Sunday, May 30, 2010

Korean Week: Street Fighter the animated movie - a review

"The Street Fighter animated movie?" You might ask, "On HG101? At Korean Week?" But it makes more sense as it may sound. Even before the official adaption was released in Japan, Daiwon, a Korean production company for Kids' movies, created a 50-minute-long illegitimate child to the franchise.

The actual title of this is "Geori-eui Mubeopja", which may look exotic, but is basically just a Korean translation for "Street Fighter".

The film opens with 5 minutes of natural disasters, explaining how the earth is at danger of being entirely destroyed by the power of some black sun.

Then it switches to a match of Street Fighter II, Ryu vs. Ken, both played by two idiots in cosplay, who will turn out to be the heroes of this movie.

The company may have been dissatisfied about how there were no Korean fighters in the game, and instead of having to bear with a Japanese main character, switched them out like this. So watch Yi Soryong (not really coincidentally the Korean pronounciation for Bruce Lee's Chinese name) and some guy who's name I didn't get, but looks very similar to Dan, and that was before he even got invented. Speaking of Dan, both are just as big losers as Capcom's parody character, and after the match ends, they get in a real fight during which they demolish the arcade.

But Chun Li appears (yeah, all other characters are the "real" street fighters) to end the fight and summon them to her grandfather, who is also "Ryu and Ken's" master. He informs them about the threat to the world and sends them to a mission to stop it...

Better get used to those portraits, as they're shown every time a new character appears on stage, and are 3-4 pages long.

Dhalsim appears out of nowhere, together with Blanka, who is no more than Dhalsim's pet here, whith his main function being to run through dephts shots for cheap pseudo-3D "effects".

They find some strange ruins and meet Bison. Was the attire of the dictator borderline nazi in the games, now the skull on his hat is just bluntly replaced for a swastika. Oh, and yes, all characters have constantly hanging stuff out of their noses, be it snot, blood or hairs (but mostly snot), even the ones supposed to look threatening.

So Bison turns the two into seafood for no apparent reason or consequences, and disappears behind a door that can only be opened by someone with the exact same foot shape, lest he be turned to stone.

Dhalsim sends Blanka to capture our two idiots, and they force them to try their luck.

Just for fun a fight between Honda and Vega is shown for a few seconds, none of which ever appears again throughout the movie (they didn't even bother to include Cameos for Zangief, Balrog and Sagat). It seems the people colorizing the cells also didn't know Vega was supposed to wear a mask, at it has the exact same color as his skin.

Luckily, "Ryu's" foot is the exact match, the door opens and all the people turned to stone before are brought back to life. Bet you didn't expect to ever see Dracula, Frankenstein, a Chinese Zombie, April O'Neill and the Contra guy in a Street Fighter movie, all on a single screen no less.

Not impressed by the display of shameless as senseless cameo's, the heroes enter the "world of Street Fighter", which actually looks nothing like anything ever seen in any of the games, except maybe Street Fighter 2010. What is the world of Street Fighter, you ask? I don't know, and I don't care. By this point I'm only going on to see more of the character's ridiculous faces.

The scene changes again. We see a jet pilot who whitnesses a ship being destroyed by the power of the black sun. But before he can report to his superiors, Bison blinds him with dirt grabbed from between his toes(!), and the plane crashes. Into the world of Street Fighter, of course! And we see, the pilot's Guile, who finds the dirts on his helmet, but makes the mistake of taking its smell, which turns him into a destructive Zombie.

In the meantime, our heroes are... acting stupidly.

Guile finds them and beats them to pulp. Chun Li faces him for the best fight in the whole movie.

But then he starts spamming Sonic Booms, and the two idiots have to remember how they learned the Hadouken (which could have been the greatest Street Fighter V parody, if it would have been made after that series) to beat him.

After a failed attempt, they get their shit together and throw the devastating combined hadouken at him, ending his hypnosis.

The finale comes quite rushed, everyone tries to take on Bison, but no one can reach him, because he spawns projectiles like crazy. Finally "Ryu and Ken" do the twin Hadouken again to end this. Bison's beaten, the world is saved, and the two idiots keep on arguing like they did before.

The story might be even more stupid than in the life action movie with Jean-Claude van Damme and Raul Julia, the animation is nothing to brag with, and at least 15 minutes of the film are boring BS, but the ridiculousness of it all makes it a good time watching nonetheless. The best reccomendation is to join with a bunch of Street Fighter fans who have never seen this movie before, get drunk and have fun with its stupidity. Make sure you have something to do while watching though, the film is out on DVD, but other than most Korean DVD releases doesn't have any subtitles. There could be a fansub out there, but I wouldn't bet on it.


That's it for Korean week on Hardcore Gaming 101. I hope you had some fun, see you for more free-form posts in the future (I'm probably gonna take a break until after my article is out, though). Looks like everyone was holding back their posts for this week. I didn't quite intend to suggest this when announcing it, but I guess it was nice to have this enclosed immersive experience ;) Thanks, guys.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Korean Week: Old (and new) Korean gaming mags part 4

I mentioned I would post it today, but here is the final part of my look back on old magazines. After the first steps where made, mags started to mushroom all over the place, with many of them being very shortlived. I only really have experience with three of them, but here's a quick look at all the other mags I know about.

This might be the least exciting and least surprising post so far for this week, so I have in store a little something for tomorrow, too :)

GamTong, another very old one I missed, first published in 1992, first (and maybe only) biweekly mag in Korea

Je-3 Sedae Game (Third Generation Game), first published 11/1993. The cover shows a drawing of Kim Kaphwan. Yes, the real Kim Kaphwan.

Super Game, actually GamTong under a new name in 1994, disappeared soon after

Game Magazine, first published 1994, I think this was one of the most successful mags after Game World

PC Game Magazine, I think it started in 1995

PC Game, first published 5/1995

PC Champ, first published 8/1995, basically the PC only brother of Game Champ, but both mags were continued even after the other one turned mostly into a PC mag itself. Contained some translated articles from PC Gamer.

Game Pia, first published 11/1995, in 1998, they started using models in cosplay for the cover instead of game artwork (I think that practice only lasted a year or so, though)

Computer Game, first published 1996

Game Times, first published 1/1996, I think this only lasted two issues

Game Line, first published 10/1996, was very popular

A translation of Computer Gaming World was also available for a while

Game Leader, first published 11/1997, very shortlived

PC Player. Of all the 90's mags, this one survived the longest. The last issue came out in 2006

Game Life, first published 10/1998, lasted only two months

Game Mania, first published 12/1998

PC Power Zine, PC Champ was renamed to this with issue no. 1/1999

V Champ, don't know exactly when this was first published, but it gotta be 1998-ish

Game i, first published 1/2000

PC G@m, first published 2/2000

Playstation, first published in 2000 as the first single format mag, for a console that still wasn't officially released in Korea no less. This was soon merged into Gamerz, but was revived in 2002 as the official magazine. I think the last issue came out around 2007 or so...

Gamerz first published in 2000, this is basically the only print mag that can be bought in stores today. The only other active mag I know is Game Journal, and that's just a thin business publication for arcade owners. Gamerz however is a sheer monstrosity of about 600 pages per month.

Game Chosun, published 2001-2002, there's a games Webzine by the same name that still exists today, but I don't know if it' related.

GOLA (Gaming Online Asia), first published 2/2003

That's it. There are some more recent mags I'm missing, (I remember one OnPlayer I've seen an early 2009 issue of), but I'm not going to search for any more...