Synyster Graves

Final Fight: Double Impact

by on May.08, 2011, under Xbox Live Arcade

Final Fight: Double Impact is a special edition release on Xbox Live Arcade, and the original Final Fight was released on the SEGA CD and arcades in 1989 by Capcom. Double Impact also features a second game, in the form of Magic Sword, another Capcom arcade release in 1990. Both were repackaged and released as one game on Xbox Live Arcade, but I’m only reviewing Final Fight.

Being a fan of the scrolling Beat ‘em Up genre, I purchased a copy of this without hesitation after playing the demo. I wasn’t overly bothered about the Magic Sword double header and started reliving the good old days of 16-bit scrolling fighting games as I was such a huge fan of the Streets of Rage series. After playing about five minutes, you come to realise why Streets of Rage reigned so supreme in the late eighties/early nineties.

How many Andre The Giant clones can you get on the screen at one time? Well here's three

Capcom, for the same people who released the world defining title of Street Fighter, clearly dropped the ball when it came to the Fight Fight series, of which there were three. Final Fight however in early development was actually named as Street Fighter ’89 and mercifully in retrospect, I’m glad it was never really absorbed under that franchise. For a fighting game, the combat is painfully crap as you have two buttons. One to attack, one to jump. Pressing both together did a special attack which too chunks out of your life without mercy. Amazingly this has less functions than Double Dragon, a title four years it’s senior. While Final Fight is clearly designed to be an arcade title, i.e. painfuly difficult to swallow all your hard earned money, it’s difficulty doesn’t lie in the enemies astute ability to kill you quickly, more in the great ineptitude of your characters.

The movement is clunky to say the least and severely lacks the fluid and seamless nature of Streets of Rage. The damage you receive is grossly disproportional to how much you can distribute and you will rinse through the continues faster than a diabetic goes through bottles of Evian. The massively biased damage detection doesn’t just stop with the floods of enemies on the screen at the same time, all attacking you, but they all have attacks which prohibit you getting back to your feet, essentially draining all your health even before you can actually get up and attack them back, as well as the obligatory being hit from off the screen by unseen assailants, usually dressed as poor mockups of Andre The Giant.

Final Fight was good to have the brief nostalgia of playing another retro scrolling beat ‘em up game but playing it reminds you of why Streets of Rage was the undisputed king of this genre and will never be beaten. Street Fighter Alpha 3 was the first real time that you fully grasped hold of Final Fight’s characters like Cody, Guy, Rolento and Sodom. Unfortunately Street Fighter Alpha 3 is not on XBLA, so this will have to do.

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