Back in the early '90s, the fighting game was king and arcades were consumed by a three-way battle between Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and the games created by SNK for its Neo-Geo system. Samurai Shodown was one of the latter, and its combination of samurai-movie tropes, gratuitous bloodshed, and weapons-based fighting immediately made it a fan favorite. Out of its numerous sequels, Samurai Shodown II has long been regarded to be one of the best 2D fighters of all time — and now, for better or worse, it's fully playable on iOS.
Last year's iOS release of The King of Fighters-i mirrored its console counterparts, bringing the franchise’s popular 3-on-3 action to your pocket. The King of Fighters-i 2012 is essentially the deluxe version of that game, including a dozen more characters, a time attack mode, and online multiplayer battles. But truly successful fighting games require rock-solid mechanics and controls, and sadly, it's in these facets that Fighters-i 2012 stumbles, though it tries rather hard to stand tall.
Fans of side-scrolling run-and-gun blast-a-thons laud classics like Contra, but the connoisseurs always come back to Metal Slug. Hand-drawn cartoon soldiers perforated theatrical enemy grunts and tentacled aliens, and brought down screen-filling bosses with an arsenal of weapons and drivable vehicles. Just thinking about it makes us want to resurrect the corner arcade.