Final Fight: Double Impact
Well folks, here it is! After all these years, we finally get the perfect port of Final Fight. This here is as good as having the arcade cabinet in your TV. Available on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, this is Final Fight: Double Impact.
Final Fight was originally going to be the sequel to the original Street Fighter (which was named "Fighting Street" when ported to the Turbografx 16 for some reason). It was renamed Final Fight from its original title Street Fighter '89 due to the fact that it is a beat-em-up and not a one-on-one fighter, and that is was apparently in a different world, with different characters (though many Final Fight fighters would appear in the Street Fighter Alpha series and Super Street Fighter IV.
I have already reviewed the SNES version, which was okay, but it was stripped of everything that made the arcade version cool. These aspects were co-op mode, a downgrade to the music, some animations, and major censorship. Also, they removed a level due to space limits, and Guy the ninja was absent.
There were also ports for the Sega CD and GBA, which do include the above aspects that were removed. However, there were still small bits of censorship: the removal of beer and whisky as powerups, and because violence against women is generally frowned upon, you now turn that violence towards queer man enemies. Fortunately, Guy has returned as has the missing level and everyone's favorite boss, the grenade-chucking commando who puts Sonic the Hedgehog to shame, Rolento.
The game had also spawned two SNES exclusive sequels, Final Fight 2 and 3, which are now available on Virtual Console for Wii. These games are also great...but the original may just still be the best.
So now we come to Double Impact, the reason why it is called such is because you recieve two games for your money; a remastered rendition of Capcom's hit 1989 beat-em-up, and another Capcom arcade classic, Magic Sword. I will review Magic Sword at another time, as I've been spending much more time on Final Fight of course. From what I have played of Magic Sword, it's a decent sidescrolling beat em up with swords. You are a warrior, and by freeing other types of warriors from jail they can join your party.
Back to Final Fight, this version is identical to the arcade version in terms of content. Graphically, the game also recieved a smoother finish, however, you can actually choose from many different view modes. You can have the new resolution, or you can even make it look just like the arcade version's resolution. You can even have the arcade cabinet as the wallpaper while you play, to induce those nolstagiac feelings.
The new music is not half bad, though you may also turn off the remastered music and just have the original arcade music. I do like remastered as well, but you just can't beat the retro awesomeness of the original.
Back to co-op, not only may you play co-op with someone right from your living room, but if you have no friends you sad, sad man, you may play co-op online. At any point in the game, another player might join you. Or you may lend a helping hand by jumping into someone else's game. If you would rather go it alone, you may turn online off. Of course, it doesn't beat playing side by side with another person like what co-op games are all about, but it will make the game easier...somewhat.
The objective is simple: walk right, smash some faces, beat a boss. Sometimes however, the screen can get pretty crowded, so this is much easier said than done. One thing I love about Final Fight is its simplicity however. You have a punch, a kick, and a jump attack. You can make up some combos by using them in coalition, but the controls are simple. You just have to worry about not getting your butt handed to you...which rookies definately will.
Thankfully, you have unlimited continues. That's right, no matter how many times you kick the bucket, you may continue. Now, that sounds really n00bish, as you could argue that "a real man doesn't need unlimited continues." Back in the arcade days, you had limited continues due to your often limited funds (or because you were saving the rest of your money for a slice of pizza, or to play the game a few machines down).
The thing is, one credit only earns you two lives...and they can be taken rather quick. When you get hit, you're stunned for a considerable duration in which you may be hit again and again until you fall on your behind. Not having a fist connect with your head is difficult when there are crowds of enemies on the screen, and I mean the screen can get full. There are weapons you can pick up like knives and katanas, but get hit once and it goes flying out of your hand.
In the other ports, you had limited continues, but the amount of enemies that joined forces to smash your face were not nearly as high they are in the arcade version. Plus, you were alloted more lives per continue. Therefore, I could probably say the arcade version is pretty hard to beat on two lives per continue with limited continues. Yes, I'm sure there are some beat-em-up masters who could pull if off, maybe without losing one life. So if that's the case, you can challenge yourself to beat the game on one continue, and quit when you lose all your lives.
Speaking of challenges, like any XBL or PSN game, there are challenges and accomplishments you can achieve to earn goodies. Most of the said goodies are things like "rare artworks" but there are also pages from the comic book you can unlock, and as a special prize...the "Final Fight" episode of that old Street Fighter cartoon. It's a decent incentive to defeat the Challenges. Same thing can be done for Magic Sword of course.
All in all, you cannot beat this deal. I play via the PS3, where it was only $9.99. I mean, two games for the price of one plus extra content for a remastered rendition of one of the best beat em ups of all time? If you have a fighting game craving, Final Fight Double Impact will feed you. Download it....or Guy will experience PROFOUND SADNESS.
Challenge: B (the game is challenging, but unlimited continues does negate that)
Content: A (chock full of unlockable artwork, comic book pages, and a super special prize!)
Replay Value: B (I mean, it's an arcade game, so all you can do is beat your old high score or try a run without dying)