Masahiro Sakurai's Special Presentation for Super Smash Bros. lacked many surprises, courtesy of numerous leaks from recent days and, in hindsight, details from hacks earlier in the year. Nevertheless, the volume of content available right now was unexpected, and we also learned how Ryu will shake up the way we play Smash Bros.; he's so useful that some are even wondering whether he'll prove too powerful when in the right hands.
The great challenge with Ryu is recreating a Street Fighter II / IV moveset with such limited inputs. In his original form he has punches and kicks with three strengths individually - light, medium and heavy - which makes his transition to Smash curious. How do you recreate six button inputs and an assortment of combos within the two button Smash Bros. model?
What Masahiro Sakurai and his team have done is rather clever. The matter of three power settings for attacks has been addressed by how long you hold the relevant button, with a quick tap for light attacks and so on, which will add a delicious level of complexity for precise players.
It's in the special moves that things get really interesting. Ryu's Hadoken, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, Shoryuken and Focus Attack have been assigned as Specials in their most basic form (up, down, side). Yet if you input Ryu's classic combo's from the Street Fighter series you execute the same moves with greater power, enhancing the odds of a KO. In essence weaker players can enjoy Ryu's fun move set, but skilled players can execute these attacks far more effectively.
The following graphic and description outline this, as taken from the official website.
・The listed commands are based on Ryu facing to the right.
・The B Button is the special move button, and the A Button is the standard attack button. You can perform Hadoken, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, and Shoryuken by performing the listed commands in conjunction with the A Button.
・The strength of Hadoken, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, and Shoryuken will increase – from weak to normal to strong – the longer you press and hold the attack button.
・Focus Attack charges from LV1 to LV2 to LV3 as you press and hold the special move button. Additionally, you can cancel a Focus Attack by tapping the Control Stick (or Circle Pad) twice, either forward or backward.
It's also worth noting that Ryu is the first character in Smash Bros. history to have two different Smash attacks, further setting him apart as a unique arrival.
It's clear that Masahiro Sakurai and his team have enjoyed creating the Ryu character, as they've employed creative solutions to enable him to fit into the game. As players get through server issues to buy the character, however, it'll be interesting to see whether balancing is all it should be. If he's so powerful that everyone's rocking him online, that could frustrate traditional players or those that aren't fans of the paid DLC.
Time will tell on that, but even for veteran Smash Bros. players Ryu changes the game a little; evolution can be a wonderful thing.
Let us know what you think of Ryu's inclusion and moveset in the comments, and below are his reveal video and fresh screens from the official website.