Posted May 28, 2014 by Yuri Mangahas in Gaming

WEB SERIES REVIEW: ‘Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist’ – Like A Challenger Striking The Crown!

After the success of the first two Street Fighter games 22 years ago, attempts were made to translate the said series to the main screen. The first film(headed by Jean Claude Van Damme – pardon his awfully long name) was a campy fest to put it aptly. The fight sequences were ridiculous, but the novelty paid off regardless. The second one, which is The Legend of Chun-Li was an even worse rendition. It trampled all the elements and backstory of some established characters, not to mention, altering Bison entirely from a powered megalomaniac to a psychotic, blond mafia dude. It was disastrous.

Let’s face it: Building a movie/series based on a game is pretty difficult. There are some mechanics which would not fit well if translated differently, plus the idea of pitting a fighting game beyond its source format would be arduous. That’s where Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist comes in.

The idea of the series sprang from a fan-pitch made by SF fans Christian Howard and director/stunt choreographer Joey Ansah. Their goal is to basically render the story of Street Fighter in a way that would be adaptable to modern trends, but not forsaking familiarity and the history of its saga.  And it did work out.

Instead of going in for a movie approach, they utilized the same format as with Mortal Kombat: Legacy, and unlike the previous attempts, this was done with thought and ardent care. The story serves as a prequel, fleshing out the origins of Gouken, Akuma, as well as the training phase of sworn brothers Ryu & Ken. It also explained some of the bits which were never revealed in the games, which took this series further.

What I liked about Assassin’s Fist is the fact that they translated their backstories with finesse and reverence to the source material. It never altered nor changed anything, but rather expanded on them. It also grounded the martial arts physics of the franchise, expounding on how the style of Hadou actually works and how it is relative to known concepts of Ki as well as other forms of combat. Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that they confined the focus of the story to the four aforementioned characters rather than creating something big and encompassing, which strengthened the theme and plot of AF as a whole.

It also changed the way we perceive Gouken and Akuma by giving them layers and proper motivations. The latter was earlier seen as an entity who constantly thirsts for combat, a demon who slays whoever hinges on his path. Howard’s story gave him more depth, making him a sympathetic character than prior. Gouken, on the other hand, felt much humane than his SFIV counterpart. He is portrayed here as an incomplete individual, who desires to touch the edge of enlightenment. Their clash of principles in terms of achieving the human potential is also interesting.

AF’s Ryu & Ken on the other hand, are tailor fit to their roles. Mike Moh sure looks like the wanderer Ryu, carrying the calmness, as well as naivety and the innate darkness he possessess. Christian Howard portrays Ken perfectly, as if the character jumped right from the screen to play his part – not to mention, the first time he delivered the Shinryuken is a big moment for me. He was born to become Ken Masters, that, I’m pretty sure.

What also makes this series spectacular are the fight sequences. Like I mentioned earlier, they have grounded the style of Hadou in a way that it becomes relative to actual forms of combat. Their move sets are also quite akin to that of the games, particularly Ryu and Ken’s nuances before entering a fight. The choreography’s also contained and spot on to the last touch, creating a product of total finesse despite the budget limit.

In conclusion, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist is a near-perfect rendition of the aforementioned franchise, opening another gate to an entirely new world. Joey Ansah and Christian Howard are off to a bright start.

9 Hadoukens Out Of 10!


Missed the episodes of Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist? You can catch it all HERE!

Yuri Mangahas

Yuri is magnanimously juggling between two managerial jobs: A technical manager position for an advertising/copy-writing company, and an associate editorial position for a fashion and lifestyle magazine. Nevertheless, he still finds time taking photos and seeking for geek nirvana.