Street Fighter 6 — M. Bison Hands-On Preview

In a nutshell:

  • We demoed Street Fighter 6’s new character M. Bison and spoke with the developers about the creative choices and technical aspects that went into the character.
  • M. Bison is the same character as his past iterations, albeit with a new look, and some subtle new movesets for veterans and neophytes alike.
  • New characters are definitely coming soon and watch out for future surprises!

During Summer Game Fest, our friends at Capcom let us sample a demo of Street Fighter 6’s newest addition to the roster — the fearsome M. Bison!

To help us get oriented with the new additions to Street Fighter 6, we are able to speak with Director Takayuki Nakayama and Producer Shuhei Matsumoto.

Most of our inquiries is with regard to M. Bison and what else lies ahead in the exciting Year 2 roster that not only features M. Bison, but Elena and SNK fan favorites, Terry Bogard and Mai Shiranui!

The Tyrant Gets A New Look

As seen from the trailer, we’re really loving the new look. He has that grizzled look of a once great leader fallen from grace. However, while we feel one way, some old-school fans may prefer the classic look, not to worry because the classic costume can be still selected in the menu screen.

Street Fighter 6 M Bison

While we felt that he has that look that appears like a fallen leader, the developers have assured us that in Street Fighter 6, this is the same iconic villain we’ve known throughout the decades.

“It definitely is the real Bison,” asserts Nakayama. “However, in this setting, he is suffering from amnesia. And in terms of his outfit, you’ll get to learn what happens throughout his story mode to learn why is wearing such a costume.”

“Obviously people know him as a harsh dictator character, but in this iteration of Street Fighter, he’s more of an honorable fighter rather than having a strong dictator-esque figure.”

Street Fighter 6 Bison Story

We made a comment on how he’s basically equal to Ryu. Nakayama countered by saying that “he’s not trying to rule the world anymore, but has his own personal motives just like everyone else in the Street Fighter 6 universe… wanting to prove himself as the strongest person in the world.”

When I asked what those motives are, Nakayama politely laughed and said, “You just have to play it to find out.”

Psycho Soldier

Being used to Bison mostly holding all the cards as the iconic antagonist since Street Fighter 2, this plot point and look definitely piqued our curiosity. Yet while we can wax poetic on the tenets of Bison’s raison d’etre, we’ll get into the meat of matter. How does M. Bison play?

The short answer is that he’s pretty much just like the old M. Bison you’ve known and loved with a few tweaks and some special Street Fighter 6 sauce. Just like everyone else in the roster, M. Bison has his Classic and Modern control set, and having tried both paradigms during our demo session, I quite prefer him in a Classic control scheme.

Street Fighter 6 Psycho Crusher

M. Bison still has his move set that players will remember: the iconic Psycho Crusher and the entirely dependable double knee press. He is a close combat, counter punisher type of character. He hits hard with his well-timed psycho energy punches, and classic mode allows you to access most of his move sets, including his cheap slide kick with a well-timed fierce kick.

“M. Bison will maintain a lot of moves that had in past iterations, but at the same time, there will be some new aspects to the character. We’re confident that fans of past generations of the game will be able to jump right into it while keeping it fresh for a new audience as well,” Nakayama explains.

Street Figher 6 Bison MoveSet

Having skipped a few generations myself, I’ve noticed a few subtle differences from the character that were not there, such as a more accessible double knee press and the high priority psycho inferno. There were some subtle differences in priority with his head press variations as well.

As for his supers, I was able to activate two of the three special arts. They can be activated the same way as classic special arts, but using the Modern control set, I was able to access them right away without too much effort.

Street Fighter 6 Bison Punish

“We were playing a lot of Modern Bison and it feels really great. There were a lot of strong reactions where beginners can execute deadly combos. Newcomers will be delighted with his move set,” recalls Matsumoto.

We can’t wait until M. Bison enters ranked mode in Street Fighter 6 and see how many players pick him as their new main!

The King of Street Fighter 6 Crossovers

Finally, some of the interesting aspects seen in Street Fighter 6 are the introduction of the new characters in Elena, Terry Bogard, and Mai Shiranui. The first thing that pops into my head is Capcom vs SNK with these iconic characters facing off. It was quite novel the first time I saw it, and seeing many collaborations happen over the years, it was an unexpected albeit a pleasant surprise.

Street Fighter 6 Year 2

“We’ve spent a lot of time to make sure that the fans of these SNK characters will be happy in how they’re being represented in Street Fighter 6. So they will definitely have to hold their own during the World Tour and their storylines. There will be many things that specifically SNK fans will be pleasantly surprised about, but that’s pretty much what can talk about right now.”

When I remarked about the inclusion of Elena in Street Fighter 6, many other SNK and Third Strike characters were mentioned. In as much as these characters are definitely fan favorites, Matsumoto cautions to keep our expectations in check as more will be revealed in due course.

“In terms of our selection process that are owned by Capcom, we’re happy to hear that some fans are happy with the addition of Elena. However, in determining the next character to appear in Street Fighter 6, we don’t decide on just where these characters are from, we take a look at how these characters fit into the the game. It depends on the context of the game at that point, to strike the right balance of what’s the right fit and what makes players happy.”

Street Fighter 6 Elena

Finally, when asked what message they will impart to Street Fighter 6 fans in the Philippines, Nakayama responds with, “we are aware, and we know that the fighting community in the Philippines loves and supports Street Fighter, and we are very thankful for all the support we’re getting from the Philippines in spite of never having been there. It is one of the places where we want to go to, so hopefully we can meet all the fans in person.”

Street Fighter 6 is now available across major platforms.

Our Summer Game Fest 2024 coverage is powered by Lenovo Philippines and Lenovo Legion.

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