When super moves were first introduced into the SF games, we only had one to use. I could understand this because the game was still kind of in it’s infant stage and it was a new idea capcom was trying out. Then along came Darkstalkers/Vampire Savior and there was a super move for every special move you had plus a couple of extra super moves. After that came the Alpha series where all of the specials could be used as supers with a different level of damage dependent on the number of buttons you pressed. In Alpha 2 you had your 3 supers and they added the custom combo, 3 made you choose between having access to 3 supers or a custom combo or one powerful super.
In SF3, you were limited to selecting 1 super. With the release of 2nd Impact the use of EX specials became available. This carried over to 3rd Strike and SF4. Now in SF4/SSF4, you only have 1 super and 1 Ultra available to you. In SSF4 you’ll be allowed to choose between one other alternate ultra.
I think that having access to multiple super moves made characters more versatile. While it can be argued that EX moves are a stripped down version of those supers, you can’t help but wonder how different the game would be if we still had access to full/partial strength supers. We’d have lots of different strategies and I think more characters would be more viable.
One of the things people like to do with Ryu in SF4 is EX hurricane kick into Ultra. I wonder if capcom thought it would be a bad idea for you to just land a level 3 or super hurricane kick. I think they were trying to stop characters from being one trick ponies and it ended up happening anyway. What say you on this subject? I myself miss the variety of being able to do any super I want. I mean really, look what happened to poor Akuma/Gouki. Here was a guy that had 4+ supers (dependent on the game) at his disposal. In SF4 he was stripped to 2 version of the raging demon. A weak one and an ultra one. It’s already risky as hell to try and use it and they just forced it on us.
Sometimes when my friends and I get together to play some 3rd Strike, we give the characters access to all of their supers using the system direction options. Sure it makes for an unnatural game, but it’s still a lot of fun.