Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

Yes, you read that right; a full-fledged version of Street Fighter IV that is in the arcades now. Okay, it’s only partially-fledged, but it is more than I expected and it’s a blast. Here’s the lowdown:

8 characters – Ryu and Ken, of course, Chun-Li, Blanka, Abel, Guile, Dhalsim, and M. Bison. Yes, it is missing a whole slew of characters and most likely your second or third favorite character is not there (…no Akuma!!!!!), but get over it. I might. Akuma is allegedly being released as DLC anyway.
4 buttons – Punch, Kick, Special, and Focus. That’s right, 2 punches and 2 kicks are missing. Hmm…
Moves – Most of the moves are present that did not require the missing buttons. They did, however, add pairings of a punch or a kick with directional taps, that adds several moves to each kit, which was clever.
Mechanics – Combos, Specials, Ultras, EX moves, Reversals, Technicals, Super-Cancels, and throw counters, all there, thankfully.
Controls – Better than expected. The virtual joystick works really well, once you get used to the enormous size of it. The controls work well enough, in fact, that I would have rather had an extra punch and kick button and if you couldn’t do the specials right, then tough KO, chump. Supers and Ultras can be executed by using the normal moves or by simply tapping the corresponding gauges. While this makes sense from an accessibility standpoint and even a gameplay standpoint, actually, it still feels a bit strange.
Modes – Tournament, Dojo (with a secret bonus), Free-Sparring, Training Room, and Versus…
Multiplayer – Affirmative; Versus = multiplayer. Local Bluetooth only, with local leaderboards; no online play or leaderboards. Waahhh.
7 stages - The backgrounds are noticeably flat, with no parallax; just a scrolling floor. I think it’s a good trade-off, particularly because it allowed for the next two bullet points.
Framerate – Excellent framerate on a 3GS, even during Bluetooth matches. Haven’t tried it on my antique 1st-gen yet, because I chose to get the review up fast, instead.
Graphics – The characters and particle effects look really good.  To me, the characters look like sprites generated from 3D models, but I could be wrong. They look good, regardless.

It is Street Fighter, it is fun, and it is on your iPhone. Those are the 3 biggest selling points, in my opinion. Several compromises were made to ship it on this platform, which is to be expected, and it was rushed out the door. I would understand if any of the aforementioned issues were a deal-breakers for people; personally, I would have given up the beautiful intro cinematic and any number of extra modes for more characters and online play. Having said that, though, it is still a must-have title for me and for SF fans everywhere. I’m having a great time experiencing the game all over again, only this time, while driving!

Capcom recently inked a deal with Gameloft to have them produce Street Fighter Alpha, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, and several other titles. Who’s to say what else Capcom has up their collective sleeves, because there is also a movie for Super Street Fighter IV included in this game…no official announcement for an iPhone version, but maybe if this one sells well…

Rating: ★★★★½ icon

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