Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (DVD Review)

By Albert Lichi 30.07.2014

Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (DVD Review)

Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (UK Rating: N/A)

Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind was originally an extra included in the Collector's Edition of Street Fighter IV for the PS3/Xbox 360 and was animated by STUDIO4°C. Meant to be a sort of prologue to the story of that game, the plot of Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind is a complex mess of boring melodrama and tedious dialogue, lazy story-telling and sloppy animation. Lights, Camera, Action! takes a look at this straight-to-DVD movie that came as part of the Street Fighter IV Collector's Edition.
Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (DVD Review)

There are a lot of characters featured in this story, yet none of them get the appropriate screen time to develop. In screen writing there is the old adage 'show, don't tell', but the low-budget production value and cheap animation limits the scope of every aspect of Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind. Every single important piece of information that the audience needs is never shown, instead it is told through hackneyed internal monologues by various characters. There are so many stretches of boring static images of characters thinking to themselves. These are moments where the animators could have shown the audience something interesting happing in a visual way, but instead is all kinds of screenwriting no-nos. These are the real problems - when a story is told in this manner it's impossible to establish an emotional connection with the characters.

The story is surprisingly hard to follow, as well. Street Fighter is a series that was never founded on its plot; the story was always just an excuse to have some outrageous character stereotypes hit each other. There is a simplistic charm to it all, but Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind is something that plays out like a soap-opera with no energy. Cammy is looking for some kind of energy anomaly while Guile and Chun-Li are trying to find Ryu. Meanwhile, Seth wants to harness the power of Satsui no Hadou that resides in Ryu and sends Crimson Viper to gauge his strength. The importance of the Satsui no Hadou or the relationships for these characters is never really shown, with the viewer just having to take the word of the character's inner-thoughts. A couple of cameos by some of the other characters show up, usually doing nothing and contributing little to the overall story. Overall, this is definitely a forgettable and meaningless footnote in the Street Fighter canon.


 
Animation-wise, Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind is very cheap looking. STUDIO4°C cut a lot of corners when producing this turkey as shown in the heavy emphasis on showing nothing at all and relying on voiceover-narrated inner thoughts. For a series known for its fighting, creative moves, and its vivid characters, there are only two action scenes. That's right; and the first action sequence doesn't happen until 30 minutes in. When the action does happen, the animation does not improve either. The whole animation is stiff, choppy, and lacks detail. The hyper expressive characters from the games have become lifeless husks that barely move and are drawn very flatly. A large percentage of this film is made up of static close-ups of characters, emoting like statues. The strong visceral style from the games is completely absent and characters are rendered in a chubby and soft, generic style. It is all just so boring, tame and mellow; not what a Street Fighter fan would want in an animated movie.
Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (DVD Review)

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind is not worth the extra money needed to acquire it as part of the Collector's Edition of Street Fighter IV on PS3 or Xbox 360. Capcom produced this to be made as cheaply as possible and did not care if the product was good or not. It only wanted an arbitrary bonus feature for the Collector's Edition to make it look more appealing. Mercifully, at least, it is short and most will likely forget about it in a day. Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, go home and become a family man.

Box art for Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Fighting

Players

6

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (24 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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