Street Fighter 6's Akuma feels familiar, yet frightening

Not a lot about Akuma has changed for Street Fighter 6, but that just means he's the fearsome godlike fighter that he's always been.


Street Fighter 6's most anticipated DLC character to this point is just around the corner. Akuma awaits and his new look does not disappoint. He has the appearance of a grizzled warrior, but one whose age has only made him more powerful and much scarier. Shacknews had an opportunity to briefly check him out.

Long-time Street Fighter fans should know what to expect from Akuma by this point. He brings his twisted Shoto arsenal from previous games to the new Street Fighter 6 hotness. Ground and air fireballs are just as potent as ever. His Gou Shoryuken is still a strong anti-air with an EX version that dunks the opponent's head on the ground. His Demon Raid (better known to most as his Demon Flip) offers a multitude of additional tools, like a strong overhead and a quick dive kick, as well as extra specials made available while in Overdrive. One other move to keep in your pocket is Adamant Flame, which is a quick two-hit combo that sees Akuma light up his opponent with fists of flame. It's a strong combo finisher and one that can be combined with Drive Impact to great effect. It can also wall bounce opponents, making it even scarier.

Akuma's teleport in Street Fighter 6

Source: Capcom

Akuma's character-defining teleport (the Ashura Senku) is back, of course. As it has in previous games, it allows him to cover long distances in seconds or position himself behind an opponent at will. This time around, there's an option to tie a command grab to the tail end of his movement, which can be used against opponents who may start holding block as soon as they see Akuma begin to teleport.

Akuma's Super Arts are fairly basic and easy to pull off. The Messatsu Gohado is a decent fireball finisher that only takes up one bar. There's an air Super Art called Tenma Gozanku, which lets Akuma dive forward like a missile. This is meant more for wrapping up air combos and I wasn't quite able to pull it off myself. The two-bar Empyrean's End is a single blast that can take a lot of life off an opponent. It can act as a finisher, but if the opponent is still alive, it does provide a wall bounce when used at the edge of the stage.

Of course, no coverage of Akuma would be complete without a look at the Shun Goku Satsu, colloquially and more famously known as the Raging Demon. As seen in his trailer, the new-look Demon now fully represents the "Die a thousand deaths" battlecry, raining multiple Akuma copies down at a foe before his signature kanji flashes at the player. However, the big change here is that Akuma's life bar must be at 25 percent or lower before he can use this move, even if he's at Level 3. That's going to take some getting used to, but he does have another Level 3 called the Sip of Calamity. This is a command grab-type move where he throws his opponent on the ground and drives his fist straight through their skull. This is a potent finisher in itself and its strength is also amplified when Akuma's life bar is low, so don't feel too discouraged if you can't access the Raging Demon. The Shun Goku Satsu is now the last resort that it probably should be.

Akuma's Adamant Flame move in Street Fighter 6

Source: Capcom

Lastly, let's discuss Akuma's stage. Enma's Hollow is a deep underground shrine, one befitting a warrior of Akuma's stature. The background is more picturesque than anything else, showing an active volcano in the distance. However, the stage pieces themselves aren't particularly active until a round comes to an end. Whenever a round ends, the volcano will erupt and parts of the stage will begin to collapse around the winning fighter. The surrounding waters will begin to rage as Round 2 begins. This is a level of detail that gives fights here a more epic feel.

With Akuma on his way, the rest of the Street Fighter 6 roster must make preparations. Expect to see a full balance patch for all characters alongside Akuma's arrival. Akuma comes to Street Fighter 6 on Wednesday, May 22 as part of the game's Year 1 DLC.

These impressions are based on a PlayStation version of Street Fighter 6 with an early version of upcoming DLC. The final product is subject to change.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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