Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind serves as a lead in to the game’s main storyline which is a sequel to the Street Fighter II game. Although it successfully captured the general look of Street Fighter, the quality is inconsistent, looking more like a low budget TV series than a OVA. It makes me wonder whether Studio 4°C were either too expensive or the anime movie was just an afterthought. Anywho, the story is less than interesting. Other than the character driven subplots of Ryu and the dark Hadou, Ken and his wife, it is a painfully boring outing.
There are no real fights in this film; no sonic booms, no tiger uppercuts, nothing. As for the finale, this suffers in a similar vein to the story as the speeches spoil the atmosphere. Now don’t get me wrong, my expectations were quite low already, so it isn’t like I am surprised. Typically in a production like this, the ball is dropped in the story department. The storyline of the movie simply doesn’t charge forward with the intensity that one would expect from a movie about people fighting. Also the dubbing of the animation was horrible, so with no feeling in any of the voices.
Clocking in at a short 65 minutes, there are many scenes which involves just long boring pans over landscape or a single talking head with monologue looped over it. Those looking for their Street Fighter fix should stick to the games, it’s what you came for in the first place. Speaking of which, the collectors edition of the game is nicely packaged and should be a big hit with fans. Although it has been out for over a year now, it still is a solid game to pick up. The final cut on this one is a bit complicated. If you absolutely love Street Fighter and collect everything, this is a total buy.
For everyone else, this is a dud and I would avoid. I thought it was funny how, when they were about to say something, they would just do a close up of their face, pan up so their mouth isn’t showing, then they would start talking so they wouldn’t have to animate the mouth. For an animated movie, it sure wasn’t very animated. Any Street Fighter movie attempting to do more than focus on the actual tournament has, and will, fail in my view. To its credit however, I don’t think it was ever going to get a lot of credit from Street Fighter gamers, but it’s a nice addition with more hints at the potential the franchise has for more conventional storytelling.