The King of Fighters-i sets a good example for what fighting games should look like on iOS devices, in stark contrast to Mortal Kombat's latest mobile attempt and also leaving Street Fighter IV in the shade.

Character models in KOF-i are sharp and better animated than Capcom's World Warriors, and even the quality of the special effects and background art raise things a notch or two.

While the roster is much, much smaller than that of KOFXIII, the selection of characters, team battle mode, and pre-fighter banter makes for an overall enjoyable game.

Probably the one slight weakness of King of Fighter-i lies with the controls, particularly with the iPad version, as the odd button layout discourages the use of the HD (Hyperdrive) button.

There's also no online multiplayer, but considering how badly Super Street Fighter IV Volt botched that feature, I don't miss it. Bluetooth multiplayer is kind of sluggish at times, though.

However, with unlockable content and free DLC on the way, this is something that I'll be regularly playing on my iPhone for weeks on end. Not to mention that six more characters will be coming in a free DLC update in October, plus an extra stage or two.

The King of Fighters-i

Fighting game fans should make this a staple in their app folders. Despite the lack of online multiplayer, King of Fighters still outclasses perennial rival Street Fighter with a more crisp, well-rounded iOS game.

The King of Fighters-i: Specs

  • Compatible with: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and iPad running iOS 4.1 or better
  • Compatible with: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and iPad running iOS 4.1 or better

OUR VERDICT

Although $8 is a bit steep, it's worth it for the impressive visuals, competent controls, and solid gameplay. SNK Playmore did a great job with lifting this KOF port from the arcade/upcoming console version. Buy it.

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