Final Fight (Arcade) review
"As the sun sets over Metro City, the citizens of the urban wasteland face another night of crime, corruption, and despair. Mad Gear, a powerful street gang with political influence and unparalleled resources, continues to tighten its chokehold on the city. Their dominance was a direct result of the old mayor’s limitless greed and utter lack of cojones. But now there’s a new mayor in town, the kind of well-meaning and honest type of person that Mad Gear can’t stand. In order to get the new offici..."
As the sun sets over Metro City, the citizens of the urban wasteland face another night of crime, corruption, and despair. Mad Gear, a powerful street gang with political influence and unparalleled resources, continues to tighten its chokehold on the city. Their dominance was a direct result of the old mayor’s limitless greed and utter lack of cojones. But now there’s a new mayor in town, the kind of well-meaning and honest type of person that Mad Gear can’t stand. In order to get the new official under their control, they’ve kidnapped his daughter Jessica and demanded his obedience as her ransom. With such a dastardly plan, the criminals think it’s only a matter of time before the mayor bends to their will and plunges Metro City further into anarchy.
But there’s just one thing they didn’t realize: The new mayor is Mike Haggar, and he is one badass son of a *****.
Unlike so many other politicians, Haggar is not some wimpy bureaucrat with delusions of grandeur. He’s a former street fighter, a warrior that has honed his mighty combat skills to the point of perfection. He’s pretty smart, too; Haggar knows that even he can’t take on an entire city of thugs, so he’s enlisted the help of two other would-be heroes. Cody Travers, the jean-clad poster boy of 1980’s machismo, has stepped into the fray to save Jessica in hopes of getting some action afterward. Then there’s Guy, who happens to be some kind of mysterious urban ninja. These do-gooders complement each other to make up the perfect team; Haggar has slow but devastating throws and wrestling manuevers, Guy is all about speed and making combinations out of weak attacks, and Cody’s got enough decent punches and kicks to fall somewhere in between the two. With fists clenched and heroism on their minds, the three warriors venture forth into the dark underbelly of Metro City’s criminal society again begin their Final Fight.
Once one of the fighters has been chosen, he’ll be dropped in the middle of some godforsaken slum. A bunch of Mad Gear goons can be seen hauling Jessica off to her doom. As their maniacal laughs fade off-screen, the hero is left with nothing but ominous silence. Just as he makes it passed the first building, a hoodlum breaks down the door and charges at him. More punks, fat bald men, clones of Andre the Giant, acrobatic transsexuals, and Molotov-wielding pyromaniacs come pouring out of every nook and cranny in an attempt to overwhelm him with their sheer numbers. Even though Haggar and his crew are more than capable enough to take on six of these bastards at once, they’ll still get worn down eventually. Miraculously, every trash can, barrel, neon sign, and every other out-of-place inanimate object can be busted open, revealing throwing knives, katana, lead pipes, and even a freshly cooked rotisserie chicken! With such items at their disposal, the three heroes will be able lay waste to anything that stands in the way of their righteous and bloody crusade.
As the battle rages onward, Hagger and his friends will find themselves getting deeper and deeper immersed in Metro City’s hive of scum and villainy. The game begins in the middle of some decrepit neighborhood, but it’ll eventually spill onto the subway, inside seedy bars, underground wrestling arenas, industrial complexes, and plenty of other lovely locations. As the fighters walk down the road, they’ll find themselves surrounded by piles of debris, broken windows, and cracked asphalt. When the slaughtering starts on the subway train, you can see the background changing to coincide with the movement on the train, right down to the swaying handrails, layers of graffiti, and the dull glow of tunnel lights. Amidst all the chaos, Haggar, Cody and Guy are depicted with detail and quality befitting of heroes. Haggar has shed his business suit in favor of a pair slacks, forcing his foes to reckon with his abnormally large abdominal muscles and badass moustache. Though they aren’t nearly as intimidating, Cody and Guy are just as deadly with their smooth moves and style. Even as the Mad Gear goons scream in anguish and terror, their cries are drowned out by Haggar’s inhuman attack roars.
Despite being one of first games of its kind, Final Fight has aged well. The memorable characters, the tough fights, long levels, and balanced gameplay made this brawler the benchmark for all other beat’em up games to come. There’s something undeniably awesome about picking Haggar and the others and utterly decimating every Dug, Axl, Holly Wood, Big Bull, Andore, and every other inept hooligan that comes lumbering towards you. The sheer amount of blunt objects and other usable weapons make the gameplay far more fun and engaging. Besides, there are few things more rewarding than tricking a crooked cop into gunning down his criminal cronies and piledriving his donut-induced fat ass onto the concrete afterward. Mike Haggar may be a muscle-bound monster, but he’s still the most awesome politician to ever grace the gaming world.
Community review by disco (August 08, 2006)
Disco is a San Francisco Bay Area native, whose gaming repertoire spans nearly three decades and hundreds of titles. He loves fighting games, traveling the world, learning new things, writing, photography, and tea. Not necessarily in that order.
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