Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review: Street Fighter IV for iPhone

Street Fighter IV is Capcom's popular fighter ported to the tiny screen of the iPod Touch and iPhone. It's a fair reincarnation of the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC hit. If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch and are wondering if you should spend $9.99 on arguably the best fighting game ever, hit the link to find out more.

The graphics are bright and colorful. The animation is limited, but adequate, with great effects, and cut scenes for the beginning of Ultra Combos. The painted artwork is superb on the interface screens and fight ending screens as well. The actual game isn't in 3D like its console and PC brothers, it's pre-rendered 2D graphics from the 3D character models from the original game. It's a nice adaptation to 2D, and the characters are crisp and nicely rendered. The backgrounds are flat 2D planes, but are colorful and have a depth to them.

The sounds are crisp and clear for the voices and the effects. The music is pretty good too. The number of voice clips are reduced from the console versions though.

The object of the game in Street Fighter IV is to beat a series of opponents by fighting them one on one. You do this by using regular moves initiated by pressing a direction on the virtual game pad on the left, and a virtual button from a series of four virtual buttons on the right. Special moves that cause more damage are a combination of directions on the game pad, and a button press. Super Combos and Ultra Combos which lets you give the most damage for an attack are executed with more complex direction presses and a button press.

The controls have been simplified for this version, so there are just four buttons, instead of the usual six. This is a good thing. I found myself staring at my thumbs just to place them correctly on the surface of my iPhone. Without doing that, I couldn't accurately hit any of the controls. The moves are complex combinations of those controls, which you have to precisely time and execute. Most of the time I would just miss doing a move due to the non-tactile nature of the controls. I was still able to beat the game in less then thirteen minutes, with half of my moves failing to execute at any given time. It was still fun though, and definitely a Street Fighter game.

You get to play with the Computer for single player, but you can play a pick up game with two players via Bluetooth. You also get to play through a long training mode called the Dojo. This mode is especially useful for beginners to the Street Fighter game franchise. There are only eight characters though, with fan favorites like Ryu, Guile, Chun-Li in the roster, along with M. Bison, Blanka, Dhalsim, Ken, and new comer character Abel. I kind of wish there were more...

I paid $9.99 for Street Fighter IV -- a fourth of the price of the console version and PC versions. It's definitely a must-get for the Street Fighter fanatic, and it's a nice portable representation of the game on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The gameplay is solid, and the controls are responsive to a point. I still miss the tactile feedback of an actual game controller, but for a quick pickup game, it's awesome. For the casual gamer, the great graphics, animation, and sound are a definite win, and the reduced complexity makes it easier to get into the game.

Review by DK Crame
DK is a friend and colleague of mine. He's an illustrator, a 3D illustrator, and an Apple developer. For more of his work, check out this site.


Stan said...

I like this review. Pls do more iPhone app reviews. Lazy to check them all out because there are just too many.

The Third World Nerd said...

Stan, yup, that's part of the plan. Except I'm lazy to start because there are just too many. Haha! Soon! Lots of good stuff out recently

Bogey said...

Is it possible to do a focus attack on this SF4 version?