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 capcomiPhonegamesiphone apps

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?