Full disclosure — I have almost zero Street Fighter experience. The first time I played the game was at Barcade, way back in ... 2017. Yes, to the shame of gamers everywhere, this reviewer is a Street Fighter noob.
Fortunately, my inexperience does nothing to hinder my appreciation of a good game. Street Fighter IV Champion Edition is an overall great game, with deep gameplay, varied game modes, and a satisfying online experience.
Here we go. I almost wonder if this section should be omitted from every mobile game review. Touch controls are notorious for being, well, awful. And for a game like Street Fighter, where tight control is everything, you'd wonder how the game is even playable without a physical controller.
Luckily, Street Fighter is compatible with MFi controllers, like the Gamevice. Forget touch controls, right??
Wrong. I don't have one of those, and, seeing as the Gamevice is $100, I won't be getting one anytime soon. I had to play with what God — or CAPCOM — gave me.
And guess what? It doesn't suck! Go figure. CAPCOM somehow made Street Fighter an enjoyable mobile experience, without making you wish you were back in the 90s, playing in an arcade.
Now, I'm not going to lie and say the controls are perfect — some of the more complex moves are inconsistent. I had trouble getting the Hadouken to work much of the time, which proved to be a pain in more than a few situations.
More often than not, however, the controls felt all right. A favorite move of mine is to jump in the air and spam the kick button. That works pretty well! And I think that's the divide — for a beginner like myself, the controls are fine. But for someone who knows every move combination, who depends on split-section reaction times for their game strategy, these controls just don't cut it.
I think this is the game's weak point. The character animations can be a little rough at times, but you do have to remember this is a mobile port. That doesn't bother me as much as some of the menu choices. The main screen has some creative choices for buttons and options, but when menus pop up, they look so ... out of place. And dated.
I want to say for a mobile game this looks impressive, but I've seen much sharper mobile games before. I don't think it looks bad — just a little uneven.
Street Fight IV offers plenty of different game modes that make for a game you'll return to.
Solo Play offers Arcade mode, which puts the player up against the other Street Fighters one at a time. It feels like a traditional game, with each match acting as its own level. Beat all the levels, and you beat the game. Survival mode tests your stamina, as it again pits you against the fighters one at a time, but doesn't reset your health meter. You will get health boosts from time to time, but for the most part, you're on your own until you're eventually defeated.
Challenge mode is a fun game that also serves as a kind of training. You are given a combo to perform against a non-moving opponent. You can beat the other fighter as much as you want — they will never die. Once you hit them with the combo in question, however, boom — instant K.O.
Speaking of training, there's an actual training mode here, which feels much like challenge mode without the challenges. This is just a fun place to test your moves.
Street Fight IV does offer online play, and while I was initially skeptical. The experience was generally very good. I didn't have any dropped matches, or too many slow downs. For the most part, the experience felt like playing against someone in the same room as me. I have to give CAPCOM props for developing such a smooth multiplayer experience. Street Fighter's online mode gives the game additional value, and is yet another reason to return after playing through the solo game modes.
So, here's the thing — this game isn't free. In fact — at $5, it's a little expensive — as far as mobile games go. But here's what you're getting for $5 — a fully realized mobile port of Street Fighter, with an abundance of characters and game modes to choose from. All that, and you also get a really well-done online matchmaking experience. And, maybe best of all, the game features no ads. What a concept! A mobile game without a plague of advertisements. That alone might justify the cost.
If you're a Street Fighter fan and are looking for a way to get your fix on the go, I'd highly recommend downloading this one for yourself. You may wince at having to shell out five bucks, but you'll forget all about that after sinking your teeth into the game.
If you want to fight it out for yourself, download the game here (iOS only).
+ tons of game modes
+ fun gameplay
+ good touch controls
– some odd aesthetic choices