- Street Fighter 6’s launch roster addressed multiple recurring issues with fighting games’ rosters and is currently going in the right direction.
- Street Fighter 6 starts with 18 characters that include both old and new characters. With their innovative gameplay, the new characters are getting popular among fans.
- The title addresses the issue with the roster size and the power-balancing issues it causes among characters.
Street Fighter 6 came out recently and dropped a reasonably good roster for its launch. The entry introduced a fairly sized launched roster consisting of 18 characters. Furthermore, a positive initiative was to add both legacy and new characters bringing diversity to the table and satisfying both old and more contemporary audiences. The variety in movesets and special attacks makes the playstyle of each character very unique.
A roster is an essential key element for any fighting entry, and they often become one of the primary reasons for the success of a fighting game. Many notable franchises such as Tekken, Street Fighter, King of Fighters, and Guilty Gear, are well-known for their creative rosters.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the success of any fighting game is usually determined by its launch roster. The starting rosters are vital because they have the tendency to attract players by including old and new characters that fans wish to see in action in gameplay. While some prefer using the old characters in sequel entries, many welcome the addition of new innovative characters.
Often, fighting games fail to deliver a balanced starting roster. Launch rosters may be either too large and overwhelming for newer players or sometimes short rosters may fail to satisfy fans. Moreover, A lack of new innovative characters may also make the starting roster dull and less interesting, especially for veterans.
Problems With Launch Rosters Of Fighting Games
There are multiple fighting entries that fail to produce a balanced roster, especially during the launch. Nintendo’s Super Smash, a platform fighter franchise, features large starting rosters in many titles, overwhelming the newer audience. The latest iteration in the franchise, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, featured 70 characters in their launch roster.
Players new to the franchise are bound to feel clueless when they see a massive list of characters in front of them before starting the game. They are barely familiar with the character’s playstyles and movesets, which keeps them at a disadvantage if they go up against veteran players that are more proficient with various mechanics.
Additionally, large rosters during a title’s launch fail to balance the character’s strength levels and overall abilities during usage. As a result, many characters become a bit too stronger than others, while some fall to the bottom tiers, lost and forgotten. Rosters in fighting games are not required to be significantly large, and Guilty Gear Strive highlights that well in their latest iteration with their starting roster consisting of 15 characters.
The lack of new characters in the latest iterations of fighting game franchises is another problem that makes a title seem less innovative and redundant. Tekken 7 and Street Fighter 5 both had a lack of new characters during their initial launch. However, these franchises introduced many more characters to their rosters through DLCs.
Introducing DLC characters may be more problematic in the long run if a title lacks a decently balanced roster during the launch. Balancing various characters’ strengths becomes much more challenging the more characters are introduced. Additionally, many fans do not prefer to buy the DLCs and wish for a decently sized roster at launch.
How Street Fighter 6 Addresses The Problems
Street Fighter 6 launch roster is off to a right start and includes 18 characters consisting of both legacy and new characters. Since many veteran players prefer to use old characters from previous entries in the franchise. Street Fighter 6 goes on to add some of the most popular legacy characters among fans. Ryu, Ken, Blanka, E. Honda, Zangeif, Guile, Chun- Li, Dee Jay, Cammy, Dhalsim, and Juri made their return.
While many fans who wished for more legacy characters are disappointed, Street Fighter 6 adds many new characters for innovative gameplay, which is a step not to be undermined. New characters, including Manon, Jamie, Marisa, Kimberly, JP, and Lily, are well-received by fans. Luke, the last DLC character of Street Fighter 5, appears as a protagonist in the latest entry.
Street Fighter 6 has presented a balanced starting roster featuring both old and legacy characters almost equally. Furthermore, the title’s starting roster has a fair size, unlike Street Fighter 5, which introduced a meager 16 characters for the launch roster. The developers added various characters through DLC in the entry, which was one of the significant problems and caused issues with the power balance of multiple characters.
Street Fighter 6’s addition of six new characters breaks the trend of recycling older characters in newer entries, a frequent problem in many fighting games. The title adds Jamie due to the franchise’s scarcity of drunken fist characters. Furthermore, players enjoy the gameplay style of Manon, Luke, and other innovative characters. The movesets and perks of legacy characters were adjusted to balance their strength levels with the latest additions.
According to the character popularity chart, Ryu, Ken, and Cammy remained the most popular as of June 8th, 2023. However, notably new characters Marisa and Manon are right behind them. Furthermore, numbers in the chart show that fans are ready to welcome new characters instead of sticking to their usual ones from the previous entries.
The Future Of Street Fighter 6’s Roster
Undoubtedly, new characters will be added in future patches and DLCs. It can be expected that the franchise will bring more legacy characters back to Street Fighter 6 that fans demand. More legacy characters like M. Bison, Balrog, and Akuma are expected to make their returns.
However, if the franchise wants to prevent Street Fighter 6’s roster from becoming as unorganized as their previous iteration, which is Street Fighter 5, they will need to add a small amount of characters side by side and adjust the power levels of various characters through patches to prevent a disastrous roster.
It will be interesting to see a few guest characters appear on Street Fighter 6. Adding a few guest characters is not a new trend in fighting games. Tekken 7 featured Noctis from Final Fantasy 15, Akuma from the Street Fighter franchise, Geese from King of Fighters, and Negan from The Walking Dead.
Guest characters are known to increase a title’s popularity and sales. They tend to attract fans of other franchises who are interested in playing their desired character in fighting games. If guest characters are given the treatment, they deserve in an entry.
Street Fighter 6 launch roster didn’t disappoint, unlike the messy and unorganized roster in the previous entry Street Fighter 5. The title addressed many recurring issues with the starting rosters in fighting games and is going in the right direction.
Street Fighter 6’s addition of both new and legacy characters in the entry was well-received by fans and critics alike. The title featured a balanced roster, and the innovative playstyle of many characters got popular among players. With the upcoming release of Tekken 8 and Mortal Kombat 1, Street Fighter 6 needed to step up its game, and it seems to be doing a great job so far.
While many rosters in fighting titles had recurring issues, including size, power balancing, and innovation, Street Fighter 6 shows that a starting roster doesn’t necessarily need to be large and small rosters are often more balanced considering the perks and abilities of various characters.
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