Review by Amniculus
"This type of game happens when Final Fight melds a little too much with the Street Fighter series"
The finale of a famous beat 'em up trilogy on the Super NES comes to a close with Final Fight 3 here. Capcom doesn't disappoint fans looking to break a few bones of a neverending band of criminals, but sadly, this finale remains the same as the past two...in a bad way. So what is Final Fight, you ask? Final Fight is a street fighting beat 'em up that sort of toppled over the rest of its genre for a time by having colorful characters, detailed graphics, and a story that, while bad, is at least present in the game. It focuses on the big, muscular Mayor of Metro City, Mike Haggar, and various allies taking on powerful crime syndicates. Anyhow, on with the review.
Not bad, but not great. In the Super NES days, Capcom was well-known for having bright, lively graphics of characters and backgrounds in many of its games. There's not much to say here; they're good enough to keep you enthralled with much of the game.
Story & Characters: 6/10
I have no choice but to bash the poor-ass story of these fighting games, because let's face it--you and I are playing this for the gameplay and fun factor, and not for some intricate, complex story. Basically, Mayor Haggar gets a visit from an old friend, the martial artist Guy, who informs him of a new criminal gang acquiring power in Metro City--the Skull Cross. They're illegally trading weapons with a foreign terrorist or something and it's up to those two, along with a detective named Lucia and a mysterious street fighter named Dean to save the day by stopping them.
The characters are well-designed, as stated above, but what condemns this game is their "new" appearances. They gave the big, burly Mike Haggar a long, slender ponytail and a new effeminate appearance, and Lucia, the main girl, otherwise looks like a guy if you can't see she's wearing hotpants and has well-defined breasts. These appearances look more Street Fighter-esque; that is, Capcom's most famous tournament fighting series. You see, Capcom started throwing characters from Final Fight here into the Street Fighter series, and what commenced was a huge makeover regarding character designs, so that the Final Fight gang would assimilate better with the Street Fighter characters. This is all my opinion, of course, but it's quite easy to tell that this game does not have the gritty, comic book-like feel of its predecessors.
To top off the bashing of the characters, Capcom's designs for the villains fell drastically, and now, you want to kill them in the game just so you won't have to look at them. There is almost zero creativity in the boss designs, as I dare say many of them you may find to look similar. Again, there are exceptions, but...
I'm being generous. While playing through, you'll feel as if you're hearing only 5-6 different tunes, and sometimes, they're so monotonous that you won't even know you're fighting a boss badguy amidst the playing field. However, a few of them are quite catchy, believe it or not, so ultimately it's something you can live with. As far as sound effects go, well I guess I could rate that an 8/10. Capcom delivers action-y, bone-breaking sound effects that compliment this game quite well.
There's a reason I'm dropping two points off otherwise great gameplay, but we'll get to that. In the main game, you play the role of one of the four heroes (mentioned above) and proceed through the streets of various locales using martial arts-type moves to pound a bevy of street thugs, hoodlums, creeps and criminals into the ground before they do the same to you. Not particularly inventive, but it promotes the era of the beat 'em up classics.
Unlike the past two Final Fights, the controls may feel a bit...choppy. Given the fact that each character is endowed with new moves (again, that whole Street Fighter bastardization rant I was going on about), hit detection can be poor, which can lead to the biggest annoyance in the world. This isn't a major downfall so much as I'd suggest not to try this out, but it can be very irritating when you're dealing with a group of agile enemies. Another big flaw is the fact that pulling off some of your hero's "special attacks" can be extremely difficult and usually happen by accident.
I'd say go for it. These types of games are especially fun with friends and siblings.
And so, ultimately, what we have here is one of Capcom's "half-assed" installments, something that really didn't define poor Capcom until the Playstation era, sadly. Despite my reprimanding of the game in almost every category, I do have to say that this isn't a bad game and if you're a fan of beat 'em ups, I seriously suggest you pick it up if you find it (nowadays, you can find SNES games in pawn shops for less than $5, so no whining about the cost...). Overall, it was nice to see the finale of the Final Fight series, but it would've been even nicer to see some major changes done.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/13/06
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