Well, it also changes the ebb and flow of the game. Although easier inputs modify things across the board I’ll just use the Dragon Punch as an example since it seems to be the main area of contention.
Because it’s so easy to mash out a DP you’re essentially making things that used to be “clutch” easier, especially in terms of pressuring an opponent with a block string or a jump in.
Block strings are a vital tool for every character in SF. The block string is a means of pressuring your opponent with various moves, if they flinch they’ll get caught with something (or atleast that’s the hope). Characters with DPs have an extra option to get out. In the older games, it was a little more difficult to DP and you had to be more precise. You had to be very confident with when you were going to DP, in other words, you had to pick your spots concerning when the best time was to dp. Now because of shortcuts, you can sort of mash it out. Why guess DPing on one part of the blockstring when you can just mash btw and every gap and pray that it will hit, right?
And it’s not just blockstrings, jumping in is less effective because of the ease of doing a DP. Doing well under pressure is just as important as predicting your opponents moves. In the other SFs, it was a little less risky to jump if you could truly scare your opponent and pressure them effectively with jumps. A good example of this would be watching a blanka player ike Komoda play Super Turbo. ([media=youtube]V4oOkxnKatg&feature=related[/media])
Watch how he uses normals to pressure Ryu in the corner and how he jumps in with Jab. How many DP anti airs do you see? Only one, at the end when Komoda was totally down on life. You’ll see the Ryu player opt for stand fierce at one point. Even though it traded, it was easier to do. Better to trade than to eat a jump roundhouse by Blanka, by trying to DP. Of course, this can also be attributed to Super Turbo being a fair amount faster than SF4, but I know when I’m playing ST that DP has to be precise and you have to be confident about it or else you’re going to put yourself in a bad position.
Of course, SF4 is SF4 and you have to look passed the easier inputs if you’re going to excel at it. It’s a matter of preference and every SF is different. Just my 2 cents.
Ryu vs. Blanka match in sf4 for comparison: [media=youtube]8EnEEx1yt6U[/media]