I feel I must chime in. I was very dubious when I heard about a Soul Blade clone for the iPhone. In spite of that (and with my longing for a good fighting game for the iDevices as the only explanation), I bought it right away. Been playing for a few hours now, and I am absolutely amazed.
Just like one poster before commented, I forget I'm using a touchscreen to control my characters. After two or three games, the controls felt absolutely natural. I don't think I've mis-clicked once, except for occasionally missing the block button, which is slightly too small for my taste.
After a few hours, the control method feels as ingrained and natural as the best of gamepads. I cannot say why, since the controls are really the same as in so many other games (d-pad or joystick on the left, buttons on the right), but Gameloft somehow succeeded in making the buttons sensitive and large enough to provide almost absolute control.
And we are not just talking simple button mashing. Side-stepping, counterattacks, jumping... I might as well be playing Soul Calibur on my roommate's PS3. And I am not exaggerating.
I've only played around with the drag control scheme a bit, and I've yet to become as comfortable with it as the buttons and d-pad. The possibility to block by touching anywhere on the screen but on the d-pad is a boon, though, and I can imagine the most elite of players might come to prefer this control method, partly for this reason.
The counterattacks are a very nice touch that many fighting games lack. I do wish they'd have been more difficult to pull off, though. Perhaps add a required second button press after the timed block.
Catastrophic. Occasionally just bad and confusing, but most of the time, downright inconsistent and contradictive. I really didn't expect much in the way of story, and I didn't get it. The different storylines are leagues and miles better than most Soul Blade/Soul Calibur character storylines, though
However, there are a few exceptions. There is an occasional sense of true drama, especially with the repentant Skorn character, who's pre-match wisdom actually sometimes makes sense and hints at a deeper level of writing. Hints, mind you. Magnus ending is surprising and rather cool, if a bit too high mythological fantasy.
Most of the time, however, characters ramble and drool all over the place, without the slightest semblance of coherence.
Some of the nicest I've seen on the iDevices. Nice art style (semi-realistic, with a good attention to character detail), brilliant
animations, good effects (with a few exceptions, Some finisher moves are a bit too first-time Photoshop user for my taste. However, the weapon trails makes up for every single shortcoming), good backgrounds, and a lot of personality, in both characters and stages.
Menus are reasonably polished, and the game looks professional all throughout. No placeholder graphics or cheap solutions.
I just wish the female characters (who indeed are more acrobatic, and often more fun to play) would not fulfill every pre-conceived misogynist notion and sexist stereotype in the book.
Surprisingly many. Tutorial, customizable practice mode, replays (a personal favourite of mine!), wi-fi and bluetooth multiplayer possibilities, story, arcade and survival mode, gameloft connectivity, match settings, achievements, and several different costumes for each character.
A few more characters (a constant wish for any fighting game, but Blade of Fury feels just a tad short of a whole character gallery), online multiplayer capabilities, a quicker sidestep attack, and a couple of more moves for each character (the current move set is certainly not shallow, but perhaps just a few moves short of true depth).
Blade of Fury is currently one of my best iPhone game purchases ever, right up there with Uniwar, Star Hogs, Defender Chronicles, Zenonia, 9innings, NY Nights, and The Quest.
You need to buy this, and play the crap out of it.