I’m not sure what Nintendo is thinking right now, but I suspect Sony is already scared. You see, Sony learned a difficult lesson when the iPod hit the market and started to dominate the mobile music devices. Sony had dominated through the 80s and 90s with their popular Walkman Devices for audio cassetes and portable compact disk players.
Apple took over with the iPods and it looks like they’re preparing to do so again with gaming devices. The iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad become more capable with each new hardware release and developers are starting to take advantage of these hardware updates.
One of Capcom’s latest iOS games, Street Fighter IV, shows just how much potential the iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch have as a gaming platform. I’m sure that Sony see’s this too and is starting to put a lot of money into building the best Sony Portable Gaming devices as possible. Nintendo should be doing the same.
Street Fighter IV for the iPhone has stunning graphics. Capcom carefully implemented their beautiful static image graphics that are shown during loading screens that must have come from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game to give a rich and high quality visual experience.
The fighters also look great and their actions look smooth as they perform multiple hit combos and unleash powerful fireballs, upper-cuts, and sweep kicks on opponents. The stage or background graphics have been simplified to allow for the game engine to focus on the fighters themselves, but they are sufficient for a hand held device.
Overall, the graphics are some of the best I’ve seen on an iOS device and run great on the iPhone 4.
At first I thought the controls on a touch interface would be difficult to master, but Capcom has simplified the approach by removing low, medium, and strong punch and kick buttons and replaced them with the familiar Street Fighter IV actions of Punch, Kick, Special Move, and Fierce. Even executing Ultra and Special combos is as easy as pressing the gage images detailing how much power your fighter has gained in each area.
The controls are sensitive enough and simple to use that my 5 year old son can execute flawlessly. It took a few matches to adjust too, but overall the controls are spot on to something we’d expect for a Street Fighter game.
Capcom included Multiplayer mode with SFIV. Its as simple as connecting the devices over bluetooth and starting a versus match. It would have been a mistake if they didn’t include the feature as the street fighter franchise is best when played against friends.
Overall, Street Fighter IV for the iPhone is an incredible game and perfect for the mobile platform. There are less characters to choose from and the game is simplified a bit, but it quickly allows for you to jump in and out of a fight. Perfect for use while waiting in lines or other short uses.
Check out Street Fighter IV for your iOS platform.