In today's Speak Up, Daemon_Gildas confesses that Ryu just flat out sucks. Especially compared to his rivals.
Listen, I know it's been a while since we talked. I maybe said some things, and you maybe locked me out of some on-disc content. But I like to think we've really grown since then. So I just wanna take a second and be real with you.
Nobody likes Ryu. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Ryu's a great guy once you get to know him, except no he's not, he's boring as shit. He may have starred in the greatest Fighting Game of All Time, but he's just not very interesting, and certainly not the kind of character who is ever going to be "the face of Capcom", no matter how hard you try to fill that void.
Quite frankly, Ryu is Mega Man X. And all of the other Street Fighters are Zero. Sure, maybe Ryu is the "middle-ground" fighter, and he has a more robust moveset at the expense of being less specialized, but... well that's just it, isn't it? Ryu can throw a Shoryuken; Ken can throw a Shoryuken THAT'S ON FIRE. Ryu can do a Hurricane Kick. Akuma can do a Hurrcane Kick that actually has goddamn LIGHTNING in that bitch. Dan as least has the decency to suck so much that he's awesome again.
Ryu is a serious contender for competitive play, but there is nothing remotely "memorable" about him. His attacks lack the flair of the rest of the cast's, and even his personality seems to go to absurd lengths to ensure that he never come across as "hostile", despite starring in a series of games whose only purpose is literally to hit people until they fall down.
In all seriousness, Ryu isn't a bad character, and he serves an important role in Gaming history. And it makes sense that he would show up in Fighting games quite often. But, being a guy with literally no distinguishing features besides wearing a karate outfit, there's really only so much you can do with him. He's simply never going to have the kind of mainstream recognition that Mega Man had, no matter how hard to try to make us believe otherwise.
I'm not sure what went down at Capcom HQ, but pretending Mega Man doesn't exist isn't doing yourselves any favors. And Ryu damn-sho' isn't going to be your replacement.
About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.