Final Fight is one of those series that had so much going for it but for some reason, failed when the transition of gaming went from 16-Bit to 32-Bit (both the Double Dragon and Streets of Rage series felt this mishap also). Originally, Final Fight was to be a sequel to, the fairly popular, Street Fighter game that hit two years prior but eventually, Final Fight was given its own style (thanks to the success of Double Dragon in arcades). When Nintendo launched the Super Nintendo it was a very much ballyhooed fact that Capcom was bringing Final Fight to the new Nintendo console as an exclusive (no mention of other platforms was made so exclusivity was easy to garner from the likes of Electronic Gaming Monthly and Gamepro).
Final Fight tells the story of Metro City which is under attack by the Mad Gear Gang. The mayor of Metro City, Mike Haggar, is at a loss as to handle the onslaught, at least till he receives a call detailing his daughter has been kidnapped. At that point, it is time to take matters into his own hands, along with friends Cody and Guy (Guy sits out the SNES original). What follows is similar to what Jim Ross, former WWE/WCW announcer would call a “slobber knocking good time”.
The Super Nintendo version is not perfect, there were plenty of edits, downright censorship really, that got in the way of the feel of the original arcade game. Some, such as the lack of a two player mode, are technical and probably due to the lack of experience Capcom had with the new Nintendo hardware. Others, such as changing Roxy and Poison to similarly looking guys, removing references to God and alcohol were just simple censorship. It was to be that way though, gamers knew what they were getting into when purchasing a Super Nintendo, Nintendo was not exactly too wishy washy on this with the NES (though a few games did slip through with quite questionable content in the 8-Bit realm).
What players got with Final Fight on the Super Nintendo was a choice between Haggar and Cody (Cody lead to a slightly harder game), a one player game that was missing at least one level from the arcade game. The graphics were close to the arcade though and for most of us at that time, that was what mattered- this was not “close” like Rygar or Trojan but close like Super Mario Bros. The drop in detail was hardly noticeable versus all of the edits that Capcom had to do, either willingly or to satisfy Nintendo requirements.
In the end, the Super Nintendo version of Final Fight is amicable but there are better ports out there. Two years later, gamers were treated to a much closer gameplay-wise to the arcade version with the Sega CD version of Final Fight. The Sega CD version featured all of the levels, characters, no censorship over the arcade game and even a time attack mode among other updates. What the Sega CD version lacked was well, color.
The Game Boy Advance version is the SNES Final Fight Guy with plus mode. There are additional characters, all of the levels, and less censorship (we still lose Roxy and Poison here). There is even an expanded storyline for this version. The GBA version is not the perfect port but it is great for on the go (if you have a PSP/PS2/Xbox get Capcom Classics Collection for the true arcade game)
Final Fight has hit various computers including the Sharp X68000 (discussed in our second issue), Mega/Sega-CD, Game Boy Advance, iOS and various consoles through compilations and digital re-releases.
Like Final Fight, check out our coverage of similar games here on RGM.
Grab Final Fight off Ebay and just enjoy.