Review by SCCAN85

"A game that could've been so much better."

INTRO

When I heard that there was going to be a Final Fight type game on the Playstation I was really eager to play it, mainly because I really liked the Final Fight games back on the Super Nintendo. I never went out to bu it, but just recently after all these years that I've been wanting to play Fighting Force I got around to it. I have played it before, near its release here but I never fully completed the first level because I thought it was crap. Until recently, I hated Fighting Force but now my views are a bit different because a couple days ago, my friend and I wanted to play some type of two player game but we didn't want to fork $5 to rent a game. Instead we found one of our friends has Fighting Force and we politely asked to borrow it. Then my friend and I sat down, entered the Fighting Force disc into the Playstation and sat about one hour and twenty minutes and beat the entire game on two player mode. Yup, we just beat it in one day a little less then an hour and a half but its normal. Most beat ' em up games aren't supposed to be hours and hours long so this was OK. However, there is a lot of bad things in this game which make it only average. I've never been fond of Eidos and I still am not, but here is the basic information of Fighting Force. Fighting Force is an action game which came out in 1997 and is made by Eidos. I love beat 'em up games, but this game is one of the worst ones I've played in all honesty. Here's why ...

STORY: (1/10)

Most action games like this should have a pretty good story, but this one doesn't show anything at all! You have to assume the story because through the game you are trying to catch this guy. In the beginning it shows the four characters; Hawk, Mace, Smasher, and Alana. Then it just says these are the heroes to save the world. Okay, pardon my french but what kind of crap is that? That is pure garbage, no presentation or introduction to the heroes, what they do for a living or how they ended up there. Yes, I know that most action games like this don't do that but they should, shouldn't they? Then you know absolutely nothing what you are going up against, you just fight people and then you chase and finally meet up with this guy who I guess is a doctor and he is out to destroy the world. Reasons? Motives? None present. Okay so I'm totally in the dark, well that is something you just don't do to your customers Eidos. Gee, this is ridiculous. I won't even comment anymore on the score for the story, it shows once you play.

GAME PLAY: (7/10)

Now here is what the action beat 'em up genre is all about; game play! If you've ever played Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the best!) or any Batman game then you will not be introduced to anything new in this game. The only difference it has are the characters, the graphics, scenery, and the weapons available to use to kick some bad guy butt! With four characters, you'd think there should be some variety between them but I will just say very little. Yes, disappointingly the only differences are the special attacks (none are stronger than the other) and the speed of the characters which is hardly noticeable. Speaking of speed of characters that is my main gripe about this game. The opponents are literally twice as fast as you are, and let me just say the characters in this game are slower than a turtle! The punches and kicks have more speed to them, which is good but I do not enjoy controlling a human snail when I want to beat some evil a double s (notice how I've used that term a lot lately if you've been keeping up with my reviews :P)! That's the major downfall of the game play, but is there anything else. Not really other than the fact that there are no other modes of play; no features to the game other than the mission mode. Also, when playing with two players it sucks how you can hit each other, but in a sense it's good because it allows for you to be more cautious when fighting. Then, and one last thing that is bad about the game itself is how there are no continues at first. You have to progress a bit through the game and that may be frustrating if you accidentally die in the first few levels. Now enough of the bad, let's hear the good stuff about Fighting Force! Honestly the only good stuff about this game other than that it is pure action and exactly like Final Fight is that you can destroy things through the level and get points for it. That's basically the good and the bad of Fighting Force. It's pure action and there are about 10 levels in the game with some places different than the other: you will have choices in what direction to go in some levels but still the amount of levels are the same. Overall, the game play is great because of pure action but slow characters are not cool!

CONTROLS: (6/10)

The controls are pretty bad for a fighting game. I was expecting crisp and easy to use controls which I got most of the time. But, there is one thing that bugs me and I mentioned it earlier .... the characters are too freaking slow! Also, the camera doesn't help at all with two players, even for one player the camera isn't the best that it could've been. Controls aren't as responsive as necessary for an action beat 'em up game and the button configuration is not as good as what I have been used to. I can't complain much about the configuration because it's different for each game but personally I don't like how R1 was used for to run. The rest of the buttons work fine and are easily distributed amongst the buttons; X is punch, Square is for kick, Trianlge is used to throw, and everything else needed to know like picking up items or anything is just X. I don't think O is even used but I'm not fully sure about that. Controls aren't too bad, but they aren't good or as responsive as necessary for this type of genre. I had a huge problem with the speed of the characters and even though running sort of helps that problem it's still not very good. The controls are decent.

