Reader Review: Street Fighter IV iPhone

Reader Review: Street Fighter IV iPhone

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Corey does, as he learns how to quarter-swipe.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

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This review was submitted by Corey Lee. If you’ve played Street Fighter IV on iPhone, or just want to ask Corey more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Street Fighter IV (iPhone)

Not only is this game in-des-truc-ta-ble but you can consider it portable now as well. The Street Fighter series is one known for longevity, countless console iterations and more importantly, a fighting system that is difficult to master yet rewarding to learn. Making the transition from traditional consoles, Street Fighter IV on the iPhone returns you to those memorable battles where the difference between life or death is often that tide-turning, last-minute ultra….


Portable Presentation: SFIV is no slouch in the graphics department. Expect to see your old favourites in their full glory as attacks, ultras and backgrounds are recreated beautifully on the iPhone’s touch screen. Just don’t let your fingerprints ruin the experience!

Simplicity: Understandably, the game has been modified to accommodate for the lack of buttons to vary your low attacks from high ones. Still, the fighting mechanics work just as well in helping you transfer your console skills across to the iPhone. Whatever style you learnt before will still work here.

Relive Those Replays: A surprising feature considering the game’s compressed nature. Saved replays allow you to learn from your mistakes, understand move priorities and show others your finger fighting skills.

Press Ultra for Ultra: Unlike the console iterations, the Ultra and Super symbols on screen conveniently masquerade as one-touch auto commands. Consider it another good move to make SFIV’s steep learning curve a bit easier to manage and the round’s outcome a bit harder to predict.


Big Hands Mean A Big… Thumb! Which means less of the screen will be visible when you’re obviously playing the game. While the controls are mostly fluid in terms of execution, inputting certain moves might be difficult if you can’t see where exactly your thumbs are moving?

Reduced Roster: The game hosts eight of the most iconic characters such as Ken, Ryu and Chun-Li. Some will be pleased with this popular selection. Others will be disappointed. Most would’ve wanted more choice.

Dojo Is Dumb: A weak imitation of the console version’s trial mode, Dojo mode is a lame attempt to diversify the lack of worthwhile modes available. A series of input command challenges that are graded by ranks, Dan’s smiling face does little to make it any more interesting than his lousy fighting style.

Take it Online: But only with a friend sitting next to you. SFIV’s Versus mode can only be used through Bluetooth, meaning you won’t be fighting complete randoms anytime soon. No friends + No iPhone = No human opponents.

Comes At A Cost: SFIV is one of the more pricier apps out there if you are dirt poor or abhor the idea of paying for your iPhone games.

In a miniaturised nutshell, Street Fighter IV on iPhone is an Ultra achievement in maintaining that sense of depth and reward in each fight. Despite the exclusion of additional modes and more characters, this port has succeeded in keeping that timeless Street Fighter feel as you spam Shoryukens to victory.

Reviewed by: Corey Lee

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


  • Great review and I agree with most of it bar your comments on the dojo mode. As far as this one-on-one fighter fan is concerned it is a massive improvement on the trial modes from SFIV – at least as a training tool goes. For once there is actual instruction on fighting game theory. This isn’t a mode about getting a ridiculously long (and largely useless) combo but rather teaching you why you would want to use these moves and when.

    I would love to see the console versions learn from this example and start teaching how to play a one-on-one fighter in the same way a good chess book teaches you how to play in the black and white jungle (rather than just saying what piece does what – chess freaks know what I’m on about. Everyone knows how to play chess but not everyone knows how to PLAY chess).

    • To be honest, I didn’t like trial mode either. I thought it was just designed to net you some trophies/achievements and icons and titles for your respective console. I preferred to learn simply by playing online against different people and experimenting.

      I love your chess book comment though. It’s a nice analogy to the depth of SFIV’s fighting system and it gives you so much satisfaction when you know how to shut down a particular move or sucessfully play mind games with your opponent.

  • I found the same touch screen control issues when playing Duke Nukem 3D on my iPhone. I too have large Yeti / Ogre like hands and took some time to master manouverability of Duke and shooting. I was under the impression an attachment, which I’d considered prior to reading of it’s thought being thought up, that slid over the iPhone screen that was a joystick/buttons or joystick/joystick combo to compensate for yours, mine and others from our big-fingered clans, fingers. Similar to something they created for Gameboys I believe.

    • I play SFIV on console with the standard SFIV TE stick.

      Still, the prospect of a mini-arcade stick for the iPhone is unlikely but an amusing thought nonetheless.

  • I still don’t see how having incredibly simplified controls that require you to obscure the screen to operate and what amounts to a “WIN” button in anytime, one touch ultras can be a good thing. But, to each their own, I suppose.

    I just worry that if these kind of watered down versions of games become widely accepted, companies will put less and less effort into the “real” versions.

    • I understand your concerns. Especially with whether or not one-touch ultras could be considered good?

      Like I said in the review, it makes SF’s steep learning curve a bit easier to manage. Especially with charge character ultras (think Guile here in particular). To me, anything that makes this game more accessible to the casual gamer is a great thing and hopefully, it will encourage them to put more time and practice into the game to get better.

      My first time playing SFIV (on console) turned me off immediately as I picked Vega and naively expected to do amazing aerial moves with absolute ease. His ultra was also near impossible for me to do at the time. SFIV iPhone at least gives you a helping hand in that respect with the ultra button.

      As for the watered down comment, I can’t necessarily see a correlation here between less effort being put into the real version. Considering Super Street Fighter IV only came out last week and has been rated quite highly by everyone so far.

      I might write a review about it next as I only received my copy today.

  • IN-DE-STRUCTABLE I won’t let nobody take me down!
    So glad that song isn’t the Menu Screen music in SSFIV.
    So so very glad.

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