Street Fighter 6 feels like a shot in the arm for Capcom’s long-running fighting series after Street Fighter V’s middling reception, and a lot of that comes down to how much personality it injects into every frame. One of the best examples of that we’ve seen so far is in the character intros that take place before each fight—both combatants enter the ring with a swagger befitting of the series’ legacy. The music is bumping, the crowd is cheering, and each character gets an original animation as they walk to their positions. But one entrance that deserves a particular shoutout is Blanka’s, which has me hooting, hollering, and ready to play this damn game.
For the uninitiated, Blanka is a bestial man who is technically human, but is comparable to characters like Beast from the X-Men comics in that he is stuck in a transformed state while maintaining his humanity after an encounter with some electric eels. That’s why he has electric powers. It’s fine, it’s fighting game lore, it doesn’t need to explain the fake science. But he’s still absolutely feral when he fights, which is embodied in his Street Fighter 6 entrance.
While most characters simply walk onto the stage while hyping up the crowd, Blanka is out here doing full-blown cartwheels next to onlookers. He may be facing a more stoic character like Ryu who just confidently walks to his designated side, but my guy is doing a whole gymnastics routine right next to him. I applaud any street fighter who can keep their cool and not look quietly bewildered during this gratuitous display of athleticism. I can’t help but stan an acrobatic king.
Street Fighter 6 is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on June 2, but you can already play a bit of the game’s story mode through the demo that launched on all platforms last month. I played a lot of Street Fighter V, and while I loved the actual fighting, it did feel a little sterile on the personality front. But Street Fighter 6 is really pulling out all the stops to make every fight feel like an event. It helps characters feel like more than high-definition stick figures you throw at each other, which is more exciting to watch and play. Consider me intrigued.