When it comes to fighting games, Street Fighter has always been the pinnacle series for both casual and hardcore gaming fans. Street Fighter IV was released last year on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC and it was a breath of fresh air for the fighting game genre as a whole. Now Street Fighter IV has made it on to the iPhone, but does it capture the same greatness prevalent in its console versions?
Street Fighter IV iPhone is a fighting game where two characters fight on a 2D level with some 3D graphics in for good measure. It features 8 out of 19 characters from the console version of Street Fighter IV. You have the choice of picking Ryu, Ken, Blanka, Guile, Chun-Li, M.Bison, Dhalsim, and Abel. Each character’s sprite animations during combat looks nearly identical to the console counterpart, except for maybe some slight differences. An example of this would be when a character wins, their taunt animations seem a bit limited. When you consider how well characters are animated while fighting, especially when pulling off ‘Ultra’ moves, you’ll see that I’m just nitpicking.
There’s a nice variety of game modes available in Street Fighter IV iPhone. There’s the traditional ‘Tournament’ mode, which allows you to play through all of the characters one after another until you complete the game, ‘Free-Sparring’, which felt like an offline multiplayer mode, as well as a number of modes to help you hone your Street Fighter skills. If you want to have full reign of the game in order to practice all of your sick combos, then ‘Training’ mode is for you. If you like a little instruction with your training, then the new ‘Dojo’ mode is the way to go. Dojo serves as a great way to learn all of the controls as it can be a little tricky at first to play a fighting game with touch screen controls. I can confirm though that the learning curve isn’t too bad as the longer you play, the sooner you’ll become accustomed to them.
Speaking of controls, I’m sure many of you, like I, were wondering how it would be to perform special moves with touch screen controls. I have to admit it does pose a bit of a challenge to even seasoned fighting game veterans, but Capcom included an option that allows you to perform special moves with a simple press of a button. This simple option makes the game that much more enjoyable as you no longer need to struggle in order to perform some more powerful moves. Super combos and Ultra moves are also easily performed by simply tapping on a portion of the screen when each move is made available.
What’s a Street Fighter game without the ability to invite a friend to beat the living snot out of them? Street Fighter IV does include a multiplayer ‘Versus’ mode, but it’s limited to local Bluetooth. I found this interesting as the console versions are able to connect to the internet to play your friends or random hooligans online, but the iPhone version only has local Bluetooth. I shouldn’t complain though as being able to play locally is a lot better than Street Fighter IV iPhone being a game you can only play with yourself. Local versus mode via Bluetooth is actually very smooth and responsive amid all of the craziness that’s going on during play.
FINAL THOUGHT: Bringing a fighting game to a mobile platform, especially one with touch screen controls, is no easy feat. For Capcom to deliver a nearly-perfect console experience on the iPhone with Street Fighter IV shows how dedicated they are to the iPhone platform and what can be possible if developers put the extra effort. Street Fighter IV iPhone’s controls does take some getting used to, but once you get past the learning curve, you’ll be hooked for hours on end as you Hadouken, Yoga Fire, and Sonic Boom your enemies all from the comfort of your iPhone.
Street Figher IV [$9.99] (iTunes Link)