Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight
Review by Jelt
"Each stage is a challenge, for patient and skilled only"
Street Fighter 2010 is a side-scrolling action/platform game, which has nothing to do with Street Fighter. As it was released before the SF series became famous, they kept its name. It is also quite notorious for its difficulty (especially the last stage) and its strange controls.
It looks like a standard NES action-platformer, but it's rather as if each stage was a challenge. A level can be just a boss battle, a room where you have to kill a certain number of enemies or a scrolling stage with a boss at the end. Sometimes, you go for a few seconds to a boring transition stage without music or background. These stages are useless and should never have been in the game.
Every time you die, you have to restart the stage from the beginning but happily, you have infinite continues. That really gives the game a challenge feeling, where you have to learn how to get through and improve your skills. However, there are no saves or passwords: if you turn off the game, you come back at the first stage.
The whole point of the game is to learn how to play, because Ken can cling to any wall, do backflip and throw fireballs when he punches. These fireballs have different direction, length and power depending on whether you jump or press down, right/left or nothing. It takes time to get used to, but there are a lot of moves for a NES game. Enemies often come from a direction you can't hit, but it never makes the game impossible. You also have to collect powerups to shoot farther, that you lose every time you die. They make some parts considerably easier, so it's very useful to learn where to get them.
This game clearly isn't made for everyone; it plays a bit like Mega Man, Batman or Blaster Master. If you enjoy NES action games with a very agile hero, with challenging but not cheap difficulty, then you'll love it. This game is really fun, but you have to be patient at first, since the first stage is hard. The next stages are easier and give you time to practice, if you overcome the frustrating first stage.
You play a scientist named Ken, who was a Street Fighter champion years ago (in the Japanese version, the main character has nothing to do with Ken or SF). You conduct research on cyboplasm, whose injection of a small dose can save life. However, strong dose turn living beings into superaliens. Unfortunately, cyboplasm is stolen and Ken's partner is killed. Ken goes to avenge his friend, following the traces of cyboplasm left behind thanks to his teleporter. As it requires a lot of energy, you will have to get some by killing targets.
For once, the story is well explained in an action game: it tells why you have targets, why you keep teleporting, and that's quite cool. Yet, there's no real development until the very end, there aren't any other characters besides the bad guy and there's no link between the stages. All-in-all, it could have been much better, but it's still a very nice effort compared to other action games.
The graphics are great, the stages and characters are very detailed (like the Statue of Liberty on the first stage) and you see a lot of different places. Some bosses are impressive, and everything move without any slowdowns, save for one level. Yet, there are few different enemies and the in-between levels are ugly. It's still one of the prettiest NES game.
The music is quite good, but not really outstanding. It can get annoying the twentieth time you try to finish a stage, especially when they are stressful. The sound effects are great and suit perfectly the game.
Play time/Replayability: 7/10
The game has 19 stages and is long to finish because of the difficulty. But once you finish it, the rest of the game seems a lot easier, so it's always fun to replay for the sake of knowing how far you can get with one continue. Since nothing changes, if you weren't that fond of the game the first time, you have no reason to replay it.
Street Fighter 2010 is a great action game with a lot of different moves, which I can only recommend for skillful fans of NES action games. If you want to try something new and challenging without being cheap, where you can gradually improve your skills, it's the right game for you. If you aren't patient or strong in NES action games, don't bother trying. Otherwise, the game could have been improved with a bit more side-scrolling stages, an easier first stage, a password system and without the useless transition stages.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/15/10, Updated 03/05/12
Game Release: Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight (US, September 1990)
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