Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Ryu

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has arrived and everyone is here! Shacknews' Ultimate Character Profiles continue with the World Warrior, Ryu.


For the last 20 years, the top characters in the Nintendo pantheon have battled it out in the Super Smash Bros. series. Now there's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch, where everyone is back to battle it out again. Not only have Nintendo's top names returned, but they're joined by a new round of fighters, including some big-name third-party characters.

The game has been out in the wild for a little over two months, but with so many characters to choose from, Shacknews remains committed to taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually. And we are continuing to do so beyond the game's arrival date.

The final version is in the consumer hands, but these profiles should still not be considered final and can be updated at any time. Any guide that has been updated will be clearly marked.

Here's what we have up so far:
#01 - Mario
#02 - Donkey Kong
#03 - Link
#04 - Samus
#05 - Yoshi
#06 - Kirby (Updated 9/8/18)
#07 - Fox
#08 - Pikachu
#09 - Luigi
#10 - Ness
#11 - Captain Falcon
#15 - Ice Climbers
#16 - Sheik
#17 - Zelda
#19 - Pichu
#21 - Marth
#23 - Ganondorf
#24 - Mewtwo
#28 - Pit
#30 - Wario
#31 - Snake
#32 - Ike
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#39 - King Dedede
#40 - Olimar
#42 - R.O.B.
#44 - Wolf
#45 - Villager
#46 - Mega Man
#49 - Little Mac
#55 - Pac-Man
#61 - Cloud
#62 - Corrin
#63 - Bayonetta (Updated 1/11/19)
#64 - Inkling (Updated 12/15/18)
#65 - Ridley
#67 - King K. Rool
#70 - Piranha Plant

Our breakdowns continue with one of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS' most surprising cameo characters.

Who is Ryu?

Ryu is the World Warrior who started it all. The face of the Street Fighter franchise, he's wandered the world searching for new challengers and anyone who can give him a worthy fight. His search has led him to a colorful cast of fighters from around the world, a dictator bent on ruling the world with his generals that includes a masked narcissist and a boxer, the cast of Tekken, the superheroes of Marvel, whatever the hell this thing is, and even actual monsters. So really, when you think about it, how did he not end up in Super Smash Bros. sooner?

Ryu brings his unparalleled discipline and determination to Super Smash Bros., where he uses his fireballs and Dragon Punches to bop any opponent who comes his way. He shouldn't have any problem finding a worthy battle among this field.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Ryu

Ryu's Moves and Fighter Overview

Anybody who has ever picked up a Street Fighter game should know what Ryu brings to the table. His special moves are all intact and work just as they do in the Street Fighter games. Having that said, the rest of Ryu also works like he does in the Street Fighter games, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, in particular. That means he's basically fighting whoever's in front of him and has some trouble when he's surrounded, so keep that in mind when in the middle of multi-person battles.

Here are Ryu's special moves:

  • Hadoken (Neutral B): Ryu fires off his classic fireball forward. Performing the traditional fireball motion and hitting A on the controller will fire off a stronger version of this move, while using the full half-circle movement will fire the red version of the fireball for greater damage.
  • Shoryuken (Up B): Ryu's signature rising punch, it does moderate to heavy damage and works as a reliable finisher. It gets good vertical recovery, but leaves Ryu helpless on the way down. Perform the traditional dragon punch input and hit A for a stronger version of this move, even more capable of KO-ing opponents.
  • Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (Side B): Ryu's hurricane kick does moderate damage, but also works great as horizontal recovery move. Hold the button down for greater damage and also greater distance. Just be careful that you don't get caught on the way down. Use the traditional hurricane kick input for a stronger version of this move, which can KO opponents.
  • Focus Attack (Down B): Taken from Street Fighter IV, Ryu charges up and strikes, crumpling any opponent it hits. Ryu gets super armor and can withstand a hit as he charges up.
  • Shinku Hadoken/Shin Shoryuken (Final Smash): Ryu's standard Final Smash sends off a massive fireball that does massive damage. But if he hits an opponent point blank, he'll go for the Shin Shoryuken instead for an almost assured KO.

Ryu's neutrals have been adjusted slightly, getting more damage and knockback on many of his tilts and smashes. His aerial game has also been enhanced in that any of his aerial moves can now be canceled into specials, giving him a little more defensive versatility. His aerials themselves also deal greater knockback and have greater KO potential than before.

Speaking of his specials, Ryu's Hadoken is now greatly improved and can make him more of a zone fighter, just like in the Street Fighter series. TO help feed into this, though, his Shoryuken is a bit weaker than it was in Smash 4.

Echo Fighter Spotlight - Ken

Ken is marginally different than Ryu, but he's different enough that he almost warrants a whole separate entry. While the two characters share special moves, Ken is much more of a combo-based fighter, dealing more for damage than for strictly knocking back opponents. Further feeding into this idea is that Ken doesn't use punches as much as he does kicks.

Ken's specials do operate slightly differently. His hurricane kick will deal more damage if all of the hits connect, while Shoryuken does much greater damage thanks to Ken's ability to hone fire into it. And of course, there's the big difference in Final Smashes, where Ken does his classic Shinryuken and Shippu Jinraikyaku finishers from the Street Fighter series.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Ryu

Esports Observations

The VGBootCamp crew takes Ryu out for a spin, noting the benefits in him always facing his opponents in one-on-one scenarios. They also demonstrate some of Ryu's combo game, showing off various tilt combos and their potential to KO.

The Max Stat Games crew also went hands-on with Ryu and Bam appears to be much more excited about the character, noting the benefits in his one-on-one approach. He also notes that Ryu's back dash combines greatly with this new change, allowing for better positioning.

Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada is similarly encouraged by the auto turn-around, especially for ledge-trapping against heavier characters. He also likes the newfound aerial cancels into specials, which helps in both recovery and combos.

As for Ken, he operates only slightly differently. But Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman has some notes on him, pointing to his combo-oriented gameplay and how it differs from Ryu. He lauds Ken's increased speed, even if it comes at the expense of his KO power.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out now on Nintendo Switch. We're still going through every single character, so be sure to check back in often for more profiles. For more on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, be sure to check out our full walkthrough and guide.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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