A lot of information about Street Fighter 6 has only recently been revealed by Capcom. Some of the essential news mechanics coming to Street Fighter 6 let players manage how they use the Drive Gauge system.
During a recent interview with IGN Japan, Takayuki Nakayama, director of Street Fighter 6, spoke briefly about how the developers came up with the Drive Gauge system. Again, we have to thank our very own Nicholas ‘MajinTenshinhan’ Taylor for translating all the juicy bits of the interview.
“This Drive Gauge is the new element for the fighting portion of Street Fighter 6,” says Nakayama. “It started with the idea of having an easy way to use the gauge to unleash powerful offensive or defensive mechanics.”
As Nakayama says, the Drive Gauge can be used for both offensive and defensive applications. While the meter will constantly regenerate itself if it doesn’t block attacks, players will need to manage their meter carefully as they can store up to six bars.
The Drive Impact works the same way as Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack, for a price of one bar. This attack absorbs incoming attacks and, depending on the situation, can cause a crumple or wall stain. In particular, the Drive Impact is especially effective when the opponent is cornered.
As for the Drive Parry, it is clearly inspired by Street Fighter 3’s Parry mechanic. Using the Drive Parry will initially use a half bar of Drive Gauge, but the effect can be held for even longer at the cost of more Drive Gauge. If you successfully fend off attacks, the user will get some of the Drive Gauge back.
“To be precise, they just looked like Parry and Focus Attack from previous titles… We didn’t go into it thinking ‘Let’s bring back these old mechanics’.”
— Takayuki Nakayama, Street Fighter 6 director
Accurately timing a Drive Parry will cause a Perfect Parry to take place, stopping everything for a while to give the parrying player more time to react to the situation. It is important to remember that a Perfect Parry can never take place against projectile attacks.
For the price of two sizes of Drive Gauge, a special move can be upgraded to an Overdrive art by entering two buttons of the same type instead of one. Needless to say, this is reminiscent of the special EX system from numerous other Street Fighter titles.
The Drive Rush can be triggered by a Drive Parry or a normal attack. Using a Drive Parry’s Drive Rush will only cause one bar of Drive Gauge, but doing so from a normal bar will increase the cost to three. While the uses are somewhat more limited in comparison, the Drive Rush is very reminiscent of Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack Dash Cancels.
Finally, there’s the Drive Reversal Mechanism which can be activated as a counter-attack after blocking an attack for two measures of Drive Gauge. This is basically the Alpha Counter mechanic from the Street Fighter Alpha series, or the V-Reversal for those who only played the modern Street Fighter entry like Street Fighter 5.
Obviously the Drive Gauge system takes a lot of mechanics from previous Street Fighter games and puts them in Street Fighter 6. What’s interesting about all of this, though, is that the developers didn’t originally plan to design the Drive Gauge with the idea of revisiting these mechanics in this way.
“To be exact, they just looked like Parry and Focus Attack from previous titles, and we went through a lot of trial and error to get to this point,” Nakayama continued during the IGN Japan interview. “We didn’t go into it thinking ‘let’s bring back these old mechanics’.”