Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The reactive Ryu

Ryu can be played in a myriad of different ways. The included flowchart is just one example. This is merely a high-level overview of basic Ryu play and is not intended to address all scenarios. Note however, that this play style can remain very effective given how well you read your opponent.

Figure 1: The Reactive Ryu

Ryu has two primary specials (we are going to ignore the tatsumaki for the moment). Hadouken, which controls horizontal space, and Shoryuken, which controls vertical space. Due to the nature of these specials and the space they control, Ryu can theoretically win using only these two moves. Given this, Ryu's gameplan can be distilled down even further:

Figure 2 : Ryu Gameplay (Simplified)

The above assumes you are at your opponent's jump-in range. It could be argued that this degenerates Ryu's gameplan into a game of rock-paper-scissors, thereby leaving too much to chance. This is a fair assessment, however one must acknowledge that rock-paper-scissors has always been part of the very core of Street Fighter gameplay. The factor by which this element of chance is negated increases as you learn to read your opponents better. That being said, no one is ever truly in control of a match; behind every good read lurks a certain probability that you may guess wrong.


  1. Ryu's in AE? I though they replaced him with that random selection button. Are you sure ur not confusing it with dan? They are the same after all...

  2. Nice stuff! I like all your charts and breakdowns.

    The problem is...Did he jump- Yes- Shoryuken- neglects things like empty jumps, jumps at a range where your dp misses, Sakura's annoying air tatsu thing.

    Or Did he jump- No- Hadouken- means Chun Ultra 1, or just plain reaction jump, Yun EX shoulder blah blah.

    I would argue that SF2 Ryu is a better example of your linear charts whereas SF4 Ryu is more like...lemme slip in a fireball here where he's not expecting it...Yesss he didn't Hazanshu me. It's more like your opponent let you get away with them rather than you imposing your will on them ala ST John Choi.

    I feel because of things like Focus attacks and EX special moves, unlike in SF2 where Hadokens are best thrown at max opponent jump in range, in SF4 they are better thrown as part of footsies and in footsie range- i.e. where they are most dangerous to throw.

    So Ryu can no longer theoretically win with just two moves...because in SF4 they have more than just two options.

    Also since SF4 jump ins provide so much hit stun, and you can get hit by massive combos in ranges where you normally only get a jump roundhouse in SF2, I feel that the benign strategy of throwing fireballs in SF4 is actually so dangerous for Ryu!

    The risk/reward for a 60 damage fireball is simply not worth it. Then we have to rely on footsies...and that's when AE low forward Ryu really starts to show his deficiencies.

    Alex, since you go to the arcades every day and play online so much, why couldn't you come to BAM or Shadowloo Showdown which was held in the city? Just sayin'...

  3. Hi Muttons. Thanks for stopping by!

    Yes, I'm well aware that Ryu's options are not as linear as they are made out to be in the charts above. The game engine affords far too much variation for the above to hold true 100% of the time. Please note however that these charts are only entertaining a very high-level overview of basic gameplay; a chart that encompassed every nuance of every character's special that changed their jump trajectory would be a very large chart indeed!

    As a sidenote, I noticed you mentioned jumps at range. Both charts assume that you are positioned at your opponent's jump-in range.

    Thank you for your comments; your feedback is always appreciated.

  4. That is true, I probably shouldn't try complicate things.

    Write more, I'm enjoying your posts!

  5. Oi u raging Kent~ I'm having some issues with ur flowchart. Everytime I go and TRY to select ryu, the game would just automatcally move to Ken... Why's that???

  6. Yo Alex...you were a very angry Ryu player today. It's okay- the only reason I could smile about it was because I lost twenty straight to that Yun guy yesterday and already went through my four stages of grief.

    Don't worry you're not the only one. Everyone in Melbourne has been a victim of the Hong Kong fighters.

    Case in point: "I got this..."


  7. I have to say, it was truly one of the more disgusting experiences I've had playing the game.

    I'd write more, except I'm having trouble making out the keys through my tears.