Street Fighter: The Movie

REVIEWThroughout the history of video games, many great video game franchises have been periodically downgraded in the form of horrible Hollywood movies. In the case of Street Fighter, look no further than Street Fighter: The Movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme as Guile and Raul Julia as Bison, a movie that bombed at the box office in late 1994.

This movie... though timelessly funny and somehow still manages to be watchable... was bad. It's so bad, in fact, that you'd be overpaying if you bought it for $3.99 from the crappy DVD bin at Wal-Mart. I could think of better ways to spend that money. Seriously though, if you're going to actually buy this atrocity, you might as well just go all out and pick up the Blu-ray version!


Oooooh Nooooooooouuuu.


Occasionally, bad movies (and bad movies based on video games) are then sloppily transformed into even worse games. See where this is going yet? Street Fighter: The Movie (The Game) is possibly the all time best example of this trend that should be stopped, but probably never will. This game... *twitch twitch* ... this game was bad. It's so bad, you wouldn't even want to "insert 2 coins" to play it at an arcade in the 90's, because you'd be overpaying. Ouch!

(For your information, in the early days of this website, I purposely neglected adding Street Fighter: The Movie The Game to TFG's library... because... yes, it is indeed that bad. But to fully cover the history of the Street Fighter franchise, this monstrosity deserves its dark corner of the website. I can't believe I actually decided to finally write a full review on this sorry excuse for a game, but the the fans demanded it. So I'll try to make this review as quick and as painless as possible to keep anyone from killing themselves and/or suddenly combusting (like the hideous life bars in this game).

Street Fighter: The Movie
was developed by American company Incredible Technologies, who were responsible for creating two obscure yet infamous arcade fighting games: Time Killers and Bloodstorm. Capcom Japan saw that Mortal Kombat and "digitized" actors in games were positioned to be the next big thing in arcades, but they didn't know quite how to do it... so they hired Incredible Technologies... to save the day. Clearly "borrowing" the formula that Mortal Kombat became known for and had massive success with, Incredible Technologies used digitized actors in Street Fighter: The Movie, which consisted of (mostly) the same cast that appeared in the movie. Capcom even flew the Incredible Technologies team out to Australia, where the movie was being filmed, to capture the actors and collect material to make the game. They would then fly all the way back to Chicago and design this game from the ground up.


Take that Mortal Kombat... yeah!  .... *crickets* 


Clearly, the animation and visuals of Street Fighter: The Movie are nothing short of laughable and awkward at their very best moments. The digitized actors format worked in Mortal Kombat because the actors actually had some martial arts experience... but most of the actors in Street Fighter: The Movie never learned how to throw a real punch on or off the set, besides Van Damme, of course. 

Most characters in the game have some completely new moves (which only appear in this game), along with their classic ones (which look absolutely horrible, of course). The gameplay is equally as bad as the graphics, featuring a horribly stiff and sloppy control scheme. Gameplay systems include "counter" throws, which are based on Saturday Night Slam Masters, "interrupt moves", which are performed after blocking an opponent's attack, and "comeback moves", which are special moves that can only be used when the player's life gauge is on the "danger" level. It might sound halfway decent on paper, but it's really a sloppy mess of a game. In a nutshell... the gameplay of Street Fighter: The Movie is pure and honest bullshit. Ridiculous over-powered combos, sloppy movement, wonky jumping, and ugly special moves are some of the "features" of this mistake of a game.


Cammy, can you please choke me with a... rope(?)... too?


Interestingly enough... for the console version, Capcom developed the PlayStation & Sega Saturn home ports internally. Capcom obviously realized how unplayable the arcade version turned out, because they decided to reprogram the entire game engine for consoles! Capcom copy-pasted the digitized character sprites over to the Super Street Fighter II Turbo engine, but completely reworked the visuals and audio. Dee Jay and Blanka were added to the roster, as footage by the actors was recorded earlier but the team didn't have time to put the data into the arcade version.

