In defence of Ken

Alt title: ‘stop whining ’cause I beat you’

Ryu vs Ken.

It’s how we all played as kids, right? You and your mate, greasy SNES pads in your hands, Street Fighter 2 on, Ryu vs Ken all day until someone thought they could play as Zangief and got wrecked because they didn’t know what they were doing. There was of course, always one person who thought they could play as Chun-Li by furiously tapping the medium kick, but everyone got bored of that after a while. I was always Ken, the cocky American with the He-Man haircut appealed to me more than the stoic Ryu. Especially when it came to Super Street Fighter 2 and Ken got the flaming Shoryuken or to the Alpha series where He started to become a proper showman; flashier versions of Ryu’s power moves and a massive ponytail, the faster multi-hit Tatsumaki, perfect for extending combos out. Ken was for when you wanted to beat your opponent to a pulp and flip them off afterwards as a final insult.


Apart from a brief flirtation with Ryu in Street Fighter 3 (his power in Third Strike was ridiculous), this is how it went and has always been for me. Whenever I get hold of a new Street Fighter game, Ken is always my first choice character.

And then came Street Fighter 4 and inevitably, the wonderful messages after winning an online fight. For some reason, people online have a real problem losing to Ken, accusing players of playing cheaply or using cheap tactics to win.

I think we can all agree when I say LOL INTERNETZ

I think we can all agree when I say LOL INTERNETZ

I’ve never really understood the ‘I lost so he must be using cheap tactics‘ thing. Yeah, Ken does have some very cheap moves that have a crazy priority over others, but if you know he has a cheap wake up Dragon punch…here’s an idea, don’t stand next to Ken when he’s knocked down…simple really. I don’t claim to be in anyway a ‘good’ SF player, but I can handle myself. We’ve got an arcade cabinet at work with SF3:TS installed and frequent lunch time plays has shown that most who step up will get knocked down, but put me online and usually, I’ll loose (I blame the 360’s D-Pad for most of these…) and with these losses, I learn.  It’s the beauty of Street Fighter, everything has a defensive tactic, you’ve just got figure out how to handle someone who is constantly throwing cheap moves your way. Do a quick Google and you can find people kicking ass with Dan. Dan, arguably the weakest character holding his own against strong opponents.

You’ve got to play to the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent vs how you play. Try and trick them into doing those cheap moves and then punish them for it. Sometimes, someone will just ruin you because they’re better, it’s how it goes. I’ve always attempted to play as all characters on the roster just in case one can replace Ken, but also to learn their move sets, helps you know what you’re up against; if you know Able is a little slow on the ground, you know you can rush him and take advantage of this.

So really, quit calling people ‘shoto scrubs’, quit whining about people beating you and learn how to beat them.

Think you can take me? XBL is GavW, come find me, I’ll be getting my ass handed to me by a plethora of Fei-Long’s.


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