Can the iPhone handle Street Fighter IV?

Getting a button-driven arcade game like Street Fighter IV right on the iPhone could be Capcom's greatest challenge yet

How'd they pull it off, that's what I hope I'm saying once I've wrapped my fingers around Capcom's surprise iPhone port of popular arcade-style brawler Street Fighter IV. That's right, Street Fighter IV. Not another Resident Evil, or Mega Man 3, or Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 2010 Edition, all of which seem more likely to clear the chasm separating button and touch-based interfaces.

Channeling what sounds like a Capcom press release, IGN's ready to believe without playing, calling it "no quickie, banged-out port" and claiming the Japan-based games publisher "is not accepting any loss of the console game's beloved art direction in the iPhone edition." Capcom also told IGN they've taken months to get the controls right, and that the port should be live on Apple's App Store in March.

How right? We'll see. Since the iPhone lacks physical buttons, Capcom's solution was to create a virtual gamepad with the joystick plus directional arrows on the left and the classic four buttons on the right. It's a common enough approach, employed in other iPhone translations of popular games like Wolfenstein 3D, Assassin's Creed, and Brothers in Arms.

What's more, you can apparently tinker with control placement and button transparency (the latter could be critical--note how much screen real estate the virtual pad takes up). You'll also be able to test-drive the controls in a special "Dojo Mode" and train for tournament or multiplayer matches. Yep, according to IGN it'll support ad hoc multiplayer by way of the iPhone's Bluetooth chip.

Anyone who's ever wanted a portable version of Street Fighter, you've grounds for cautious optimism. Skeptics like me? It could turn out to be a decent port--decent at best, given the iPhone's lack of a deterministic interface applied to a game that fundamentally depends on one. That, or it's a noble flop--at best a curio for casual gamers who'll pull it down and play it once or twice before discarding.

Everyone wants access to the iPhone's ballooning market. Sometimes commercial and creative interests dovetail and you get decent games like Civilization Revolution or Metal Gear Solid Touch. Sometimes you're left to paddle in a sea of opportunistic mediocrity, i.e. most of the games currently clogging the App Store's "133,979-third-party-apps-and-counting!" arteries.

And, once in a blue moon, you get a game like Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, that comes out of nowhere and plays like an iPhone game should.

As for Street Fighter IV, it looks decent enough in screenshots, though that virtual pad looks awfully chunky. We'll see how it plays in March.

Connect with Matt on Twitter (@game_on)

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags iPhoneiphone appsgamescapcom

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?