Well, it’s finally here. Street Fighter IV is now available for the iPhone. Now before you get all excited and rush over to iTunes to download it, you might be well advised to take a look at TUAWs’ review of the app.
Before you go press buy, though, I’ll also tell you that I got a chance to play the game, and while it is about as faithful a Street Fighter IV game as you can get on the iPhone, playing a fighting game without actual buttons is not really an ideal experience. While I was able to pull off a Hadoken and almost all of the other old moves after a few tries, the highest levels of competition in a fighting game require precision and subtlety, and this control scheme has neither of those. If you just want to play Street Fighter on an iPhone, sure — be an early adopter, pick up the game, and enjoy a few rounds of Guile vs. Ryu. But if you’re looking for the kind of in-depth fighting experience that Street Fighter IV on consoles and in the arcades offered, you probably won’t find it here — the controls are a little too inconsistent to really dig into the deep counter and powerup systems on display.
Well that’s disappointing, but certainly not surprising. Games with complex and precise controls like Street Fighter simply don’t lend themselves well to a touchscreen with no physical buttons. Similar problems are apparent in other ports, like Madden ’09 for the iPhone.
Now there’s a chance that control issues might be less of a problem on the iPad, given its large screen size, but we won’t be holding our breath. At the same time, it’s Street Fighter IV on the freagin’ iPhone! Maybe we shouldn’t be so cynical as to expect a true to life arcade gaming experience. We’ve just been burned by hyped up $9.99 games too many times before (we’re looking in your direction, GTA: Chinatown).
To be fair, though, the majority of reviews for the app on iTunes seem to be overwhelmingly positive. So if you can’t wait to pit Ryu into an epic battle against Blanca, then by all means, go for it.
You can download the app on iTunes over here for $9.99.