Here are five key differences between Ryu and his Echo Fighter Ken in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

High damage Shoryuken, faster movement, and crazy normals

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • November 6, 2018 at 11:56 a.m. PST

Ken was one of the last characters announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As expected, he is an Echo Fighter of Ryu. During the Nintendo Direct, it was stated that Ken is mostly based off of his appearance in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.

Despite being an Echo Fighter, Ken looks to have more differences with Ryu when compared to Lucina to Marth or Pit to Dark Pit. Honestly, the development team of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate could've gotten away with saying that Ken is a unique fighter who just simply bears similarities to Ryu — like what Isabelle is to the Villager. In any event, Chrom is no longer the most unique Echo Fighter now that Ken has joined the battle.

Ken's move list and mechanics will seem familiar to Ryu players. A number of Ken's attacks look like they were essentially copy and pasted from Ryu's moves. Given though, they might have different properties as Ken is known for being faster than Ryu, but slightly weaker.

Both characters appear to benefit from the automatically facing opponents just like in the Street Fighter series. In 1v1 matches, Ryu and Ken will always face their opponent while they are grounded.

These two combatants also have rather large move pools when compared to the rest of the cast. That's because they can both hold the normal attack button to perform stronger variations of their grounded neutral and tilt commands.

Finally, their specials are powered up if you perform them by inputting the original command from the Street Fighter games. Now let's take a look at five major differences that we've been able to spot between these two.

Fireballs

Masahiro Sakurai mentioned during the Direct that the two fireballs are shaped differently. We can clearly see the outlines of Ken's hands in his fireball.

Notably, we haven't seen Ken perform the Shakunetsu Hadoken, or the red fireball, yet. Ryu is able to perform this with a half-circle forward plus an attack button. It's possible this version of the fireball is exclusive to Ryu — just like in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.

More than likely, Ken's fireballs are going to be a little weaker than Ryu's version of the special. This might be placebo, but it also looks like Ken has a few extra recovery frames after throwing a fireball.

Dragon Punch

While Ryu is the master of the Hadoken, Ken is best known for his fiery Shoryuken. If you perform the hard version of the attack, Ken's fist will engulf the opponent in flames.

In Super Smash Bros. 4, this was Ryu's best KO option. If you strike an opponent right at the move's startup, it will deal a ton of damage and knockback.

Ken's version of the attack is multi-hitting. Seeing as how it deals over 20% damage if all three hits connect, it actually hurts more than Ryu's. It's currently unknown if it will have more knockback, but players won't have to connect at the very start of the attack to secure kills — it's the last hit of the move that has the most knockback.

Command Normals

We previously mentioned that both Ryu and Ken can use command tilts and neutral attacks. This gives them a large selection of attacks to utilize during matches.

Interestingly enough, their command normals appear to be completely differently. While Ryu is basic and straight to the point, Ken adds some flashy movements to his kicks.

Sakurai specifically mentions that Ken utilizes his "crazy kicks" from Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. Ken users that will transition from Ryu will have to learn different situations in which their attacks are best suited for.

Hurricane Kick

Although Ryu and Ken's Hurricane Kicks look the same, they have unique properties. Ryu's is basically just a big hit that deals a lot of damage and knockback.

Ken's version of the move will strike multiple times, but doesn't appear to have much knockback associated with it. On the bright side, Ken will likely be able to continue the pressure afterwards as the opponent is kept close once Ken is finished.

It's also worth noting that Ken's Hurricane Kick is probably a little safer since the opponent has to respect the multiple hits while shielding.

Movement Speed

Ken walks and runs faster than Ryu. Many have speculated that this could mean that Ken will have a better neutral game than Ryu.

Slow movement happens to be one of Ryu's main weaknesses in Super Smash Bros. 4. Ken might be a little bit better at chasing opponents with his extra speed.

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