Everyone has their beat ‘em up. There is, of course, Double Dragon, Battle Toads, TMNT: Turtles in Time, the X-Men and Simpson’s Arcade game, and others, though there has been an eternal fight between two beat ‘em up franchises. Those two franchises are Streets of Rage and Final Fight. To be honest, I have never played Streets of Rage, but I will make sure to do a review of the three games of that series in one review in the future when it becomes playable. A good thing though is that I have played the first Final Fight, and I am reviewing the arcade version of the game that I played off of Capcom Classics Collections Vol. 1. Let’s get started then, shall we?
The game takes place in the fictional city of Metro City, and yes, that is the same place Captain Commando takes place. The story revolves around the buff muscular Mayor Mike Haggar, who one day gets a threatening call from an evil gang known as Mad Gear. The gang tells Haggar that they have taken his daughter and want something in return, or else she dies. It is up to Haggar, along with his daughter’s boy friend Cody and his ninja friend Guy to stop the Mad Gear Gang and save the Mayor’s Daughter. For some reason, when I think about this game, I feel like watching Die Hard or something like that.
The game play is a 2D side-scrolling beat ‘em up, where you control one of three characters, Guy, Cody, and Haggar. Guy is the weakest, but I think he is the fastest, Cody is the middle guy that is strong and fast, and Haggar is of course the strongest and the one you will want to play as more than the others since, well, what other choice gives you the ability to play as a muscular mayor? You’ve got your basic punches and kicks, along with the occasional throwing the bad guy. You also have super moves that do more damage to the opponent, but drain your life bar. I think that’s pretty fair, since it would be too easy if you could use your super moves willy-nilly. I like the fighting system here since if you get ganged up on, you can throw an enemy that’s in front of you behind you, unlike in Golden Axe. You can also pick up weapons dropped by the enemies and use them to your will, which puts a twist on the 2D brawlers, though Streets of Rage also has its own unique stuff.
The graphics in the game are pretty impressive, and both the Arcade and the Super Nintendo versions look great. Of course, if you wanted an almost perfect arcade port, you would need to get the Sega CD version. The Super Nintendo and Sega CD version don’t have two-player co-op. It’s kind of weird, since this game is meant to be played with two players. Yeah, you could play the game single player, but beat ‘em ups are more fun when you have a friend. The music in the game is also memorable. Well, I haven’t memorized the tunes, but they are good. The people responsible for this is Yoko Shimomura who is known for Kingdom Hearts, Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, Legend of Mana, Code Name: Viper, and Little Kings Tale. He was partnered with Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, who is known for Megaman 1 and 2, Ducktales 1 and 2, and 1943: The Battle for Midway did an awesome soundtrack to Final Fight.
There are some things I don’t like about this game though. One of the only things I don’t about is that some of the enemies are smaller than you, and they can be an annoyance. I also hate how you can get attacked during jumping in the air. I mean, yeah, in a way you can see that happening in real life, but it’s annoying. I also don’t like how you have to do a combo for a super move. They can be useful, but if this game’s combo system is anything like the Street Fighter games, then I don’t end up using them.
Overall though, the above paragraph contained just minor gripes, and I really enjoyed the Final Fight series. You can easily pick up a copy of this game, or download it off the Virtual Console or Playstation store. I bet you can pick this up off of the Xbox Live store, but I don’t know. Either way, Capcom shouldn’t have made such a painfully average sequel on the PS2 and Xbox. Instead, they should have just done an HD remake or something, like they did with Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Hyper Fighting. Still though, you should pick up a copy of this game.
This game gets an 8 out of 10