A ton of information about Street Fighter 6 was only recently unveiled by Capcom. Some of the essential news mechanics coming to Street Fighter 6 will have players managing how they use the Drive Gauge system.
During a recent interview with IGN Japan, Takayuki Nakayama, director of Street Fighter 6, briefly spoke about how the developers came up with the Drive Gauge system. Once again, we have our very own Nicholas ‘MajinTenshinhan’ Taylor to thank for translating all the juicy bits of the interview.
“This Drive Gauge is the new element for the fighting portion of Street Fighter 6,” said Nakayama. “It started from the idea of wanting to have a simple way to use gauge in order to unleash powerful offensive or defensive mechanics.”
Just as Nakayama says, the Drive Gauge can be used for both offensive or defensive applications. Though the meter will constantly regenerate on it’s own when not blocking attacks, players will have to manage their meter carefully as they’ll only be able to have a maximum of six bars stored.
The Drive Impact functions very similar to Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack at the cost of one bar. This attack will absorb incoming attacks, and may cause a crumple or wall splat depending on the situation. Notably, the Drive Impact is especially effective when the opponent has been cornered.
As for the Drive Parry, it’s clearly inspired by Street Fighter 3’s Parry mechanic. Using the Drive Parry will initially use half a bar of Drive Gauge, but the effect can be held for even longer at the cost of more Drive Gauge. Successfully parrying attacks will refund some Drive Gauge for its user.
“To be precise, they just ended up being similar to Parry and Focus Attack from previous titles … We did not go into it thinking ‘Let’s bring back these past mechanics’ at all.”
– Takayuki Nakayama, Street Fighter 6 director
Timing a Drive Parry with precise timing will cause a Perfect Parry to occur, which briefly freezes everything to give the parrying player more time to react to the situation. It’s important to remember that a Perfect Parry can never happen against projectile attacks.
For the cost of two bars of Drive Gauge, a special move can be enhanced into an Overdrive art by inputting two buttons of the same type instead of one. Needless to say, this is reminiscent of the EX special system from numerous other Street Fighter titles.
The Drive Rush can be triggered from a Drive Parry or normal attack. Using the Drive Rush from a Drive Parry will only cause one bar of Drive Gauge, but doing this from a normal will increase the cost to three. Though it’s applications are somewhat more limited by comparison, the Drive Rush reminds a lot of Focus Attack Dash Cancels from Street Fighter 4.
Finally, there’s the Drive Reversal mechanic which can be triggered as a counterattack after blocking an attack for two bars of Drive Gauge. This is basically the Alpha Counter mechanic from the Street Fighter Alpha series, or the V-Reversal for those that only played the modern Street Fighter entry like Street Fighter 5.
Evidently, the Drive Gauge system is taking a bunch of mechanics from previous Street Fighter games and putting them into Street Fighter 6. What’s interesting about all of this, however, is that the developers did not originally intend to design the Drive Gauge with the idea of revisiting these mechanics like this.
“To be precise, they just ended up being similar to Parry and Focus Attack from previous titles, and we went through a lot of trial and error to reach this point,” Nakayama continued during the IGN Japan interview. “We did not go into it thinking ‘Let’s bring back these past mechanics’ at all.”