Street Fight Hero 2014 ticks all the boxes for an old-school fighting game – it’s fun, colourful, over the top, and has its year of release in its title.
From the name of this app you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s some sort of Street Fighter rip-off.
To confuse things though, the logo for the game looks suspiciously like a Tekken character portrait, and when you open the app the title screen calls it Final II Fight, so now I don’t even know who they’re trying to rip off.
The Final Fight reference is the more accurate one, it turns out. Street Fight Hero is a side-scrolling beat-em-up, where your character punches and shoots their way through wave after wave of baddies.
The game has a real old-school feel, with saturated colours, cartoony characters and excessive, stylised attacks. It owes a lot to the heyday of Capcom and SNK fighting games, but that’s absolutely fine with me because those games still look amazing.
Also, in the very first level you fight bullies riding scooters and what I think are ninjas at the pier – that’s about as 90s as a video game level gets, right?
The controls actually work quite well for a touch-screen game. You get two buttons on the screen which act a bit like the joysticks of a controller – the left one moves your character around, the right one controls your attacks. Light taps fire your gun; more aggressive movements will lead to more powerful hits and combos.
I don’t know how much of a system there is to it or whether you can just button-mash, but it’s fun to see the different animations as your character takes down their enemies. There are also special moves that you can use which do more damage but take time to recharge.
The dialogue is the sort of semi-intelligible gibberish you get from running your script through Google Translate rather than an actual English speaker, which is either a criticism or a compliment depending on how hilarious you find poorly-translated dialogue.
Also while we’re on the topic of criticism, I found that there was a tiny bit of lag here and there (using an older Samsung Galaxy) which isn’t ideal for a fast-paced game like this that rewards you for accurate attacks, but it was only an occasional annoyance.
Overall it’s a fun game, especially considering that it’s free, and although it occasionally asks me to give it a review on Google, there aren’t any annoying pop-up ads or in-game purchases.
If you like the simple-minded fun and over-the-top aesthetic of older beat-em-up games, then Street Fight Hero is worth a look. It’s derivative as anything, but it’s hard to begrudge a game that wears its influences so openly on its sleeve, and manages to pay homage to them this well.