After a long hands-on session on Street Fighter 6 and a few interviews at Capcom’s headquarters in Osaka, Japan, I find myself in the back room of a small sandwich shop overlooking the Higashiyokobori River. As I eat my sandwich, I chat with Street Fighter 6 director Takayuki Nakayama, who sits next to me, enjoying his own sandwich. After touching on topics from our respective histories with Street Fighter and other games we’ve played, he asks if I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played of Street Fighter 6 so far.
I let him know that the gameplay and art style are great and that I think the real-time commentary feature is a revolutionary addition to the fighting genre. The manager nods with a smile until I mention how I don’t think modern controls (which simplify the overall control scheme) are for me, but my colleague loves the idea. I think it’s a really smart move to allow players of different levels to have fun and compete with those who have more experience with the Street Fighter franchise. He smiled and said, “There’s actually a third control scheme.” Immediately, my interest is piqued. At that time, he could only give me a name for the option: Dynamic Controls.
The restaurant where the conversation took place
We return to the Capcom offices shortly after and I start asking more questions about the dynamic controls. After some discussion, the team pulls an updated version from the other side of the desk for me to use. Nakayama sits in front of the monitor with producer Shuhei Matsumoto by his side as the two prepare their controllers for a match against each other. Matsumoto selects Dynamic Controls and tells me to look at his hands and compare it to the action on screen.
To my surprise, Matsumoto places his controller on the table in front of him and begins using his index finger to press the face buttons one at a time. Despite this, his character uses all kinds of attacks. It quickly becomes apparent that the dynamic controls aren’t meant to test your skills as a Street Fighter player, but rather to ensure that every player is included in the fun.
“Button masher” is sometimes seen as an insult to players who randomly hit the buttons on their pad or board in the hopes that they will accidentally unleash some kind of effective attack, but for Nakayama this notion has it. inspired. “In a normal fighting game, when they [mash buttons]they just do a lot of puffs,” he says. “We wanted something meaningful and something that made a difference by pressing random buttons.”
While some initially viewed Modern Controls as “easy mode” because it simplified it with fewer buttons and inputs needed for efficiency, Capcom worked to balance Modern and Classic controls against each other, so that they’re both competitive in matches – Nakayama even thinks we’ll see high-level competitive players using the modern controls in the future. As such, Modern and Classic are available in all game modes, with no pressure from the game or developers to “switch” to Classic controls after playing with Modern. However, Dynamic Controls are explicitly intended to be closer to an “easy mode” and as such are only available in local play.
The name comes from the idea that the AI basically dynamically decides which attack to perform when you press the face buttons based on your character’s current position and situation; if a character is far away, pressing the face button can launch a projectile, while that same button can trigger a combo in a close encounter. While button mashing is a viable strategy when using dynamic controls, strategy still plays a role and you can still manually perform parries and move the character using the d-pad. After getting my hands on the control option it’s safe to say that I personally won’t be using it, but it’s the kind of mode that would have been great to play my SNES copy of Street Fighter II Turbo with my younger brother.
With these three control schemes in tow, Street Fighter 6 feels like the most approachable and accessible entry in the franchise’s 35-year history. While I’ll probably always prefer the classic controls thanks to my experience dating back to my days pumping neighborhoods at my local Street Fighter II cabinet, I’m glad more players have the opportunity to get in on the fun with the modern controls and , to another extent , Dynamic controls.
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