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Final Fight - I can't think of a short and snappy title
Final Fight One (GBA)
Final Fight One (GBA)
Date: 15/05/02, updated on 15/05/02 (29 review reads)
Advantages: Retro Heaven, Semms different to others, FUN!!!
Disadvantages: Unlimited 2P continues, Nothing new, Repetitve
In 1989, Capcom released Final Fight, one of the most influential games of its time. Much like how Street Fighter II defined the fighting genre years later, Final Fight defined the side-scroller beat-em- up. The game's premise seems repetitive and simple compared to the games of today, but there is still plenty of fun in beating up wave after wave of gang members. After a decade since the arcade game's release, Capcom takes advantage of the Game Boy Advance's 32-bit architecture to treat the old-school fans with a near-perfect port of its arcade classic.
The game's story is revealed by cutscenes as soon as you turn on the game. The Mad Gear gang has run rampant in Metro City for years, and newly elected (and former pro-wrestler) mayor Mike Haggar is committed to change that. Upon hearing Haggar's plan, the Mad Gear kidnap his daughter, Jessica, to dissuade him. Still determined, Haggar teams up with Cody (Jessica's boyfriend) and Guy (Cody's friend) to take on the never-ending threat of the Mad Gear gang through the dangerous streets of Metro City. The story may be your standard action-movie prototype, but it suits the game's environment well.
The game is very simple, making it easy for anyone to pick up the game. The B button punches, the A button jumps, and the R button (or B+A) performs a clear-out move (at the expense of a bit of your health meter). Players move from left to right and fight an almost unlimited army of the Mad Gear gang before facing the stage's boss. There are three selectable characters: Haggar (slow yet powerful), Cody (average speed and strength), and Guy (weak, but very quick).
When Final Fight was ported to the Super Nintendo, a lot of drastic changes were made due to the technological limitations of the system. Guy wasn't playable at all, the 2-player co-op mode was removed, and the Industrial Area (Stage Four) was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, Capcom was able to inc
lude just about everything in the GBA version. Guy is a selectable character, the 2-player mode is possible via two Final Fight One cartridges and a link cable, and Rolento awaits your arrival at the end of the Industrial Area. The bonus stages after the second and fifth levels haven't been neglected either. Capcom even added new dialogue cutscenes before the player confronts the boss and an automatic save feature after the beginning of each stage. The graphics were ported not from the arcade but from the SNES version, but it doesn't really matter. The character sprites are still large and detailed, and the many facets of Metro City are nicely portrayed in the backgrounds. The music, also from the SNES version, remains memorable, so it won't take long before you start humming the theme of Final Fight. The only surprising change (which also happened in the U.S. SNES release) is that the female gang members have been replaced with guys. Beating up a girl apparently upgrades your status from 'E' to 'T'.
A major problem with most beat-em-ups is that they get repetitive and boring, but Final Fight One tries to avoid this by preventing you from realizing that you're doing the same thing over again. The stages aren't long (with the exception of the last two stages) and the scenery always changes. For example, you'll fight at a subway station and ride the train before reaching a short alley and a deathmatch- wrestling ring. Regardless, if you don't enjoy beating up the same characters repeatedly, then you're not going to care much about the different backgrounds, let alone the actual game.
Final Fight One is a difficult game at first, and chances that you will not finish the game on the Normal difficulty with five lives and three continues on your first try. Part of the fun in Final Fight is figuring out how to survive without suffering too much damage. However, once you're good enough to finish the six
stages and see the ending, there's not much else to do except to do it again on a harder difficulty level. Capcom did implement some form of replay value with rewards that are unlocked via the number of gang members you punch to death. These include increasing the number of lives you get (which will definitely help you finish the game), a stage select option, different colored costumes for each character, and even Street Fighter Alpha versions of Cody and Guy. It's great that Capcom added something to an otherwise straight port, but it certainly won't make Final Fight One a whole new game.
I love this game. I loved it when it came out in the arcades and am totally ecstatic about this portable port. However, if you weren't around in 1989 when the game first came out, you probably won't get what the big deal is. Honestly, the game is a repetitive exercise of beating endless drones, a task that is extremely boring compared to today's more complex 3-D adventure games. This game is not for everyone, and if you hated Final Fight before, you certainly aren't going to like it now. However, if you're looking for some old-fashioned, old-school gaming goodness, Final Fight One won't disappoint
Nitpicky detail: If there's one thing I'd change about the port, it's the seemingly unlimited continues in the 2-player mode. They take away the challenge of beating the game. Don't expect this kind of assistance in the 1-player mode though.
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