I was really excited when Capcom announced at E3 this year that their wildly successful Street Fighter IV [$4.99] for iPhone would be getting a follow up title called Street Fighter IV Volt [99¢]. I’ve been a huge Street Fighter fan for the majority of my life, and the original iPhone version is easily my favorite fighter in the App Store. It was a pretty big deal when it first released back in March of last year, not only because it was such a huge IP but also because it proved that a traditional fighting game could be done well with virtual controls. Capcom fed a steady stream of updates to Street Fighter IV over the past year which have added new characters and features to the game, keeping it on top of the iOS fighting heap.

Now with Street Fighter IV Volt, Capcom has extended the long standing Street Fighter tradition of releasing an incremental update as a new game. What you’re getting with Volt is essentially everything that was already in the first Street Fighter IV, right down to mostly identical graphics and sounds, plus a few additional features and 3 new characters – Cody, Balrog and Vega. These minor enhancements are nice, but the big selling point of Volt is the inclusion of online competitive multiplayer over WiFi, which was easily the most requested feature of the first game.

By default you are set up to accept any online challenges that might be out there. This means that if you’re running through the arcade mode you might suddenly get interrupted with a challenge from a random player online who’s searching for a match. This ensures that there should always be a pretty large pool of players to match up with when you feel like throwing down online, and it also gives it that old-school arcade feeling of having a complete stranger walk up to your arcade cabinet unexpectedly and issue a challenge. Of course, it would be hard to even make it through arcade mode with constantly being interrupted with matches, so thankfully you can easily switch the auto-acceptance on and off at will.

As for the actual experience of competing online in Street Fighter IV Volt, so far it leaves a lot to be desired. Random matches are easy enough to find even in this early stage of the game’s release, but they are usually plagued with lag and are prone to randomly disconnecting. Sometimes the online works near flawlessly, and when it does it’s absolutely brilliant. But more often than not you’ll be subjected to jittery animations and momentary freezes that can really disrupt the flow of a game.

Even with the lag matches can still end up being a ton of fun, but it’s hard realistically gauge either players’ actual skill level when playing under those conditions. I’m hoping things will smooth out as more players pick up the game and jump online, but currently it’s hard to consider it anything more than just a novelty rather than a serious competitive online experience.

One pretty interesting new aspect to Street Fighter IV Volt is something called Wandering Warrior. This mode has you creating an avatar for your multiplayer profile which can be leveled up and upgraded in an almost RPG-like fashion. Then, while you’re facing an opponent in an online or local multiplayer match, your avatar will square up against your opponent’s avatar and they’ll duke it out as well. Special points are earned during multiplayer matches which can be put towards upgrading your avatar and unlocking new icons and badges which grant new abilities and enhancements. It’s a pretty cool little meta game that’s a fun side distraction to throwing down against people in multiplayer.

Despite its spotty online performance and content that is heavily recycled from the first game, Street Fighter IV Volt improves on what was already a successful formula and is the definitive version to own on the App Store. If you aren’t very interested in its online multiplayer or the 3 new characters, then you may be fine just skipping Volt and sticking with the original for getting your quick Street Fighter fixes on the go.

The one wrinkle to this advice is the fact that Capcom is currently running an introductory sale for Street Fighter IV Volt. It launched for just 99¢, and the price will increase by a dollar each day for the next several days before hitting its regular price of $6.99. Even if you already own the first game and the new features don’t totally interest you, I’d still suggest picking up Volt if you can snag for just a dollar or two. It may be a bit harder to justify the upgrade when it hits full price, however.

Street Fighter IV Volt is mostly just more of the same, but that’s not such a bad thing since the original release was so good. The highly anticipated online multiplayer isn’t quite up to par technically, but it can still provide some pretty entertaining moments. Hopefully the online performance can be improved over time, as there is plenty of potential for one of the best multiplayer experiences on the App Store.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Klouud

    Are there any unlockable characters?

    • http://www.facebook.com/Fi2do Brian Gonzalez

      Akuma, supposedly

      • Ariectus

        Yeah, I've beaten him on arcade mode in both normal and beginner mode, and fought somebody online who had unlocked him, I have no idea how to unlock him though, does anybody else know? Google search has failed me this time

      • Hat785

        I have him unlocked but I'm not sure how I did it. I beat the game without losing any matches on normal, and beat it on hard and grueling but lost matches along the way. I hope this helps.

      • Hat785

        I used ryu when i beat it without losing a match

  • Pancakeblaster

    Spot on, when you have a great connection with another player this game is awesome! But there are a lot more disconnects and laggy matches then there are good ones. But you can beat someone down while taking the kids to the pool...nothing beats that!

    As for unlockables, You fight Akuma in story mode, so he may be unlockable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/madebymadison Madison Fotografie

    STILL no Street Fighter for iPad or iPad2: I am SO disappointed in Capcom. All I can play is Mortal Kombat. Fun, but Street Fighter it is not.

    • Wolfisc

      Just because you can't play it, doesn't mean it's not fun.

      • Happy W

        I think you've misread Madison's comment, Wolfisc. He wrote, referring to Mortal Kombat: "Fun, but Street Fighter it is not."

        That is, Mortal Kombat on the iPad is fun, but it's not the same as Street Fighter, which he would prefer to be playing.

      • Wolfisc

        Ah, I see. He went all Yoda on me.
        Sorry for the confusion.

    • Anonymous

      I play it on my ipad and I'm wrecking people so I don't see the problem other than resolution.

    • http://erikveland.com ErikVeland

      Desperately need an iPad 2 port with support for the iCade!

