Putting Street Fighter 2 on a wireless phone is no doubt a daunting task. The original arcade game that took the early 1990s by storm had a joystick and six buttons. With the diminutive size of phones these days, the most any adult hand can press at one time is probably two buttons. But that seems to be enough for Capcom to push out Street Fighter 2.
Modifying the control scheme for this fighter game is not unheard of. Whenever Street Fighter 2 gets ported to any other franchise, the game is adapted to the console’s controller. Four buttons will also provide some street fighting experience. Even the popular re-release of the game on Xbox Live has the fierce buttons mapped to the shoulders due to lack of space. On mobile, Street Fighter 2 relies on the direction pad and the 1,3,7,9 keys for strong and weak punch/kicks. I found the controls to be difficult to master. Pulling off Ryu’s fireball or Blank’s electricity attack is pretty easy. But something like Zangief’s pile driver, I’m not sure if you won’t get finger cramps trying to pull that one off.
This mobile version of Street Fighter 2 comes with all the playable fighters except the boss characters like Vega, Balrog, Sagat and M. Bison. The graphics are sharp, perhaps owing to the diminutive screen of the cell phone, the detail and color look as good as ever. One thing I didn’t like about the presentation was the cell phone’s orientation. Cell phones are usually portrait and the game itself features more width than narrowness making it look cramped on the sides. Look closely at the painting behind E. Honda’s arena in Japan and you’ll see that it seems stretched vertically. Does it affect gameplay? I’m no expert but it feels like there is not as much lateral room to jump around and evade your opponent. This could be crucial if you’re playing characters like Chun Li or Blanka.
This game was reviewed on the KRZR K1M and while I was heartened to hear the Street Fighter theme kick off at the beginning of the game, I was disappointed that the sound effects are very poorly done. Perhaps it was something with the cell phone I used in the review, but the digital samples would come randomly and kick in and out. Worse yet, you couldn’t hear any effects for the attacks and the now infamous announcer (“You Lose”, “USA”, “Japan”) is all but silent.
I’m reminded by my early PC gaming days when we didn’t have Street Fighter 2 on the PC and relied on something someone cobbled together in the PC shareware world called Stick Fighter. It basically leeched all the Street Fighter sounds and put it against a graphics engine full of stick figures because I’m sure that was all they were capable of programming in DOS and any more borrowing of Street Fighter material would mean a hefty copyright infringement suit. That game had the Street Fighter sounds and not the graphics. This one seems to have the graphics, some passable controls, but poor audio. Neither measure up to the reputation this game continues to have amongst fighter games.