Street Fighter, a franchise which brought a great deal of enjoyment to generations of gamers since its inception in the late 80’s is now available for mobile gamers worldwide with the introduction of Capcom’s Street Fighter IV for iPhone and iPod touch. The title had many wary pre-release due to its lack of physical buttons but has quashed this misconception and should be accepted as a solid port of its bigger brother on console giants Xbox 360 and PS3.
The port has received an extremely respectable translation for mobile devices considering their limited hardware resources. The 2D fighter includes eight of your favourite characters from the series including: Ryu, Ken, Guile, Blanka, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Bison and Cammy. The game also includes Abel, a new character introduced to the series in the console edition of the title.
The control scheme has been very well thought out and implements a system which includes four on-screen buttons and a virtual joystick. The condensed control scheme has been optimised to include buttons for punch, kick, EX and focus attack. Super and ultra combo moves can also be triggered by simply tapping their respective gauges. Capcom have really knuckled down to produce a control scheme that is both intuitive enough for newcomers but not completely dumbed down to the point it will disappointment returning fans of the series.
Fans were also sceptical of how the iPhone iteration would implement similar 3D cel-shaded graphics that can be seen on the console editions. These worries were soon quashed however when it was revealed that the game was to include almost identical visuals found on the original. Jagged edges are somewhat noticeable during fights, but this is forgiveable given the game runs lag-free at even the most critical of moments. The port borrows heavily from the console version, including the same 3D animated backdrops, character models and even the cut scenes. All in all, the graphics are simply spectacular and are a pleasant surprise to the many who were expecting a cheap port of console blockbuster.
Gameplay is smooth and fast paced, moves are easy enough to execute and the AI can be extremely challenging. The game includes four different playable modes, tournament, free-sparring, training room and dojo. Tournament is your typical stage by stage arcade mode that we’re all familiar with while the free-sparring and training room modes allow you to explore the controls and practise combos. Dojo is similar to the Expert Challenges mode found in Street Fighter EX which has users executing a number of increasingly difficult specific combos until each is completed. The game is also multiplayer enabled and communicates over Bluetooth to other iPhone or iPod touch devices. One otable difference from the console version is the omission of the final boss, Seth. Instead players face off against the classic Street Fighter 2 boss Bison.
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