Few franchises have been milked as much as Street Fighter. To date, Street Fighter 4 has had two re-releases on consoles, and that’s not including various other versions of the game on arcades, handhelds, and mobile phones. Like it or not, this strategy has worked well for Capcom. Street Fighter 4 Volt is Capcom’s attempt to double-dip on iOS and, with the App Store’s solid update ecosystem, it feels a bit unnecessary.
SF4 Volt is very much the same game as its predecessor. The controls, which opt for a four-button setup instead of the classic six, work very well. One advantage is that you can tap the super and ultra meters to initiate devastating moves without pulling off combos. Nobody’s arguing that SF4 on iOS matches the level of challenge and depth of its console counterpart, but for a mobile fighter, it delivers.
Round one… Fight!
Aside from the tournament, challenge, and training modes from the previous game, SF4 Volt adds a new survival mode. There’s also a new ‘wandering warrior’ mode, where you choose an icon that will battle the icons of other players you meet online. It’s a cool idea, but the randomized outcomes make it feel shallow and pointless.
The major addition to SF4 Volt is online multiplayer. Competitive play has been a staple of the Street Fighter series, and we’re glad it’s no longer confined to local multiplayer on iOS. However, latency stands in the way of online battles working like they should. Any fighter veteran will tell you that smooth, lag-free play is a must for multiplayer, but SF4 Volt is just too choppy. For us, the amount of latency varied between rounds. We’ll continue to test out the multiplayer, and let you know if the connection improves.
After facing an opponent online, you’ll automatically trade player cards that show your win-loss ratio, most used character, and wandering warrior data. You can personalize your card with unlocked titles, character pictures, and personalized messages.
Hey, no stabbing.
There are also three new characters to choose from: Vega, Balrog, and Cody. This brings the total roster to 17 characters. Since this roster only includes three of the more technical female characters, the variety we hoped for still isn’t completely there. We hope that Capcom continues to release new characters for free in this version of SF4 as well.
Capcom is using an interesting introductory price model for SF4 Volt. Starting at $.99, the price will be raised by a dollar each day until it reaches $6.99. If you’re interested in this game, then buy it quickly, because we’re not sure it’s worth $6.99 when the original can be picked up for $.99.
We’d prefer Street Fighter 4 Volt to be a combination of an update and in-app purchases for the original game, instead of a separate download. It doesn’t have enough content to warrant a new purchase, unless online play is what you’ve been waiting for.