MUSIC/SOUNDS: (7/10)

I really didn't pay too much attention to the music because I was very into the action. The music though for the most part was pretty good. I noticed some songs were very unnoticeable while some, like the boss themes were pretty loud. Mos tof the songs are what you'd expect for an action beat 'em up game such as rock or anything related with a guitar sort of. That's how it is usually and that's how it is here. The music was clear and some tunes had good beats, but this is not the main focuse of interest for the game. The music is just there.

The sounds however are very noticeable and are the second best thing about Fighting Force. The sounds of punches and kicks along with special moves sound great. A typical punch and kick is how it sounds but it's loud and clear so you definitely know what you're doing. The weapons had accurate sounds too; gun shots, blades, barrels, suitcases, anything that is in the game as a weapon is very accurate. Bang!, Shhwt, Thunk are the sounds I can try to describe to you of the accuracy. The sound effects are clear and are very noticeable which makes it very good and is the best part of the audio of Fighting Force.

GRAPHICS: (6/10)

Even though this game was made in 1997 these graphics aren't that impressive. I'd say there good, but I have seen much better in 1997 than what Fighting Force had. The real reason that I thought it wasn't so good was that there was too much value. Too much darkness and shade on the screen from the corners to a bit farther closer to the middle of the screen. The characters didn't look so great either, a bit blocky, but pretty good. The enemies (as most games of this genre do very bad) look the same as well along with the same name. There is some variety amongst the enemies but most of them looked the same. There were even girls too but I think thre is only like three or four different forms. The specials aren't impressive either. They don't look special, but rather just a normal attack. The backgrounds, lastly, are pretty bad. The levels aren't too long and there are huge portions of an area in each level so it's obvious Eidos didn't spend too much time making this game fun, creative and good looking. The only details I see are in the hair of the main four characters and the weapons. Everything else is bland or just there; nothing impressive to the eye. It is Playstation however and the graphics back then were amazing so I gave it a six which to me is decent.

CHALLENGE: (7/10)

Well, at least there is some good challenge here (something that Eidos is only good at doing in my opinion). With only one player I think this game is really hard and I beat the game with my friend on easy mode and it was more difficult than easy. It was pretty easy though, but I think on a normal setting with just one player the challenge is immensely different than that of easy setting. The three settings of course in options are easy, medium, and hard. I haven't tried hard, but I can imagine that it will be really hard. The bosses are the main hard part of the game because physical attacks don't take much damage out of them. There are weapons instead to aid you which weakens the bosses much quicker. The normal enemies aren't hard at all; other than the men in suits that is. I probably will never play this game again so I probably will never know how difficult the game can be normally, but this score is an estimate of what I thought of both normal and easy mode. Then again, I was with a friend so the score varies between the difficulty and the number of players. Overall, the challenge is above average.

REPLAY: (2/10)

Sorry, but I didn't find any in this game. It's true that I did just play this game for about three hours and I beat it with my friend once, but I don't think there is any special ending (the regular one is crap anyway). There is some replay value however and that is on only a couple levels. I am not accurate with what the levels are but I do know that in some levels you can choose to take a different path. That shows some replay value (not really) but only for the background. Through playing enough levels in this game I can tell that those other levels don't have anything new or special in the game that the other levels didn't have. The levels that I didn't go to probably (most likely) have weapons, boxes, and enemies to use and kill. The replay value is extremely wea in my opinion and this is good for a one time only play through. At least, that's what I think.

PROS

- Final Fight clone in 3D
- Music and sound FX are pretty good
- Large levels with a lot of scenery
- Decent challenge; for true gamers

CONS

- Story is crap; horrible presentation!
- Levels are too small
-Too repetitive, characters make no difference
- Controls aren't as good as most games of this genre are
- Replay value is a joke

SCORES

STORY - 0.3
GAME PLAY - 7.0
CONTROLS - 5.8
MUSIC/SOUNDS - 6.6
GRAPHICS - 6.1
CHALLENGE - 7.4
REPLAY - 1.6

TOTAL - (not an average) 4.7/10

OUTRO: (5/10)

I feel kind of bad ragging on a genre that I love so much, but Eidos ruined that experience for me as they did with Fear Effect. I personally do not find them that great of a company and after all the fighting: the blood and sweat I thought there would be a decent ending, but there was nothing! I say this game is just average and not worth a rental unless you want to try it out or that's the only thing left. If you've got something better to rent get that instead. Also, I have yet to play Fighting Force 2. I hope Eidos improved that game, but with my history with their games I probably won't like it anyway. I don't know the cost of this game, but trust me people, this game is only rental material. You can beat it with the rental so I wouldn't put down more than $10 on it. Overall, this game is simply average and what could've been so much better turned out to be so much worse. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/19/01, Updated 04/19/01


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