Street Fighter Week: The evolution of Ken and Ryu

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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 inthe 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.

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer