Final Fight CD
Box Shot
Final Fight CD
Platform: Sega CD
Publisher: Sega
Designer: Capcom/Sega
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1993
Reviewed by: Jorge Romo

Screenshots from arcade version

Back in 1991 when the Super Nintendo was released in the U.S., Capcom announced that one of its first three titles (the other two were Super Ghouls and Ghosts and U.N. Squadron) was going to be the home version of the its arcade smash, Final Fight. Unfortunately the SNES version of this classic failed to remain faithful to the arcade version. Not only the Guy character was removed from the game, but the game was for one player only! Worse yet, the industrial area stage wasn' t included and the female thugs were changed into sissy-looking punks (thanks to the exagerated Nintendo's campaign against "nudity" and "violence"), so everybody can play the game without the worries of seeing a babe in such skimpy clothes. Fortunately, Capcom wisely decided to grant Sega with the rights to launch it on its CD system and the result was one of the best translations of an arcade to a video game system: Final Fight CD.

The game starts with a new cinema (dialogue narrated rather than text to be read) explaining what's going on. The Mad Gear gang has snatched Mayor Haggar's daughter, to put an end to his campaigning for cleaning the streets of Metro City. Having no interest to give to the gang's demands, Haggar has decided to use his experience as a professional wrestler to rescue his daughter and crushing the Mad Gear gang himself. Joining forces in the search, includes Cody, martial arts expert and Jessica's boyfriend, and Guy trained in the ancient discipline of Ninjitsu. The game is divided in six stages with bonus stages too, where you must make your way through all the Mad Gear Gang and face a very tough boss at the end of each area, capable of crushing you in no time.

Based in a game that appeared four years ago, your characters had very few fighting moves compared to other games that shared the same theme (Streets of Rage for example) but what you got is more than enough to clean all the trash you are battling.

The graphics are like carbon copied from the arcade with a lack of color thanks to the Sega CD limited capabilites, but otherwise this was a very minor flaw. The game control is as good as the SNES version and the music was the best aspect of it; 100% CD quality, really, once you hear the BGM of stage four, you will know what I am talking about. The ending is much better, with dialogue, and great animation.

The game features a time attack mode where you alone or with a friend can test your fighting abilities trashing thugs as much as you can in a certain amount of time. Even that you can change the difficult level of the game, you still face a challenge even in "easy" mode, so don 't get cocky. It is sometimes frustrating that your opponents can be very cheap, having inclinations of surrounding you and giving a beat you will never forget. The bosses need very few punches to kill you so unless you know their patterns, be ready to lose some lives in the process to defeat them.

The game is fun playing alone, and even better with a friend, where you must help each other to cover your backs. The game was still customized to a home system, so don't expect to see the blood spills, Jessica at the tv wearing a bra (she now has a red dress) or the female thugs in hot pants or small blouses, their outfits are now longer to cover those parts exposed when you manage to grab them (and those who played the arcade version know what I am talking about). The game can be quite boring on the two last stages, where you only beat enemies, after enemies, after enemies, but there again, you are suppouse to face a strong resistance.

Overall Final Fight CD is a good fighting game, but of course not the best around. I still prefer this game than its sequels, Final Fight 2 and 3 just because this games weren't capable to capture the same dark flavor of the original, that made it so popular.

Reviewed by: Rade Kuruc
Being the huge fan of CPS-1 games that I am, I have decided to review the best home version of Final Fight ever to grace the North American console shore: Final Fight CD for the doomed Sega CD.

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.