Imagine if phones were advanced enough back in 1993 to actually play Street Fighter II. It’s phenomenon already gripped game consoles and mainstream products, yet most players would have dealt with the necessary cutbacks to play the title on their meager caller ID boxes if they could. Thankfully, we’ve progressed since then and Capcom has done their best to cram a six button fighting game onto the mobile platform. It's hard to be forgiving after the initial luster has worn off though.
To discuss all of the cuts would be useless, but a number of significant alterations exist. Backgrounds do not scroll and fights are contained to a single screen. All activity in the background, and in some cases numerous objects, have been eliminated too. Portraits have been lost during the selection screen, win animations are mostly missing, and the endings are deleted.
What’s not lost is the full gameplay. Yes, all of the attack buttons are present. Special moves require the familiar circular motions to pull them off. On the LG enV, this works nicely on the keyboard. It takes a few matches to become accustomed to the set up, especially the need to toggle the crouch, but it’s suitable and complete.
This is the original Street Fighter II, and pacing is far slower than many will be used to. The move to the mobile platform has further slowed it down, though this helps compensate for the added control problems. This is never going to be the deep, competitive version of Street Fighter used in tournaments. It’s fine for quick action when on the move.
Combos are present. Players will need to up their thumb dexterity level to pull them all off, and avoid mashing the wrong keys in an attempt to pull them all off. All eight of the original fighters are here, along with theme music and stages. Oddly, the four bosses are included in full though not controllable. It would have been a far better value to let players take hold of Sagat Championship Edition style instead of forcing him into a background role.
Then again, Championship Edition is probably in the works as this is being written to sap another $8 from fans. With some tweaks, this could potentially be a solid addition to any mobile lineup, and what’s here is commendable. We’re simply a few years away from actually reaching the point where this is a game ready for a cell phone.