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Can someone explain the mechanics of Street Fighter to me?

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Why would you not use standing hard kick or punch? I'm sure you can cancel those (although I haven't played for years).

Less push back on the MK makes it a bit easier to combo the dragon (though that shouldn't be an issue after the crossup), and the difference in damage is very small. I just read that HP can be parried low as well as high (not sure if that's true, will have to test) while MK has to be parried high. The most important reason is that you can hold the stick towards while you press MK then to down, down toward HP for the dragon in a smooth motion. If you use HP or MP in the combo, Ryu has command normals with toward. The dragon is that bit harder because you have to press neutral HP or MP before going into the dragon motion. Ryu's HK cannot be cancelled in 3rd Strike.

By all means use the HP version of the combo, it's his best damage option after all. It'll also get you used neutral inputs followed by cancels - Makoto has to make use of this for HP > Abare Tosanami (SA2) so it's good to get some practice in if you plan on using her!

Finally, don't forget the follow up after ShinSho - the easiest options are HK hurricane kick as soon as you land or HK sidekick (half circle towards + K) after a slight delay.

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Great topic

Isn't it just?

Great advice Liquid and Willei - cheers. I'm gonna really have to put some time into getting some combos sorted, especially in SF3. I'm more of an Ibuki player because I love the feints and tricks she can pull off - just need to figure out how to incorporate them into something a bit more... fluid.

Gwynster - I'm not a complete beginner, but just need to up my game a bit. The sub-header was a (slightly) jokey rhetorical question.

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It's amazing the amount of depth there is in SF2 and the genre it spawned. I so much more knowledge of the mechanics of those games that anything I've played subsequently. The only thing that has come close is the Halo series. It took me years to get good though. I just wouldn't have the time to play a single game that much these days.

I think the main reason for using lights and mediums is just because of the different ranges and hit-boxes (as well as knowing which ones can be cancelled or chained, obviously). Guile's low medium kick had enormous range in all the SF2 games, for example (unless they nerfed it for SSF2T - I forget), whereas his low HK left you open for about half an hour and his low HP was an uppercut.

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