Capcom’s Street Fighter IV : Volt Offers iOS Gamers A Faithful Street Fighter Experience

iPhone
4
 

STREET FIGHTER IV VOLT

Publisher(s)  CAPCOM
Developer(s)  CAPCOM

Platform(s) Reviewed  iPhone • Genre(s)  Games • Arcade • Fighting • Release Date  Dec 15, 2011 (updated) • Version Reviewed  1.03.00 • Price (as reviewed)  $6.99

Pros    Plenty of bang for your buck. A must-have for fans of the franchise or good old fashioned arcade beat-em’-ups!    Cons    A steep learning curve renders it not quite the “pick up and play” experience casual gamers may have hoped it would be.

 

Whilst small errors here and there detract from the overall fluid fighting experience, Street Fighter IV: Volt has a lot of great features going for it that more than justify its rather hefty price tag.

I remember owning a Street Fighter title on the Gameboy Advance when I was younger – and one thing I immediately appreciated about this title is how it seems to have remained faithful to its gaming heritage. A snazzy animated introduction featuring fan-favorite Ryu perfectly sets the scene… It’s just you, 18 playable characters and a whole load of button-bashing (or in this case, screen-tapping) to do!

At its core – Volt is very much a pricey “upgrade” to last March’s installment, Street Fighter IV. Whilst the core gameplay appears to be the same, there are a few enticing features bundled into this package that will definitely make it appealing to hardcore fans of the franchise or new-comers looking for a substantial fighting game. There are three new characters: Vega (who uses Wolverine-like hand blades), Cody (who whoops me every single time I’m up against him) and Balrog (not quite Lord of the Rings) … Oh wait! Make that four if you include the unlockable character Akuma!

More importantly, however, is Capcom’s addition of online multiplayer (via Wi-Fi only) and the all-new “Battle Network” mode allowing you to team up with your mates. I was skeptical about it all at first; the concept of team-play and drop-in/drop-out battles (when “Fight Request” is switched on) being ideas that usually work well on paper, but when executed on gadgets such as a mobile phone quite often fall flat on their faces. Boy was I wrong! Within seconds I was being match-made to all sorts of opponents from all around the globe, getting my bottom handed to me by strangers I have never met and would never want to meet again. This is all neatly tied together with win/loss records, leader board rankings and a “challenge yourself” type bingo-card which recommends you win games in certain ways to earn more points for your customizable Street Fighter avatar.

I know I’m nowhere near good enough to head online (which warrants my criticism of maintaining an insanely steep learning curve), but I must say this is in no way helped by a slightly dodgy “controls” translation from games console to iPhone. Joysticks are all well and good, but I often find moving left and right using the small icon in the bottom left hand corner of the screen provided extremely counter-productive. This isn’t the first game I’ve encountered that uses this touch-screen joystick mechanism to control your characters, both and Rayman 2 use the exact same idea and again I feel there must be some other way. Perhaps it takes some getting used to? I’m not sure. One thing I am sure of though is that unlike GTA and Rayman, Street Fighter IV is a 90-second fast-paced action spectacle where correct timing is vital – and accidentally swiping your finger off the radius of the control so that you’re left standing still isn’t exactly helpful.

In Conclusion

All in all though, controls are just a minor niggle that rarely detract from the level of detail and quality that is evident in this game. Whilst it didn’t keep me playing for too long, the time I did spend with the title was very enjoyable – and I’m sure fans of arcade fighting games (or indeed of the Street Fighter franchise) will enjoy endless hours of hardcore fighting fun with this game (provided you have a Wi-Fi or home internet connection).

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