickly encounter new masters or new side quests to keep you going. Whether the plot ultimately comes to a satisfying conclusion or not is pretty irrelevant. All I want is an excuse to beat people up and interact with classic Street Fighter characters.

Competitive players who like normal RPGs will find lots to do, tinkering with the various movesets for broken combinations. It's clear the team put tremendous love into building the world, cramming in as many references and easter eggs and campiness as they possibly could, and making your relationships with the masters something actually interesting to pursue. Some small nitpicks with the interface are not enough to hold this mode back from being worth your time.

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