Street Fighter IV for the iPhone test
The download size of the game is 200MB and this speaks volumes. You will be able to enjoy extremely cool visuals, beautiful 3D elements, brilliant sound and... (we need to pause and let the suspense build up)... in-game movies! They are exceptionally well made, although none of them reveals details about the story really. Erm, well, we almost forgot... There is no story really. At all. Still, the cutscenes are awesome, plus you fingers can get some well-deserved rest while you watch.
Speaking of fingers, let´s take a closer look at the game controls. Frankly, we are pleasantly surprised. While watching the cutscenes before we got down to actually playing, we said to ourselves „Jeez, this thing will be a..., darn hard to play!”. In fact, it turned out we needed relatively short period of time to get used to the joystick and the four buttons to hit opponents. The latter keys are one of the things that annoyed us a bit, because we would sometimes unintentionally press the wrong button... Still, we don´t really think they can be any larger than that, meaning we will have to live with their current size.
While we are at it, we believe there are several other aspects of the game that deserves praise – the title plays smoothly on the iPhone 2G, meaning it´s been properly optimized, so... hats off to the developer team. The same guys seem to have thought about players without profound prior experience with similar titles, so you can get some training in Dojo and Training Room modes. The other two are Free-sparring (fight against an AI opponent) and Tournament (defeat all enemies as fast as you can). One of the cool extra features of Street Fighter IV is the game supports multiplayer over Bluetooth.
It seems everything is coming up roses really... but this is not the case. It´s a shame there are just 8 characters to choose from - we hope more will be added in future versions and you will be required to achieve something to unlock them (like in console versions of the game). The difficulty setting seems somewhat unbalanced really – you either feel like a demigod or get your living daylights properly beaten out of you. Nothing in between. Or maybe it´s just us...
All told, Street Fighter IV ended up in our own "top 3 most revered games for the iPhone", next to Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Plants vs. Zombies. We didn´t really think it possible we would be able to control our character in such a game without a hardware joystick, but we are happy as can be that Capcom has just proved us wrong. After all the superlatives above, you don´t really need to ask whether or not Street Fighter IV is worth $9.99, do you? (Hint: Definitely!)