Side on fighting games have never, truly worked on touch screen devices. Yes, there have been a few notable strong efforts over the last few years, from some absolutely massive developers, such as Capcom and Namco. The problem, as far as I can see it, is that there are few truly talented developers creating fighting games designed specifically for a touch screen.
Luckily, development house Nekki is a talented fighting game maker, and Shadow Fight 2 proves why.
Fluid in both its gameplay and looks, Shadow FIght 2 takes the wise decision to pace things a bit slower than its rivals, and gives you two basic moves buttons, punch and kick. Now, this may seem overly simple, but when combined with various direction pushes on the virtual stick, there are a surprising amount of basic moves available. When you add in the fact there are a variety of weapons you can equip, as well as a sprinkling of magical attacks, the possibilities increase tenfold.
The most impressive thing about Shadow Fight 2 is the way the developer has created an intuitive and cinematic fighting experience using the idea of shadow fighters. They move so fluidly and so languidly that it is incredibly impressive, and battles look like nothing else.
Fights flow like real martial arts encounters, with differing fighting styles having a real effect on the way the contest goes.
There is also plenty of content here, as Shadow Fight 2 is actually only half fighter, as the other half is very much an RPG. You level up your fighter as you traverse the locales of the storyline, unlocking new weapons, armour and magical abilities. Everything is based around the currency, gems, which can be purchased with IAPs but are pretty generously handed out for good performances.
There are six worlds to discover and brawl your way through, and while the storyline may not keep you as hooked as I would have liked, the need to explore new areas and find cool new weapons keeps you going from beginning to end. There is a dojo to practice all your moves in, with plenty to do even in this small area.
The only real downside to the game is a lack of a two player mode over Bluetooth or WiFi. It would also have been great to have been able to take you customised fighter online, but no joy here.
Overall, Shadow Fight 2 is a superb fighting game with decent RPG elements to keep you playing. With a gorgeous animation system and plenty to unlock, this is well worth a download.