June 2, 2023, saw the release of the sixth game in the mainlineStreet Fighterfranchise. Street Fighter 6 has been released to critical acclaim and looks to revolutionize the 2D fighting game genre once again.
Also looming on the horizon is Bandai-Namco sTekken8, which looks to be the undisputed king of 3D fighters once more. Both of these game series have long and storied histories that reach back decades.
In honor of such massive milestones between both games, it is worth going into the history of both series. With franchises dating back decades and being part of pop culture for so long, there is certainly a lot to take in. Grab a snack and a drink, and let s help these two franchises square off.
Street Fighter Overview
The latest in the Street Fighter series is great for newcomers and veterans alike. Test your mettle online or get deep into the character customization.
Street Fighter is Capcom s flagship fighting game series and serves as the blueprint for every 2D fighter that has come after it.
The most recent release, Street Fighter 6, has just recently released and has been met with critical acclaim. Street Fighter wasn t always one of the standouts in the gaming landscape, however.
Since the release of the first game,Street Fighterhas sold 50 million copies worldwide. Fighting games have always been particularly niche for gaming, but these are impressive numbers. There are other fighting games that come well ahead of it, however.
Street Fighterhas its roots in the 1984 release of Kung Fu Master. Back in the 80s, Capcom was little more than a small development house based out of Japan. Martial arts movies and other media were still very much the rage in the 80s.
Takashi Nishiyama, one of Capcom s designers, would come up with the initial concept of Street Fighter during a particularly long meeting. The doodles he made on a sheet of paper would later serve as the basis for the 1987 release of Street Fighter.
The first Street Fighter is little more than curiosity these days, being a promising concept with disappointing execution.
It wasn t until the series was handed a second chance by designers Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda that it would become a smash hit.
Nishitani and Yasuda served as the design team behind the 1989 smash hit Final Fight and would serve as the driving force behind Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. The second game would release in 1991 to arcades.
The second game would prove exceptionally popular, being a massive hit in arcades and a console seller for the SNES and Genesis.
In the last 32 years since Street Fighter II s release, the franchise has seen four other mainline titles, a slew of spin-offs, and more copycats than you can count. This is thanks to the second game codifying the elements which would make 2D fighting games such an enticing competitive endeavor.
What is a 2D Fighting Game
2D fighting games operate on only two planes of movement. Gamers will have to contend with both vertical and horizontal planes. Despite the limited planes, 2D fighters can be very technical in nature.
Fighting games have gotten a bit of a reputation for being intensely time-heavy investments to get to a basic level of competitive competency. Beyond Street Fighter, series like Guilty Gear, Mortal Kombat, and King of Fighters are all examples of 2D fighters.
Street Fighter II is the first game to really popularize this style of gameplay. The later release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo is arguably the first real competitive 2D fighter in spirit.
All of the genre s conventions stem mostly from this particular release, with concepts like combos, meter management, and other modern features.
Despite pixel art falling out of favor with major studios, 2D fighters are still very much alive and kicking. Street Fighter 6, Guilty Gear Strive, and Mortal Kombat I are all examples of how the genre remains fresh in 2023.
Compared to Tekken
Street Fighteris the older series compared to Tekken, but both have been massive in the competitive e-sports space. Tekken is a 3D fighter first and foremost, however, and as such the mechanics driving gameplay are vastly different.
Street Fighter has more options for keeping distance during normal gameplay, while Tekken has other features to help gamers close the gap.
In an odd twist, Tekken 7 does feature Akuma, a guest character from Street Fighter. Bandai-Namco faithfully transferred the feel of playing Akuma to Tekken, with most of his move set being very much intact.
At the end of the day, both games are about kicking people. With that in mind, Street Fighter has fireballs and other options to keep pressure and distance.