GamerSyndrome at E3 2010: Capcom Mobile

I got invited by Capcom Mobile to check out their latest line of mobile games for the iPhone and iPod Touch at this year’s E3.  Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of mobile games, but my conversation with Mike Larson, the director of marketing for Capcom, allowed me to be a bit more accepting of mobile games as what they were intended to be in the first place: something to play around with when you’re away from home.

The first game I checked out was Street Fighter IV.  The iPhone port featured simplified touch screen controls, and the gameplay relied on a simplified combo system that could be adjusted to suit your experience level.  I played the game for a bit and found it to be fairly fast-paced, though nowhere near as hectic as the console versions.  The graphical style of the game was very impressive, and seeing a joystick and buttons on the touch screen was pretty cool as well.  The game features multiplayer through Blue Tooth, and it seems like a great integration for this fighting game.  I was told by Mr. Larson that an update with two new characters would appear this month, so those who own this version of the game should definitely watch out for that.

The second game I demoed was 1942: First Strike.  This top-down shoot ‘em up was very simple, but its fun factor was very evident.  I controlled my air fighter using just my finger to guide it.  The shooting is all done automatically, so guiding my aircraft was the only thing I had to worry about.  The game featured power-ups to increase my firepower, and the difficulty level rose pretty quickly.  Unfortunately, the controls were neither perfect nor great, but they were functional.  Ultimately, 1942: First Strike felt like it could be a good bus stop distraction rather than a full game on its own.

The last iPhone game I demoed was Ghosts ‘n Goblins: Gold Knights II.  Starring Arthur and Percival, this side-scrolling game is due out for an August launch, and it will feature eight to 10 levels, though nothing is set in stone yet.  After playing around with the demo a bit, I found the touch screen controls to play a bit rough.  I’ve heard countless others complain about the controls for iPhone games, and Gold Knights II seemingly fits that stigma.  Perhaps if the controls are tweaked enough by the time the game drops, we’ll have a good iPhone game on our hands.

My time at the Capcom booth was enjoyable, and the employees there were great individuals to be around and talk to.  Mike Larson made it clear to me that they weren’t out to take on or replace home consoles or even handhelds, and that the sole purpose of these mobile games was to provide something fun for gamers to do while they’re away from those platforms.  These three games all have their merits, and although Golden Knights II could use some refining in the controls department, these titles could easily be great distractions for those gamers who love using apps on their phones.

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