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Burning Fight (NeoGeo) artwork

Burning Fight (NeoGeo) review

"Whoever said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery has never played this game"

SNK has never been shy of imitating games by Capcom, especially Street Fighter II but then again, everyone and their mother went on ahead with a fighting game of their own even when some hit very close to home with said clones. It was the same thing with games like Double Dragon which would spawn clones and others which would use their own gameplay formula to keep the experience different and stray from having the Lee brothers come out as color swaps with afros in an "original" game from another company. While Capcom succeeded with the likes of Final Fight, SNK would go on "borrowing" aspects AND characters from said game to feature Burning Fight, a beat'em up which simply makes one's eyes roll just by reading the title.

To be frank, if said title of this game was the only thing to worry about I would not even consider giving it a negative review at all. As it turns out, Burning Fight suffers from many aspects that stop it from being an enjoyable experience when you play it period. I am getting ahead of myself here being that said gameplay is still far from stating what other aspects it suffers from. For starters, two of the three characters to choose from are *dangerously* similar to Guy and Cody from Final Fight, this includes their move sets and appearance overall. The third character just happens to be the strongest of the three. Yeah, not a cookie cutter version of Haggar at all.

CptRetroBlue's image
Have I seen you guys before?

We go next to gameplay as I had announced. Burning Fight graces us with not two but three buttons to fight off punks we encounter. One for punch, another for jumping, and the last for kicking. Why do we need a kick button you may ask? Well it seems while most of the thugs you bring down with furious button mashing from that sole punch button alone would be enough, there are certain enemies on which the use of the kick button comes out handy than trying with futility to hit them with your mighty punch. This alone makes gameplay strenuous and quite annoying, being that with just one attack button it would be more than enough to deal with any other enemy being thrown at you without guessing which button to press when dealing with different types of characters.

Burning Fight Gameplay
Gameplay which feels like a chore to work with

Even with the added forms of attack the chances of beating a single character with ease is simply a chore. The attack animations here are cartoony at best and while your character is busy with a flurry of speedy punches and kicks, enemies stand idle until they get knocked down. Seems characters here just don't have a finishing move like those on Final Fight or Streets of Rage and as a result you do not get the same kind of satisfaction once you defeat anyone on this game. There are some places you can enter which serve as bonus stages in some missions, allowing you to earn extra points and health. Each has a time limit to get as much as you can before you resume the game. While this may seem as an optional way to earn a high score it simply steers you away from the main game at hand and doesn't really add anything to gameplay overall even if it is optional to interact with them.

CptRetroBlue's image
Bonus Stage

Enemies here are relentless most of the time. While you are busy with some of them another will try to sneak behind you and land cheap shots at you while you are defenseless. Bosses are also cheap and often will test your patience while you try and defeat them. It is a sure bet you would just quit when you had your fill of such cheap gameplay with unfair enemy behavior.

The music is one of the few positive points of this game. While it is not too engaging in comparison to other beat'em ups, it is still pleasant to listen while you advance through the game. Another aspect of this game is that there are some nice enemy designs including certain bosses like the charismatic wrestler boss who strangely resembles Hulk Hogan for example.

CptRetroBlue's image
"Whatcha gonna do brudder?!"

Sadly even with these few positive points to this game, the negative greatly overshadows it. If only Burning Fight were to have better gameplay I could forgive its blatant ripping off Final Fight character and title wise. It is fun to try but to be able to have enough tolerance to beat it requires some burning fight of your own.

CptRetroBlue's avatar
Community review by CptRetroBlue (April 14, 2019)

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hastypixels posted April 14, 2019:

You know what would go along with your well worded review very nicely? Screenshots. It aids the imagination somewhat when what comes to mind are SNK style graphics that at least in my experience vary in detail and frame count, but have a particular style.

Just something to consider. Even saying that, that was a smooth, easy read and that's a good thing.
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CptRetroBlue posted April 14, 2019:

Thank you and I will try to add screenshots to some of my reviews new and old, I am still pondering how to do so here because it seems the images come out a bit too big when I had tried before but I sure will do so :)
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Masters posted May 01, 2019:

Ah, it looks sweet now. I don't think "Mother" requires capitalization though?
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CptRetroBlue posted May 01, 2019:

Mother? Can you point out where that word is at please and I can see if I can correct it?
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honestgamer posted May 01, 2019:

It's in your very first sentence, and as Masters says, doesn't require capitalization in that instance (though there are some cases where it would be capitalized, such as if you were calling someone "Mother" as a proper name). When someone points out an error I've made in a review, I can't always easily find it so I press CTRL+F and just perform a search on the page for the word or two in question, which usually brings it up almost immediately. That's if I'm using my desktop to browse the site, of course, which I almost always am. I think smartphones have a similar function, but I rarely use my phone to browse the Internet.
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CptRetroBlue posted May 02, 2019:

Got it

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