  • Anonymous

    It was not obvious to me at all how to turn off the auto-accepting of matches, so this game was beyond infuriating until I learned how to do that (you have to tap the little two heads icon near the top center of the main "Solo" screen. I find it pretty weird in the first place that 'Solo play' doesn't normally mean 'Solo play' at all. You have to turn off the online match auto-accept before it becomes solo play. It's pretty awful design if you ask me. Still, now that I know how to do it, I'm happy with the upgrade, at least having only paid 99 cents for it. For that price it's definitely worth it. I'm not going to bother with online until I get half decent, if ever, and hopefully by then it will be smoother. The one online match I played was pretty terribly laggy.

    • Wolfisc

      I've played almost 40 online matches so far, and only about 3 or 4 have been laggy.
      In those matches I was probably playing against a person with a bad connection or someone in another country or something. Overall, the online gameplay has been pretty smooth, for me at least.

    • SMP

      Yeah, I forgot to turn off fight request too, and was surprised when someone challanged me, though I won anyway. But thats a nitpicky complaint, If anything else.

  • elliot

    getting a text message causes game to disconnect, no 10 second grace period or anything...multiplayer will be broken until this is fixed with an update

    • Klouud

      jailbreak and use quickreplysms

  • Sildedaspo

    HOW DO I GET AKUMA???

  • SMP

    Street Fighter is just one if those games Im going to get no matter what the platform, Im love it so. I was hoping for a visually improved version, maybe in another two years when mobile devices are powerful enough. But for now, I'll play this one on the road and at wifi hotspots.

  • theMacc

    EVERYONE needs to stop complaining about lag. It's not capcom's fault if people are playing over their crappy ATT 3g connection and expecting to have no lag. 3G speed by default is VERY laggy. It's good to download files and play games that are turn based. But when you are playing a game that requires quick input and fast response it FAILS dramatically. To put things into perspective, the latency to effectively play a game like Street Fighter online on the xbox 360 is under 100. 3G latency can range between 300 to over 1000 depending on your location and it fluctuates all the time. That will introduce significant lag. That's why I wish they would make IOS online games where if you are connected to a wifi, you are only matched with others on wifi as well.

    I have lost some matches simply due to my moves not coming out on time over and over again. So yes if a match starts laggy at the beginning, I'm quitting!!!

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      You can't play online over 3g. You can only play over WiFi.

    • Muslimhussain

      hiya , i have been playing the game since morning and been getting clobbered in the matches that lag , makes the game infuriating. Wish there was a way to gauge the network speed of your opponent before the match starts so you only select people with a decent internet connection.

  • Moron9000

    Didn't the last update to the older game say there was going to be something special for people who have both or an I imagining things?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I thought I heard something about that as well, although I haven't seen a SINGLE site mention anything about it today so maybe it wasn't true afterall. :(

      • Sildedaspo

        The special for people who own both games is only within the first street fighter. It just unlocks a bunch of stuff for you in the regular street fighter four like costumes, comic, etc. Nothing special in volt.

  • http://twitter.com/jacki650 Jackie Sandoval

    Oohh what?! I think I am going to have to add this onto my "Cool" iPhone Games list! Not sure why I don't have this game or others like it on my list...can I get some recommendations??!
    http://www.skinnyscoop.com/list/jackie/cool-iphone-games

  • Dunkann95

    Um, Is there any reason to keep the first if you have Volt as well?

  • Guest

    How to Unlock Akuma
    i) Finish Arcade with every charecter
    ii) Play(or win) 100 Online matches

    • PJ

      Are you serious?

  • Imy

    I wish apple/capcom would release a controller for the iphone/itouch as my problem is when my hands get sweaty after playing a bit, then I couldn't move the d-pad easily because of the friction (practically stuck).

    Overall, great effort from Capcom. I just don't see how it can be correctly gauged at a competitive level at the moment with the touch issue, but still fun. Wish I could use my arcade pad with it.

  • Carlos

    The game runs great and the wifi battles have almost zero lag but the BIG problem is all the people quitting when they are losing !!! Its really annoying especially when you kill them and you even get to see the KO and the next second you get the message that they just leave and the fight doesnt count !!!Capcom should do something soon !!! every time somebody quits the defeat should count and they should also get one of their victories deducted !!

    • ic0n1c

      Lol, its only a game man don't think much about it. There are always shitty rage quitters out there and we or CAPCOM for that matter can't invest in them. Enjoy the game whenever you get a good player.

  • http://twitter.com/AltX010 Jase Wayne

    will be buying this as soon as i get my iPhone 5 -

  • Christopher Ramirez

    Im the only one who get disconenected before even start the right when playing online version?

    I don't know why, bu after click ok and strt searching an opponent the screen get black and and loading to fight my opponent, but 15 secs after "You have been disconnected"

    Why?

    • ic0n1c

      You have a shitty internet connection

  • ChaosProdigy

    Can someone explain Wandering Warrior stats breakdown? Which stat helps u hit more often? I miss too much and hate it. I'm at 1600 hp and 3 skills but miss a lot.

    Also whats the best titles? I hear there is a epic title for beating Grueling without any continues?

    I beat grueling with over 30 continues lol, but didnt get any title...

    • stevenshao

      Wandering Warrior:
      HP, Attack, Defense: Self explanatory
      Agility: Increases critical hit damage
      Luck: Increases critical hit chance
      Guts: Increases combo damage
      Tech: Increases combo chance

      These are based on playtesting, and as such may not be entirely accurate.

STREET FIGHTER IV VOLT Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4.5