From an argument I've had with a troll a few months back, I've come to realize that despite the resurgence of SF3 characters in recent years, the game still hasn't been fully accepted by a small portion of the fanbase. Particularly Alex. Why? Because Ryu and Ken weren't originally planned to be in it, and Alex was meant to be their "replacement". Seriously? This dumb misconception still exists?
First off, to all the morons out there, being the main character of SF3 did not make Alex a replacement for your beloved shotos. That's what SEAN was made for. Did it ever occur to you that Sean was reduced to a joke character because they decided to bring Ryu and Ken back? His existence has gone to waste. Unlike Ibuki, they didn't make him suck accidentally in 3rd Strike; they made him suck on purpose. He's a worse character than Dan now. So if you're looking to direct your resentment towards any character, it's him. Alex is not the guy to whine about.
Second, while Ryu and Ken may be SF's poster characters, they were never, EVER the center focus in any game past the original SF. Let's do a recap: SF2 put the most emphasis on Guile, as proven by his canon ending with him beating Bison, and his family stopping him from finishing Bison off. Ryu and Ken did nothing. SF Alpha was split into several storylines, of which Ryu and Ken shared only one. SF4 had Abel for its main protagonist, while Super, subsequently, had Juri. Ryu and Ken did nothing.
The only difference between Alex and these other protagonists is he happens to be the face of SF3. So what? Ryu and Ken have a history of taking a backseat to the conflicts in these games regardless. Even if you wanted to slap Ryu's face on SF3, his role in the story would be exactly the same. Insignificant. All he does is go around fighting people to better himself, while someone else with a more serious motive to fight hunts down the bad guy.
Bottom line, Ryu and Ken are not going anywhere. No matter who Capcom chooses to build up as the hero, they still made it in SF3 to do what they do best. Nothing! So stop complaining.
On a related note, I've seen some people question why the fans want Alex back so much. Why do we like him? What makes him special?
For starters, he just has a cool design. He's a native New York brawler with an aggressive personality to match, and one of the few characters that actually fit the description of what a "Street Fighter" is. He's also fun to play. I mean, no shit. Being a grappler doesn't change that. Characters who belong in this category have their glaring differences too, and Alex couldn't be any further from Zangief in terms of gameplay.
Another obvious reason is the fact he's a protagonist, and a very unorthodox one at that. Alex is a kid. He's a BIG kid, but a kid nonetheless. And he spends his days brawling in NY back alleys. You'd never expect him to be the one foretold in some ancient prophecy to save the world from a coming global apocalypse. He's not trying to be a hero. Still, we know he has the capacity to be one by how far he's willing to go to get revenge on a powerful cult leader for harming his adoptive family. Like John McClane, he's in a position to pull off some amazing feats while still managing to be relatable.
If THAT doesn't make an interesting protagonist, I don't know what does. But it certainly beats the hell out of a karateka walking the earth in a smelly-ass gi for more challenges. So the next time someone says there's nothing special about Alex, you can point to all the Ryu supporters and laugh.
Not that I actually hate Ryu or the shotos, but goddamn, do they have some annoying fans.