Review by xenodolf
"The last Final Fight for the SFC/SNES comes with an overhauled engine and great concepts. It also exhibits more lag and graphical glitches than ever."
The end of the Final Fight SFC/SNES trilogy comes along at both the peak of the beat 'em up genre and Nintendo's 16-bit console itself. Roughly six years have passed since the revolutionary original Final Fight game came to be in 1989, bring with it several genre standards and many imitators. Hoping to fulfill the hearts of beat 'em up fans: who now have over a dozen of brawlers title to play on the SNES/SFC alone, Capcom updates the traditional Final Fight engine. This progressive feat, and several other positive changes were made to their powerhouse product. I now begin my review, to tell a bittersweet story..
The visuals are good, the background environments noticeably improved from the previous Final Fight outing. The enemies have slightly more detail and animation than those seen before, most of the playable characters following suit. Dean, in my opinion, looks out of place - his physical design less appealing and more primitive than the others. As I mentioned in my Final Fight 2 review, the enemies here are also less interesting to look at. Overall - this category has been done well, but there are several beat 'em ups released earlier than actually look better.
There are two reoccurring musical tracks in Final Fight 3, which is strange because the previous games has an individual track exclusive to each level. One of them is played several times throughout the game for some reason, and is rather pleasing to listen to. The other is a standard "boss theme" that turns on whenever you battle the gargantuan opponent at a stage's end. While it is an ok track, it automatically overrides whatever song is currently playing and kind of gets repetitive. The rest of the music was decent, but didn't really stick in my memory like that weird repeated tune. The battle noise seems a bit more muted than what the other SNES/SFC Final Fights put out. Overall - A slight dip in quality from the previous two titles, but not bad by any means.
While some other reviewers mention response lag, I don't recall having any problems in that area. It is nice that Capcom implemented more abilities to the characters than most beat 'em ups bother assigning, even if some are a bit difficult to discover on your own. Overall - everything is in the green here.
Taking a couple of pointers from their sister series - Street Fighter, Capcom tunes up the fighting up a bit. Additional special moves and throws are added, making the characters feel more flesh out and not simply different skins on the same model. Another great idea was giving you the option of fighting alongside of CPU-controlled partner. This allows the player, even if playing alone, to get a feel for the full experience of a frantic street brawl. You now have the option of going through different level routes and even fighting alternate bosses. With all these improvements to the normal Final Fight goodness, what could go wrong? Well, noticeable lag and graphical glitches are much more apparent this game than the other two combined. When playing with the CPU-controlled partner, these flaws increase even more, soiling the fresh game mechanics. The bosses aren't as unique as the previous games, most of them gigantic muscle-heads and the rest rip-offs of other Capcom characters. Overall - While I am mostly impressed at the job done here, there is room for improvement that simply could have been another month or so of tweaking.
Replay value 7/10
Due to a nice number of unique playable characters and multiple branching points - Final Fight 3 has a bit of reason to play through again immediately afterward. It would have been nice to perhaps include an additional versus mode, or a little more interaction between the characters and their enemies. Overall - pretty good for a beat 'em up, but not as rewarding as Rushing Beat or Combatribes.
The Complete Package 8/10
Even with the couple of gripes I expressed, Final Fight 3 retains most of the elements that made the franchise such a landmark in beat 'em up history. It is such a shame Capcom later tarnished such a reputation with the pointless Revenge and Streetwise games. If you can find a copy for less than $15 (beware of Ebay scalpers), it would be a logical move to add Final Fight 3 to your collection.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/12/07
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