Capcom changed the game's appearance for the home ports in quite a few ways, such as "drawing over" certain frames of animation on sprites to more closely resemble the original character sprites of SF2. Character voices were also completely rerecorded, now sounding much closer to their original versions (and now accurately pronouncing their special moves). Super moves and EX Specials (later to be introduced properly in SFIII: 2nd Impact) were added to the gameplay, as well. The console versions also received brand new backgrounds and a generally "brighter" and more colorful appearance. Blade and the palette swap Bison troopers were also removed from the home version.

With a gameplay and combo system that feels more like Street Fighter (and less like a jumbled up bootleg version of Mortal Kombat), the console versions of Street Fighter: The Movie were... dare I say... an "improvement" over the original arcade installment. Even so... the game was still a massive flop on consoles. It's on record that some of the devs at Incredible Technologies were actually big Street Fighter fans and at least "tried" to make a good game... but due to technology limitations, bad timing, and terrible gameplay design, the one and only "live action" Street Fighter arcade game will single-handedly be the biggest misstep of the franchise. On the bright side, it's also one of the comical and cringe-worthy fighting games ever made. That has to count for something, right?

Page Updated: November 20th, 2020
Developer(s): Incredible Technologies
Console Version
Publisher(s): Capcom, Acclaim  Saturn  /  PS1 
Designer(s): Elaine Ditton                        Executive Producer
Leif Pran Marwede           Project Manager
Jane Siegrist                         Head Programmer
Ralph Melgosa                    Art Direction
Kyle Johnson                        Sound
Platform(s): Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation
Release Date(s): June 1995                           Arcade
Aug. 3rd, 1995
Aug. 10th, 1995
                 Saturn / PS1
Characters Guile, Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy, Zangief, E. Honda, Balrog, Vega, Sagat, M. Bison, Akuma, Dee Jay, Blanka,Blade, Arkane, F7, Khyber, Captain Sawada

Featured Video:

Related Games: Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III: New Generation, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, Killer Instinct, Killer Instinct 2, Darkstalkers 2, Primal Rage, Final Fight: Revenge

Gameplay Engine  2.0 / 10
Story / Theme  1.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  2.5 / 10
Animation  2.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  3.0 / 10
Innovation  1.0 / 10
Art Direction  0.5 / 10
Customization  2.0 / 10
Options / Extras  1.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  1.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  1.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  2.0 / 10
Characters  2.0 / 10

 1.5 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words:

In case you haven't figured it out yet, Street Fighter: The Movie is among the worst games Capcom ever put their name on. It's a cringe-worthy masterpiece... just like the movie. The only reason to ever play this game is for historic / comic value, but be warned... playing this game is mostly painful. In any case, be sure to play the arcade version to experience the unadulterated horror and comedic value of this game. (For a more playable-but-still-terrible version, check out that Saturn or PS1 port.)

Worst Street Fighter game ever? Check. Worst fighting game ever? Not really, but close enough. In fairness, this was really the first "misstep" of the Street Fighter series. Moral of the story... stick to your guns and do your thing, and not copy other people's homework! For Street Fighter fans, it's best not to ever mention this game and just pretend it doesn't exist for the most part. However, the history of how this game came to be is pretty darn interesting (definitely watch YouTube video by Matt Muscles above, and check out some of the behind-the-scenes photos below).

In retrospect, one can't fault Capcom for "trying something new" and attempting to keep up with the times. However, in 1995/1996, so many other amazing fighting games were making a name for themselves in arcades and on home consoles. Due to the fact that Street Fighter: The Movie (the movie) was a total flop at the box office, nobody in 1995/1996 was wasting their time with SF:TMTG because there were so many other groundbreaking (and beautiful-looking) fighting games being released. To name just a few: Mortal Kombat III, Darkstalkers 2, Marvel Super Heroes, TEKKEN 2, Samurai Shodown 4, Virtua Fighter 3, and even Capcom Japan's own Street Fighter Alpha
~TFG Webmaster

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