Street Fighter Week: The evolution of Ken and Ryu

Table of Contents
Street Fighter | Street Fighter II | Alpha series | Street Fighter III | EX series | SF: The Movie and Gem Fighter | Marvel vs. Capcom series | SNK vs. Capcom series | Misc. games | Sprite comparison | SSFIITHDR and Street Fighter IV | Comics, films, and more 

Street Fighter EX - 1996

The EX series was developed by Arika, not Capcom. The games were the first 3D versions of Street Fighter, but were criticized for essentially being 2D fighting games with polygonal graphics. Ken and Ryu appear roughly as they do in Street Fighter II, only they're made of ugly, ugly polygons.

Above: Ryu and Ken in Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha 

Street Fighter EX 2 - 1998

Better technology (Namco's System 12 arcade board) gives EX 2 smoother textures and more polygons, but in the end, it's still an ugly early 3D fighter, and Ken and Ryu are still chunky messes of characters.

Above: EX 2 Plus

Street Fighter EX 3 - 2000

But wait! EX 3 was released two years later on the next generation of hardware, ported to the PS2, and massive graphical improvement ensued. Well, massive is a pretty hefty word - the models look much nicer than in the previous EX games, but in comparison to other PS2 games of its time, EX 3 was not quite up to par. Critics described the characters as "blocky," and "high-res PS1," and much was said about the slow character response time.

Some, however, found EX 3 to be a complete success - especially those who were fans of the previous EX games. Critical reception aside, Ken and Ryu are looking their most... 3Dish in EX 3, but are otherwise unaltered.

Trivia: On the Street Fighter EX 2 Plus arcade machine, Garuda, Shadow Geist, and Kairi become available when the machine has been running for a long period of time.

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  • Ktown - January 23, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    This is very entertaining but most of this info is false. Ken isn't an actor, but his father is the worlds third richest man and Ken is an American martial arts champion. Second Ryu finished sagat with the Hadouken after the shoryuken and not the dark hadou. The shoryuken belongs goukens master not ryu. Third, ken fights ryu at the end because Ken has defeated every opponent he has come across, except ryu.
  • beoftw - March 2, 2009 2:23 a.m.

    lol street fighter 2: the animated movie shold have gotten alot more praise than it did. imo i thought it was alot better than the otheres.
  • Arukami - February 27, 2009 2:07 p.m.

    All beatiful recalls....aboveall th first SF! and SFII with that big pic with Vega with his hands open...i'll Kill you!!!!!! U understand me!!! I'll kill you Vega! XDDD! Great article!
  • Auron00 - February 21, 2009 9:31 a.m.

    Not that anyone will really care too much, but, just to keep this retrospective a bit more clear, Ken Masters was never an actor, he is a world famous martial arts tournament champion in america (multiple times over even) and his father is the third richest man in the world (in the SF world anyway).
  • jackrabbitslims - March 15, 2009 12:42 p.m.

    "and apparently a variety of nuts in his cheek to consume later" LMAO. Great article, I love catching up on the history of street fighter.
  • WiqidBritt - February 24, 2009 3:50 a.m.

    what? no mention of Violent Ken in SVC Chaos?
  • Sonneilon - February 21, 2009 9:18 p.m.

    Reading thru all these, feels like I should get a degree with all this SF knowledge now!
  • Bigpapa360 - February 21, 2009 7:27 a.m.

    Second. Man I love seeing how all these games get their start.
  • Grundler24 - February 16, 2009 4:29 p.m.

    First??? The arcade version of this is amazing, i've gotten the chance to play it at an arcade in china town and my friends grandpa owns it so i got free tokens and played it forever. SF never seems to end its reign of ass kicking.

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