A Return to Form: CLASSIC Moves Revived in Street Fighter 6's Season Two

In the middle of its presentation for Summer Game Fest 2024 – streamed live from the YouTube Theater – Capcom hit pause and showcased its roadmap for the rest of the year. With little fanfare, the company announced Street Fighter 6, naturally drawing plenty of cheers and excitement from the gaming community, who now get to see many familiar faces return, including Chun-Li. But beyond that salivating reveal, Capcom has pulled off one of the most epic character crossover events in the fighting-game universe. Terry Bogard, Mai Shiranui and the ever-adorable Elena from SNK’s Fatal Fury (1991) and The King of Fighters (1994) series are joining Street Fighter – a rival fighting franchise, mind you – and finally stepping into the spotlight of the Street Fighter world. The engines roar louder with the inclusion of the crazed world-dominator M Bison, too. Capcom has fired up the engines for quite a memorable season.

Embracing the New While Honoring the CLASSIC

The Evolution of M. Bison

Returning as the central villain of Street Fighter 6 Season Two is the game series’ flagship rival, M Bison. Supposedly deceased at the end of Street Fighter 5, Bison returns with his Psycho Power in tow for what are best described as unspecified reasons. Bison has undergone a radical redesign, in which the megalomaniac dictator is now half-shirtless and wearing a ripped cloak and red leather pants: a magnificently camp encapsulation of his bad-guy status updated for a contemporary audience.

The CLASSIC Moves Are Back

Bison still qualifies as a Power, but with a Hard kanesu, as you might call it. Mid to close-in combat is his gameplay; he punches through his opponent’s zoning styles, as well as avoiding projectiles that are thrown at him. A lot of the old moves resurface from the past, such as the Psycho Crusher or the Double Knee Press, which are now both back in a big way, as part of Street Fighter 6. You can feel that ever-important sense of connection with characters and the world that Capcom has created, for people who’ve been there all along.

New Mechanics to Master

Psycho Mines give Bison’s player some advantages in strategy – you can lay mines on your opponent with a special Backfist Combo movement, and if your opponent jumps, the mines will detonate, opening up a window for pressure and certain mix-ups. Even this early on, we can see that fighting games add a degree of narrative and character to the gameplay with their special moves. In this case, the new mechanic dramatically alters Bison’s fighting style. It’s another example of how Capcom was innovating while also maintaining the same core gameplay.

A New Era of Street Fighter

Bridging the Gap Between Old and New

It’s Street Fighter 6’s exact fusion of the old and the new that shows Capcom correctly calculating its audience’s taste. That the back-from-the-past Terry Bogard, Mai Shiranui and Elena make up three of its roster’s 18 newcomers not only deepens the existing lineup but also widens the universe that contains so many of these story-laden fighting stars. It’s a celebration of fibre and fandom, a fighting game declaration of one thing for everyone: your dad, your younger brother and especially you.

The Competitive Edge

The new tweaks to the character abilities, especially Bison’s, suggest that the competitive scene in Season Two is going to be a thrilling experience – everyone, from the best players in the world to newcomers, is going to have to re-learn all the strengths and weaknesses of these characters and formulate new approaches and strategies. Capcom’s vibrant support and expansion of their Street Fighter universe is not only an acknowledgment of the series’ competitive legacy and active fan community, but also reflects their own ongoing commitment to its competitive legacy.

What Is "CLASSIC"?

America's Enduring Legacy

Classic is a word whose lay applicability overlaps neatly with the technical definition: classic is outstanding of its kind, which in the case of [Street Orlando] necessarily means something that is itself the culmination of more than two decades. Some of the characters, including the ubiquitous Bison, are more classic than others, and the return of the iconic moves that defined the best of gaming’s last two decades brings with it an extra helping of ‘classic’: classic as, when all’s said and done, what continues to make Street Fighter so playable is also just … classic. In ‘classic’, there is the promise of the past, as well as the promise of acclaim in the present and, though its future is uncertain, a possible nod to the future of gaming legend.

To wrap up, Street Fighter 6 Season Two is a worthy extension of the franchise and a fitting tribute to its own legacy. Older fans and those discovering the series for the first time alike will find plenty to look forward to as the Capcom veterans behind it continue to build on the beloved series legacy. Refocusing on the tactical combat of its predecessors, and expanding upon everything that makes its characters unique in an expansive, constantly evolving universe, Street Fighter 6 will be a breathtaking evolution of the combat game which started it all.

Jun 12, 2024
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