“On the Next Level” takes a look at Street Fighter: The Movie-The Game!!

Hey there J1 fans, your old pal Devildriver1313 is back to take you another journey through gaming history! As you have seen, Time Warp Review is now called “On the Next Level”, which will be my new gaming section! In the decade of “Hammer pants” and “Home Alone” films, the 90s saw a boon in video game sales, most particularly fighting games. And from their popularity came the release of feature films based on them. Unfortunately, there were a lot of misses and one will be remembered as one of the worst fighting game adaptations ever. And to top it off, there was a fighting game released based on that movie. This installment of “On the Next Level” looks at Street Fighter: The Movie-The Game.

Published by Capcom, Street Fighter: The Movie is a head to head fighting game based on the live action movie of the same name. No need to explain the mechanics of this title since it is a Street Fighter game.

…But in case y’all forgot, like the other Street Fighter titles of the time, each match consisted of three rounds with victory going to the player winning two of them. Most of the familiar characters from Super Street Fighter II Turbo are present with the exception of Fei Long, Dee Jay, Blanka and Dhalsim for the arcade version. Sawada, who appeared in the film, does so in the game, as well as a member of Bison’s shock troops, Blade. Blanka and Dee Jay are playable in the home console version, however. Also, Akuma is added as a regular on the character roster. This marks the first time Akuma appeared in a Street Fighter game as a fully playable character.

Street Fighter: The Movie uses digitized actors to portray the characters, many of whom appeared in the live Street Fighter movie including Jean-Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia (who is credited for reprising his role although his stunt double is used for the animation). As mentioned, the game plays much like Capcom’s other Street Fighter titles with some interesting additions. In the arcade version developed by Incredible Technologies, the game had greater emphasis towards jugging an opponent while they’re falling in the air. Additionally, Special Moves can be canceled while performing another Special Move. Characters such as Balrog and Zangief can now deflect projectiles back at their opponents, with this ability becoming a permanent move for Zangief. Other techniques exclusive to this game include “interrupt moves”, which are performed after blocking an opponent’s attacks, and “comeback moves”, which are special moves that can only be used when the player’s life gauge is on the “danger” level. These serve as precursors to “Alpha Counters” and “Ultra Combos.” For the home console version, however, these features did not make the cut.

Street Fighter: The Movie not only made use of digitized actors, but also poked fun at Mortal Kombat in some stage designs

The combat system of the home games, developed by Capcom and Acclaim, favored Super Street Fighter II Turbo. In addition to Special Moves and Super Moves, players can perform Super Special Moves, which are more powerful version of a character’s Special Move. There are four game modes available. The primary being a single player “Movie Battle”, which (as you probably can guess) follows the plot of the movie. Other modes include “Street Battle”, “VS. Mode” and “Trial Mode” where players fight the entire roster to achieve a high score. As I’ve said, Blanka and Dee Jay appear in the home games. Akuma, on the other hand, is one again bumped down to be an unlockable character. Captain Sawada also appears, although his move set differs from the arcade version. Blade, along with the other palette swapped Shock Troops, do not appear in the console version. Raul Julia was set to reprise his role as Bison but sadly, his passed away before the game’s release. His movie stunt double filled the role.

The arcade and home console versions of Street Fighter: The Movie differed not only in gameplay and characters, but also in graphic quality. While the arcade version has stunning graphics and better gameplay, the home versions were severely watered down. The character animations had a lower frame rate which led to choppy gameplay and the background graphics were less than stellar. Home versions received mostly negative reviews. Many game reviewers commented on the slow animation, poor controls, bad voice acting and the fact that the characters did not resemble the movie actors. The Playstation version suffers the worst, criticized for its long load times, conspicuous glitches and muddy sprites, as well as poor gameplay. Where the arcade version was praised for being a “worthy adaptation”, the home version, especially the PlayStation, will be best remembered for being an abject embarrassment.

Until next time, see you “On the Next Level!”

Street Fighter: The Movie Arcade version