I have had my hopes raised and dashed before. There have been so many incarnations of Street Fighter 2 and most have let me down. I have many fond memories about challenging my mates on the old Super Nintendo (or SNES) then trying to use the moves in the dojo!
So, now we have Street Fighter 2: Assassins Fist. This was a result of the passion of Joey Ansah and Christian Howard, two very talented British martial artists and actors and massive SF2 fans. They are supported by film producer Jacqueline Quella and the result is very promising indeed.
The story focuses around the origins of Ryu (played by Mike Moh) and Ken (Christian Howard) with the protagonist being the mighty Akuma (Joey Ansah). There are no other main computer game characters in this series.
From the very first shot, you are treated to beautiful scenic views. Not quite ‘Hero‘ quality, but for the budget it is fantastic. The martial arts kicks in (excuse the pun) straight away and is solid. The moves are slick and powerful. They add the famous computer game moves in subtly-ish, to make it believable. All except for the special attacks such as Hadouken. Even these are kind of explained and can be forgiven. The CGI doesn’t go overboard. The action is constant but does allow for the story to shine through.
The story is excellent and is presented in way that builds intrigue. You have to switch off your brain and some points and forgive certain liberties but you must remember that these are based on larger than life computer game characters. Ansah and Howard have done an excellent job at building the characters up in three dimensions. My only criticism, which may seem petty, are the costumes. They have been kept faithful to the computer game but look strange in real life. I would have liked to have seen them a bit more grittier and realistic. Also, Kens wig was horrendous.
There is a sequel already underway; Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior and is rumored that it will feature other known characters such as Chung Li, Guile and M. Bison
Assassins fist is now available on DVD, however, I watched it on YOUTUBE (click here to watch part 1) in several short 13-15 minute installments. It was like a martial arts soap opera and I wanted to keep watching to see what happened next. I don’t know if there are any differences between the YOUTUBE version and the DVD. I was relieved to find that I liked this story so much that I will likely buy it on DVD anyway.