Street Fighter V’s story mode featured cinematics and an overall narrative, but wasn’t anywhere near as feature rich as SF6. While SFV continued the a fighting game trend of just having simple battles with every enemy, it added cutscenes to bring you up to speed before he next match.
That was definitely an upgrade over previous Street Fighter games, which didn’t even do cinematics (aside from SF4’s rival cutscenes) where the most you could expect was a small anime style screen of the aftermath of that character’s arcade story. With the release of SF6, Capcom has taken further steps in evolving what a fighting game’s story mode could be by introducing World Tour Mode.
What is World Tour Mode?
World Tour mode acts as the story portion of SF6, and it’s how you upgrade the avatar you bring into the Battle Hub. Along with the story, it features many teaching tools, blends overworld exploration with the classic 2D fighting, and provides a satisfying leveling system.
This mode incorporates elements from popular RPGs like Yakuza, such as the overworld encounters with goons and other baddies bent on KOing the player and the mid fight items that replenish health, boost stats, and more. This leads to hilarious confrontations in the middle of the streets as a NPC turns the corner and hits you with a mean Shoryuken.
Street Fighter’s global representation is key in World Tour. The core idea is to get the iconic characters in the game to be your master and teach you their fighting styles. As you grow and learn from each of them, you will gain their special moves, and get to combine them into your own mashup of techniques.
World Tour poses the question: What does it mean to be strong? To figure this out, you’ll create an avatar, which you can customize immensely, to represent you through both their fighting style and fashion sense.
The character creation has wildly free customization. You can shape your avatar exactly how you like, with precise sliders to get the look you want. Your avatar can look exactly like you, or you can accurately recreate a character you want to look like. Some people chose to create absolute monstrosities, but hey that’s part of the freedom the character creation allows. Walking around the Battle Hub, you will see anything from winged turtles, regular looking people, or someone recreating Naruto Uzumaki down to the sandals.
The freedom doesn’t stop there. Your avatar will take on the fighting styles of your choice of the masters you’ve unlocked, and you can switch whenever. As you progress through World Tour, your avatar will level up, gaining health, damage, and you will gain more slots for the special moves of the masters who’ve taught you.
The Actual Story
The first character you encounter is Luke, the bridge between SFV and SF6. He serves as your first master and you start with his fighting style and special moves. He teaches you the basics, but you also meet your rival, Bosch.
Here, you get to check out Metro City, Luke and others introduce you to the basics of Modern control, item usage, enemy encounters, as well as places to grab food in order to heal up after your training.
Metro City and Old Nayshall are the only places big enough to really explore, all around these maps are stops where you can do more than fight. This is where the Yakuza feel comes in, running around the map, stopping for entertainment or food, that always has an extra purpose. The other maps are mostly just one screen with NPCs and their pertaining roster character
After a quick spar with him, Luke sends you on your way to attain strength. From this point on, the story takes you across the world, seeking out guidance from each character in the game, getting closer and closer to the evil that connects the events of the game, as well as many of the characters’ backstories.
Combat in World Tour isn’t exactly the same as in Fighting Ground and Battle Hub, the other major modes available.
Enemies are all over the map, from gangs and other groups in the game that will attack you on sight, and fights are rarely one on one. If you manage to get an attack in before they engage you, you’ll do a little damage to them before the fight starts. You can use the Drive Stall mechanic to slow time down to do that, or just keep it moving if they aren’t worth your time ( of course you’d never run away from a fight because you’d think you’d lose..right?).
One way they make it feel more like a single player experience is by allowing the player to pause the game mid battle to consume an item, a la Yakuza. This only makes sense since it’s usually not one on one battles.
You can even get your master’s help in some situations.
The Masters of World Tour
Luke is just the first of the masters you can get teaching from during the World Tour. As you go through the story, you will meet each of the game’s characters, and be able to learn from them.
You can only equip one fighting style at a time, but you will grow to have many slots for the masters’ special moves. You can combine Manon’s command grabs with Kimberly’s run specials, and throw in Guile’s Sonic Booms to create a top tier fighter.
Capcom designed parts of the World Tour to need certain abilities, such as flying over gaps with Chun Li’s Spinning Bird Kick. You can also use these moves when you fight other players in Avatar Battles (Manon’s command grab is weirdly popular). Yes many of the created characters are supposed to be funny, but there’s some real menaces making insane combinations.
In order to attain these styles and moves, you have to develop a bond with the masters. Primarily you can do this by equipping their fighting styles and accruing time fighting with it. You can also text with them, give them gifts, or do requests they might ask of you. As you develop a deeper bond with them, they can even join you in combat!
The World Tour is designed to feel like your own personal adventure in the world of Street Fighter. We know no journey is just strictly one activity, so Capcom elevated the experience by adding stops along the way. These come in the forms of shops and restaurants to buy gear that will actually affect your avatar’s stats, and eat food to restore health or gain boosts.
There are minigames that will teach you many important aspects of gameplay, such as placing attacks where you want on the screen, motion inputs, parrying, and timing.