I play a lot of fighting games. I neglect other games to play fighting games. Something about the genre appeals to me. Though the games do not have finite ending points, they have an almost infinite amount of depth. The player chooses how much they want out of any given fighter based on the time they put in. In other words the more you stick with the games, practicing and learning, the more you get out of it as a player. For most fighters, I use different characters based on mechanics and appeal. There is one franchise however I do not switch it up. In Street Fighter, I play Ryu. The game has plenty of other characters that are appealing and are frankly quite a bit better than Ryu, but no matter what I can't change where my heart resides.
Street Fighter 4 was my first game in the series. It took me awhile to actually get into the game. At the same time of Street Fighter, I found myself absolutely enthralled with marvel Vs. Capcom 3. I didn't keep up with Street Fighter because I was too busy playing Marvel with my friends and roommates. My first few years of college were dominated with nights full of Marvel. Eventually my living conditions changed, and I lost my sparring partners. After this I started seeking out other fighting games. I tried Tekken and Persona Arena, but I couldn't get into them, even after spending much of my childhood with Tekken. After finding a healthy Smash community in my area, I started playing that series more seriously. I love Smash, but there was still something I was missing from my Marvel days. After the release of Ultra Street Fighter 4, I knew I had to get back into the game.
Throughout all my experiences with Street Fighter, I have played Ryu. In Arcade Edition I played Ryu, and when I picked up Ultra and started to invest serious time into the game I stuck with Ryu. Something about the character appeals to me. Maybe it's his monk like lifestyle and dedication to his dream. Perhaps it's just that he was easy to pick up when I was learning the game. Regardless I found his zoning and defensive strategy appealing. I had played Ryu quite a bit in Marvel, but dropping his super powered moves and back to what Ryu is at his core made me appreciate what the designers do with the character. Luckily Ultra gave him some much needed improvments. Even though Evil Ryu is considered a better character, I can never leave the proper Shoto legend behind.
The games change, but as a character I love what Ryu is. He is easy to learn, but difficult to master. He reperesents dedication, and learning; two things that are essential to getting good at any fighting game. Though I'm still in the early phases of learning USF4, I know that I won't ever be switching mains. No matter what they announce in Street Fighter 5, it won't matter. I know that Capcom will never drop their mascot from the series, so I will never have to worry about Ryu missing an entry.