Sunday, August 21, 2016

Thoughts On Ryu, SFV

ISo I've had quite some time to get a feel for SFV now and most of that time has predictably been spent on Ryu.

Ryu retains most of his expected attributes, at least superficially, but you will find that he performs very differently.  All of his normals are woefully short ranged and the exceptions all come with drawbacks. For instance, his st.HK only hits standing opponents and cr.HK is easily punishable on block. St.MK is relatively lengthy, but has an exploitable start up. You will find that in every match up you will be out ranged in the normals department. If you do not accept that he cannot perform at mid range like he could in previous games, you will constantly find yourself whiffing attacks.

The fireball is a good tool, although it requires very thoughtful use. Curiously, it's hitbox begins around the core of the fireball and extends slightly downward, reducing your ability to cause jumping opponents to land on the projectile. It is easily jumped over and the "sweet spot" for fireball/dragon punch is much harder to find and hold onto for zoning in this game. Speaking of dragon punches, the dp is very risky now and gives opponents an opporunity for massively damaging counter hit combos on recovery.

On the good side, the fireball is still a full range projectile, dp is still an invincible reversal, and Ryu has received some great offensive tools in his st.mp, cr.mp, st.lk, st.hp and b+hk. His dashes are also very quick.

The result is a general strategy of using mobility and mid to long range zoning in order to pry open the opportunity to enter close or point blank range, where Ryu's strengths lie. No longer can he be relied on for an ironclad defense. Zoning is not his strongest asset in V, it is merely a necessary tool to begin a close range rush.

There is a second strategy which is less effective and difficult to make win, but may be necessary in some fights. This is to stay highly mobile and carefully build up damage through chipping with fireballs and white damage. It requires lots of focus and sound judgement and takes a long time to produce results, but is viable.

I personally find this change to Ryu a little jarring as I've always valued his ability to "fight from defense." Offense is strategically necessary, but defense necessarily precedes it, as per Sun Tzu:

 "To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself."

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