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Super Canceling makes it easier to string together higher-damage combos than simply performing the Super Art/Super Combo on its own. The damage done by the Super Art/Super Combo itself is lowered; this is due to the programming of Super Cancels in the Street Fighter III series, and damage scaling in the Street Fighter IV games.
The Street Fighter EX series expands upon the Super Cancel mechanic, allowing a Super Combo to be cancelled into a different Super Combo, as long as the player has enough meter.
In other kinds of fighting games, SC'ing during special attacks usually requires a form of extra cost for the super that's being cancelled into, as opposed to the usual criteria for when it's performed standalone or chained/cancelled into from a normal attack. Both other fighting games and the Street Fighter games alike make this a very character-dependent-based mechanic, as they are unique for each character and for each of their moves. Examples often include only certain projectiles being SC'able just as they come out or moves that are SC'able during certain frames upon connecting. There also exist moves that cannot be SC'able at all.