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

X-Men vs. Street Fighter - 1996

The trend of matching Capcom characters against those of other publishers would not be short lived. In this case, Ken and Ryu battle the X-Men heroes in their Alpha forms. While the actual character sprites aren't new, the visual grandness of their special moves have been upped to match the mutants' powers.

Above: A very large fireball

While the stories in crossover games are not part of the official Street Fighter canon, they generally stay true to the characters. Ryu is thanked by Cyclops before wandering away, you guessed it, in search of another challenge. Ken can be found with his son playing none other than X-men vs. Street Fighter.

Trivia: X-Men vs. Street Fighter is the first game to include Street Fighter characters alongside "tag-team" gameplay. The PlayStation port, however, does not feature tag-team gameplay due to memory limitations. Instead, the alternate character only appears during special attacks. The Saturn version (only released in Japan), however, is a true arcade port.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes - 1998

While the art style of the character portraits is still pretty "Alpha-ish," the characters are in their post-Alpha garb. Marvel vs. Capcom is one of the only games in which Ryu appears without Ken along side him as a playable character. But wait - down, back, medium punch and...

Above: It's Ken! Uh, kind of...

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes - 2000

Ken returns as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, though he is only available after unlocking. The characters are back to their pre-SF II look (Ryu with a white headband). The character art is oddly boyish - are these prepubescent versions of Ken and Ryu?

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer