|Final Fight CD|
|Reviewed by:||Jorge Romo|
|Reviewed by:||Rade Kuruc|
Man, the Sega CD had such great potential. As I remember reading about it in EGM with much anticipation for its November 1992 release, I can only wonder about the games that could have been but never happened due to poor software support and equally poor marketing. The Sega CD was packaged with really mediocre games, and on top of that, the ones on the shelves were crappy FMV coasters and ho-hum Genesis side-scrollers with CD music. So you can imagine the delight of hardcore gamers when decent Japanese games came to the American market. Granted Final Fight is not exactly the best game ever made, actually its far from it, and maybe it could have been done on the Genny as a cart, but it still stands as a classic in my mind and deserves recognition.
I usually hate side scrolling beat-em-ups in the vein of Double Dragon and such but Final Fight struck a chord with me with its really slick character designs and good animation. It had character and charisma and it played pretty well too (repetitive though). I enjoyed Haggar's pile driver and relished Guy's quick punches and cool demeanor. Never really liked to use Cody though, and was angered by his inclusion in Street Fighter Alpha 3 instead of Haggar (ed note: I always figured Zangeif was a lame clone of Hagger anyway.) I must have spent tens of dollars at the local corner store playing this game before and after school (sometimes during) trying to clear it. So when the dawn of the Super NES era came with a translation of Final Fight that looked pretty damned good, I got really excited; the arcade is coming home. Alas, a few solid minutes of play and I was pretty damned disappointed. "Where is Guy? What did you bastards do to Guy!?" I thought to myself. Then another hard blow to the solar plexus was delivered with great precision; NO TWO PLAYER MODE. What the hell is this? What kind of junky system is this slowdown laden "Super" NES (don't get me wrong, I love the SNES, its just how I felt back then). To me, the two-player mode was a big part of Final Fight's appeal. Sure a new version of Final Fight was released in Japan, and later North America, including Guy but not Cody (thankyou) dubbed Final Fight GUY but still had no two player mode; the Super NES just couldnít handle it. Back to the arcades.
1992: the Sega CD is quickly approaching its North American launch and among the first wave of announced titles is a perfect version of Final Fight. Truly, 1993 was going to be a great year for Sega. And for me, a great year as well. Final Fight is truly coming home.
1993: I tear open the package and slide the disc in and am treated to a stellar version of Final Fight. Every thing is here. On with the review.
Final Fight on the Sega CD is a solid game. The colours are somewhat dithered as the Genesis palate is quite crappy but thatís not to say that the graphics are horrible. What it looses in colour, it makes up for in the animation of the main characters, which are silky smooth and as good as the arcade. The presentation is almost exact, as a matter of fact, and if you were completely colour blind and deaf, you would swear that your were playing the arcade game.
Sound here is double edged. The music is a superb, although sometimes cheesy, remix of the original arcade tunes. On a whole the music is better than arcade perfect and the end of level tune will ring in your head for days. It fits the game perfectly. Sound effects on the other hand are somewhat of a disappointment. The voices suffer from that grainy sound that plagues a lot of Genesis games. It's not as bad as Street Fighter's, mind you. Sounds of fist swinging and other familiar crunches are almost arcade- perfect, but suffer from a kind of "boxed in" sound. Don't any of you worry though, as every grunt and chant is included. The sound is not horrible and is kind of good for the Sega but you expect more from a system with the letters "C" and "D" in its name. Maybe I expect too much.
From an artistic point of view the game really shines with good looking characters and interesting levels. The animation is very stylish and memorable. The enemies are especially well done and although they do repeat a lot, they remain interesting and fun to look at. Who could forget the hulking Andore's? The visuals are an important piece of this game and a reason for its success. A lot of games these days have really poor character design.
The game play is standard stuff here with little option as to how you are to dispose of you foes. Sure Haggar does have that pile driver and the others have their knee slams and such but it can get pretty boring after a while. I mean, you can only tap the same button so many times. Some of the levels do tend to drag on (level 5) and it can get pretty damned cheap as with the case of Rolento and those knife throwing fellows. Overall, I believe the visuals did much more for the popularity than the game-play did. And that really hurts the longevity of this games play life. I can rip out any Castlevania game and have a blast playing it, but playing Final Fight today sounds fun at first but is boring from the first punch for me. Bringing a friend into the mix helps but some games were just not built to have a ton of replay value.
Overall this is a must for fans of the genre and series. If you own a Sega CD I suggest you buy this as it makes a great addition to your library. Don't expect greatness but do expect a nostalgic tear run down your now stubbled face.
There were a few sequels for Final Fight on the SNES; they bit. And Capcom announced two new arcade versions a couple of years back. One for Sega's Titan arcade hardware and another for the CPSIII. A beat-em-up and a one on one fighter respectively. The Titan one has most likely been cancelled but the CPSIII version might still be in the cards but I doubt it (ed note: there's still word on it - it's a 3D fighting game.) There have been rumors of a true Final Fight sequel for years and I truly doubt it will ever come to fruition. Prove me wrong Capcom.