Street Fighter Alpha: Generations - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 17 & Up
  • Region: 4 - Australia / South America
  • Released By: Madman Entertainment
  • MSRP: 27.99
  • Running time: 45
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Street Fighter (All Variations)

Street Fighter Alpha: Generations

By John Eriani     March 01, 2006
Release Date: February 15, 2006


Street Fighter Alpha: Generations
© Madman Entertainment


What They Say
Ryu, Ken, Gouki and Sakura return in this thrilling prequel to Street Fighter Alpha.

When Ryu returns to pay homage to his deceased mentor, Gouken, he is tormented by disturbing memories of his master’s killer. In a quest to become a true martial arts master Ryu sets out to hone his street fighting skills and to deliver himself from the haunting legacy of the Dark Hadou. But the ultimate test of his new power can only be accomplished through one last fateful confrontation with his arch-nemesis, Gouki.

The Review!
Ah Street Fighter Anime, based on the much-loved video game (that gets re-envisioned every time it’s animated) it’s back once again to ignore everything before it.

Audio:
I watched the show in its original Japanese 5.1 and from the punches and kicks to the near hits and dodges it all sounded clean and clear with some nice directionality in the fights. I spot checked the dub a number of times and everything sounded the same but I was a little bit disappointed to hear that Henry Douglas Grey for the first time did not reprise his role of Ryu. I’ve always associated his voice with Ryu since the old Manga video VHS days. The rest of the dub cast suited the characters they played. The music itself was a little under whelming and it didn’t add any atmosphere to the fight scenes but I wasn’t expecting too much from a short Street Fighter OVA.

Video:
The show is presented in its full frame aspect ratio, which is a bit disappointing that for such a new release there isn't an anamorphic transfer but I doubt this is Madman’s fault. It seems that this also maybe an NTSC to PAL conversion, a lot of the panning sequences suffer interlacing and ghosting. Despite this most of the time everything looks really clean and colours look really great. The fight sequences are a highlight and most of them look good despite the conversion problems.

There was an issue with the region 1 release in the subtitle department and thankfully here we don’t have a problem as everything follows the Japanese dialogue correctly for 98% of the time. One time the subtitle stayed on the screen before the line was said but then it went onto the next line after it had been said.

Packaging:
Similar to the region 1 release we get a nice action shot of Ryu about to fire off a Hadouken with Gouki in the background and his signature Kanji symbol glowing red in a clear keep case. The problem with the cover is not Madman’s fault but that of the OFLC, which has a new rating system that came in last year. They are colour coded and look horrible ruining almost any artwork they are put on. Madman have found a way around this which is great, they have given us a reversible cover without the hideous bright blue M box. The back cover has a couple of shots from the show and a rather large blurb of the story as well as production crew information and the standard technical aspects that Madman have on all their releases like aspect ratio, soundtracks, running time and subtitles. Nothing to complain about here, everything is pretty clear and straightforward. Maybe the text could have been less back slapping of the people involved but other than that it’s fine.

Menu:
The Menu’s are pretty straightforward with the main menu playing an excerpt from the main fight of the show with the rest being static images of characters. Everything is quick, straightforward and easy to access.

Extras:
The extras on the disc consist of Madman trailers and interviews with the main voice cast. It runs roughly about 12 minutes long and doesn’t really give much insight into the production of the OVA but its always nice to see what the Japanese voice actors look like and what they think of the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I’m a big fan of Street Fighter games and the anime that have followed with some better then others, being familiar with the characters its interesting to see yet again another re-interpretation of them. Although this is billed as a prequel that really doesn’t seem to be the case here as characters that meet for the first time here also met for the first time in Alpha The Movie. The same thing happened with the first Alpha movie; it was billed as a sequel to Street Fighter 2 V which it clearly wasn’t.

Ryu returns to his old training grounds for the anniversary of his master’s death (dressed in normal clothes for a change instead of walking everywhere in his white gi) and he meets an old man who uses a similar fighting style to his. The old man takes him in and Ryu trains with him for a while, also integrating somewhat into the family, which consists of the old man and his grand daughter. We also get to see some background into Gouki and who he is and how he became what he is now. This OVA is all about Ryu and his doubts fighting Gouki, he’s been forbidden to do so by his master because he is not strong enough and will most likely submit to the Dark Hadou. Dark Hadou is the evil energy that comes from Ryu’s fighting style that consumes the user to the point where they must kill everything,

It’s interesting to see a background for Gouki and fleshes the character out a lot more then you normally see in Street Fighter. Sakura shows up and gets a nice fight sequence with Ryu that helps him choose his path. Ken fans will be disappointed as he appears for about 3 minutes of screen time in total and doesn’t even get off a flaming dragon punch. New characters are also introduced such as Fuka (the grand daughter) and Sayaka (Gouki’s would be love interest) but the one that I was glad to see was that of Gouken; Ryu’s master who for as long as I can remember has been an off screen character as he has been dead for quite some time.

The Main fight between Gouki and Ryu reveals some interesting ideas about what Dark Hadou is and how it all came about as well as giving Ryu more of a history then before. The shows main draw is that it tries to create a history for the main characters Ryu and Gouki; normally these two are not given much of one (in the games Ryu trains and gets stronger and Gouki just wants to fight and kill everyone).

The character designs for the show are interesting, sometimes looking good and sometimes looking rather ugly and distorted. Gouki looks almost like a fat little goblin in one scene, which is okay in the context of the story and how the Dark Hadou warps and twists a person but it just didn’t look right to me. I did like the fact that Ryu wasn’t as muscle bound as he has been in the past but this is Street Fighter Alpha and he is still young. The animation was well done even with some odd looking designs and the fight scenes were a highlight with lots of fluid and flowing movement from the characters.

The only other thing that I found odd was the use of the Gouki’s original Japanese name instead of Akuma which is what we call him in English. Maybe Capcom have decided to do away with the different names for characters in different regions. Whatever name he goes by he is still instantly recognisable as the bastard that frustrated the hell out of me and many other people back on Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo

In Summary:
Generations is a rather short OVA with a limited cast of Street Fighters. I think this was a good choice by the creative team because there is more of a story here then the last few Street Fighters, as it doesn’t need to cater to a character roster of 12 or more fighters. For fans it’s an interesting look at well known characters but others may find the story a little on the boring side with nothing much happening except for the 3 fight scenes. Despite some video problems this version is the one to get over the region 1 thanks to Madman giving us proper subtitles. While it won’t be replacing the first Street Fighter Animated Movie as my favourite Street Fighter anime it’s a fun quick show that I will definitely watch again.

Features
Japanese 5.1 Language ,English 5.1 Language ,English Subtitles ,Inside The Voice Actors Studio Interview

Review Equipment
LG 32LX2D 32” HD LCD TV, Sony DVP-NS50P Progressive scan region free DVD player, Monster component cable, Yamaha TSS-15 Home Theatre Sound System

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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