It is time…HADOKEN! SHORYUKEN! TATSUMAKI SENPUKYAKU!! METSU HADOKEN!!!
Capcom has finally released Street Fighter 4 for the iPhone, and I must say, it is simply amazing. I honestly don’t know where to start with this game. It is Capcom, and it is Street Fighter…enough said. Some people, myself included, are always wary about major games being transferred to devices such as an iPhone or a
Gameboy because many times, the game is not nearly as good as it’s console or arcade version. The fine folks at Capcom know what they are doing and delivered big time on Street Fighter 4.
SF4 delivers all of the things it’s previous and present versions have and more: single player, multiplayer, a command list, stunning visuals and sound (including the round finishing move in slo-mo), as well as a new “Dojo” mode in which the player can hone their skills and learn strategies to fighting specific characters. Can’t pull off Ryu’s Metsu Hadoken special move? Learn how in the Special Move Training part of the Dojo. Getting pwnd by Blanka’s Electric Thunder? Learn how to thwart it in the Strategy Training part in the Dojo. There are 5 types of training in the Dojo: Basic, Special Move, Strategy, Combo, and Fighting Secrets.
After you have done some training and strategizing, it’s time to take on the single player mode. You can play on easy (if you’re a pansy), normal, hard, or grueling. Here you fight all 8 characters including the classic battle against M. Bison. Still getting beat? Go practice in the Training mode, in which you have full special and
combo power at all time, and the opponent does not attack; or fight with an enemy in Sparring mode to get practice against them until you feel ready to fight them in single player. Be ready to finish the game though because there is no saving mid tournament.
Multiplayer in SF4 is amazing and semi-disappointing. It is amazing in all aspects except there is no Wifi play, which to me isn’t too bad because the Bluetooth multiplayer works perfectly. Matt and I had an epic Ryu vs. Ken battle with zero lag. The connection is so good that the music and sounds coming out of both of our devices matched completely. However, having Wifi could open up to online play with people even on other networks, and that would be awesome. So far, SF4 offers the best Bluetooth multiplayer I have ever seen.
Street Fighter 4 brings two key features to the table that I think all iPhone games should incorporate. The first new feature is the ability to save replays! If I totally own Matt in an epic Ryu vs Ken battle, I want to save the fight and show it to everyone. You can save up to 20 fights, which includes every round in the match. You cannot slow down, fast forward, or rewind the replay, but I didn’t expect to see this feature on the iPhone at all. Beggars can’t be choosers!
Another great feature, that we’re seeing more and more nowadays, is GUI customization. This allows the player to move the d-pad and all of the buttons anywhere they want on the screen. If you want the d-pad on the right and the buttons on the left, you can do it. Or to confuse friends, place one button in each corner and put the d-pad in the middle of the screen. :) You can also control how transparent the controls are which allows for better visibility. If you are good enough, like me, you can make the buttons 100% transparent. Here is where I should also mention that Capcom spent over 10 months developing and perfecting the control scheme. And I must say they did a stellar job. Whether you are a Street Fighter noob, or a hardcore veteran, you will be able to “Hadoken” to your hearts content.
Street Fighter 4 also retains stats for both single player and multiplayer modes. These stats include the best times the game has been beat on all difficulty levels by each character. For multiplayer, all multiplayer matches are counted and all wins/losses/draws are recorded and an average win percentage is given. SF4 also has a help menu that allows the player to touch things on the screen and learn about them. For newer players, SF4 also allows for auto guard and special move assist to be enabled.
When I first fired up Street Fighter 4, I was like, “Street Fighter is in 3D?? ZOMG!” Believe it or not, the screenshots lie. The game is so well animated that the sprite graphics look completely 3D. I am still unsure
whether or not the in-game, Ultra Combo cutscenes are computer animated or not. Everything just looks so perfect. Even the title screens have smooth animations and unique backgrounds that are very well drawn. Some screens in the menu are 3D renditions of pictures from the console version of Street Fighter 4…which looks awesome.
Apart from its great visuals, SF4 also has good sounds and music that keep the player feeling like they are in the arcade with a bag of quarters. My only downside to this game is the lack of Wifi capability and lack of unlockables. The games starts with 8 characters, which is fine, but it would be nice to be able to unlock such characters as Sagat, Cammy, or the ever-feared Zangief. Even unlockable concept art or levels, etc…would be a neat bonus to beating the game. I admittedly haven’t beat the game with every character yet, or on grueling, so there could be unlockables that I am unaware of. If so I will edit my review. However, with in-app purchases becoming more popular on the iPhone, (and the extra video for Super Street Fighter 4), there is always room for downloadable content.
Street Fighter 4 is a must buy. Plain and simple. It offers everything a Street Fighter fan could want and more. With stunning visuals, sound, multiplayer, and the best d-pad/button controls I have seen, SF4 is worth every penny of its $10 price tag. In my opinion, Street Fighter 4 is THE best arcade/console port on the iPhone. Thanks Capcom!