Does the Street Fighter series need any introduction? Since 1987, Capcom has steadily improved its fighting formula, delivering arguably the greatest beat ‘em up series of all time. But with that success comes a massive weight of expectation. Indeed, Capcom took its sweet time refining the controls for the iPhone’s touchscreen, ensuring it delivered the best product possible. Was it worth the wait? Hell yes. Mostly.
Visually, Street Fighter IV looks superb. Choosing to replicate the stunning visuals from the home console version was a ballsy move, but hats off to Capcom. With flattened models and static backgrounds, Street Fighter IV on the iPhone moves at an impressive pace. Amazingly, the Ultra and Super combos have been toned down only slightly, and still pack an awesome punch.
Control wise, it was always going to be a bit of a compromise. A game like Street Fighter IV, with its precise game mechanics and carefully balanced fighters, is tailored for nerds who spend hours refining combos that demand impeccable timing. Having said that, the touch controls work surprisingly well. As you’d expect, you have the D-pad on the left, and the buttons on the right. However, rather than the traditional low/medium/heavy punches and kicks, Capcom has stripped them down to just one-a-piece; there’s one punch, one kick, a special button, and another for focus attacks. Street Fighter diehards will inevitably blow a gasket at the thought, but it’s a remarkably effective set-up.
The aforementioned Ultra combos can now be launched with the tap of a button. On the home console version, all sorts of demanding inputs were required, but oddly it doesn’t feel like cheating here; it’s merely a symptom of playing on a different platform. Getting the motion and timing right for your Hadokens might take a little practise, but you’ll be pulling them off without a second thought after a few scraps.
In terms of game modes, there’s not a great deal for the solo player to do in Street Fighter IV. In Tournament mode you battle seven opponents, and the aim is to beat them in the fastest possible time. However, you can challenge friends via Bluetooth, and the great news is: it runs rather well.
Initially released in March 2010, support from Capcom has been stellar. One of the biggest bugbears at launch was the lack of characters, with only eight making the jump to the iPhone. 10 months later, thanks to a series of free downloads, we now have 14. Not too shabby at all.
- It’s Street Fighter IV on your iPhone!
- Free DLC from Capcom
- Superb visuals
- Lack of game modes
- Limited move-set
- Occasionally frustrating controls
Summary: Street Fighter IV on the iPhone could’ve been a disaster on a par with Street Fighter: The Movie. Instead, Capcom took its time and delivered a game that can stand proud beside the home console version.
Compatibility: requires iOS 3.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Price: £5.99 App store link
Score: 4/5 stars