Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
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Street Fighter II Collection, despite the slightly awkward name, is an accurate name for this collection of three different iterations of the fighting game that has defined an entire genre for the past two-plus decades. The collection comes with the original Street Fighter II, Champion Edition which adds the four boss characters from the original as playable characters, and Hyper Fighting, which plays like a hyper-caffeinated version of Champion Edition with some new character colors and additional gameplay tweaks.
The first concern that pops up when one thinks of the original Street Figher II games on iOS is the controls. Street Fighter IV was rebuilt for iOS, but Street Fighter II Collection is a bunch of emulated versions, so tweaking the controls would be more difficult. Quite remarkably, the controls work well. There are options to use 2 punches and 2 kicks, or all 3 punches and kicks, and to use a series of special buttons that will execute special moves in concert with a direction on the joystick, which works identically to the one from Street Fighter IV. This is definitely a game that works far better on a touch screen than it ought to.
My recommendation with the controls is to not use the built-in special buttons; they clutter an already-busy screen, not to mention that they make executing special moves almost too easy. While the computer loves to cheat, and thus may be morally justified in some cases, they should absolutely be disabled for multiplayer. Characters like Blanka and Guile who rely on charging moves still have an advantage over characters who require quarter-circle and diagonal motions in order to succeed. As well, having all three games in one collection seems like a bit overkill. Street Fighter II just serves as a history lesson, as it is inferior to the Champion and Hyper Fighting editions that come with extra characters. The only real choice comes between the speed added by Hyper Fighting, though there are some other differences, like Blanka getting an additional special move not in the other versions. While the game has local multiplayer, it would do very well to have online multiplayer similar to Street Fighter IV Volt's! The lack of any kind of iPad support for any of Capcom's Street Fighter releases is a shame as well.
There's a reason why these games keep getting re-released on newer systems, it's because they're classics. The rules and mechanics that these games introduced are still the basis of most fighting games to this day, and they are more than just a history lesson; they're still very fun to play. Fans of the Street Fighter franchise looking for a portable version of this classic or those who may have gotten in to Street Fighter IV would do well to check this one out.