Year Of Release: 1989
Released right at the end of 1989, Final Fight is one of Capcom's most beloved arcade games. Interestingly though when the game was in early development it was being made as a sequel to their game Street Fighter. But because of the huge success of the game Double Dragon. Capcom decided that they wanted to make this new game a side scrolling beat em up as well. The guys behind Final Fight would later work on Street Fighter II and the link between Street Fighter and Final Fight is strengthened as some characters from the Final Fight series have also appeared in various Street Fighter games over the years.
Final Fight offers amazing production values and the game does have the look of a gritty action movie from the 80’s. The character sprites are much larger than what Double Dragon had and they are also better animated making them look far more realistic. Also the level design is just amazing with each stage of the game having a very unique feel to it and with many things going on in the backgrounds. Capcom did a great job in not only making the characters feel like real people, but also making Metro City feel like a real place. The story of the game is that the city of Metro City is overrun by crime and the gang Mad Gear is the main force. Thankfully the newly elected mayor of the city, Mike Haggar has vowed to clean up crime and as he is a former pro wrestler he has the muscles to do this. In retaliation to this though, Mad Gear have kidnapped his daughter. It's now up to Haggar, his daughter’s boyfriend Cody and Cody’s buddy Guy to get her back and put a stop to Mad Gear’s reign of terror on the city!
The game play is very satisfying with each of the three characters having their own range of attacks. You can do attacks such as punches and jumping attacks, but you can also walk into an enemy and unleash a grapple attack as well. In addition to this there are various weapons that you can pick up which can deal more damage to an enemy. One cool thing about Final Fight was the way that all of the enemies had their own energy bar so you knew how strong each foe you encounter was. Each level will see you need to take on a series of enemies before making your way to the boss. While Final Fight does offer three characters, this is actually a two player game.
Current High Score: NA
Final Fight would be a launch title for the Super Nintendo, but the version was rather watered down and had many things that Nintendo deemed offensive toned down or removed. First of all the game removed Guy only letting you play as either Haggar or Cody, but as well as this there was no two player option. Capcom would eventually release a new version on the Super Nintendo called Final Fight Guy which added in Guy, but at the expense of Cody!
US Gold would port Final Fight to pretty much every single home computer that was on the planet! Ranging from very basic versions of computers such as the ZX Spectrum to more powerful ones like the Commodore Amiga.
The best home version of Final Fight was not released until 1993 and this version was on the Sega Mega CD. This port was not done by Sega and is quite amazing in how close to the arcade it is. There was even some cheesy, but fitting voice acting added for this version of the game.
There would be two Super Nintendo exclusive sequels to Final Fight. Final Fight 2 was released in 1993 and would allow two players to play at once and also introduced two new characters Carlos and Maki along with the returning, Mike Haggar. Final Fight 3 would be released in 1995 and would see not only Haggar return, but also Guy and two new characters in Lucia and Dean. Its interesting that despite the immense popularity of the first Final Fight arcade game that the two sequels would only be released on console. Also with how much content is in Final Fight 2 and 3 you have to wonder why Capcom had such a hard time porting the first game to the Super Nintendo.
Final Fight would get a few spin offs over the years such as the NES release of Mighty Final Fight, and the one on one 3D fighting game Final Fight Revenge. Capcom tried to revive the series with Final Fight: Streetwise on the Playstation 2 and original Xbox in 2006, but it was not very well received.