Review by Flyersfreak85

"So...Is it "Final Fighter 3", or "Street Fight 3"..."

Introduction: Least to say for my memories, but back in January of 1996 I was a month shy of being 12-years of age. So, for me to remember or begin to speculate (without cheating and doing a Google search for verification) what people were thinking about a soon to be released game back then would be a reach. However, after the somewhat snooze fest of a game that was “Final Fight 2”, the sequel to “Final Fight” (and it SHOULD be stressed and emphasized that it was the follow-up to the Super Nintendo version, NOT the arcade version) people could have been a bit iffy about another game in the series. But sticking to their guns and nearly three years after “FF2” was released in the middle of 1993, Capcom came back with “Final Fight 3” which would yet again be exclusive to the Super Nintendo and finally prove to be the final fight indeed (seriously, NO pun intended there).

But something happened in the time between the two games: it's like the executives at Capcom looked at the first two Final Fight games, brainstormed ways to make a more unique experience and viola, this game was bore to the gaming world! But, when I say “unique” I don't mean unique as in good, it was “unique” as in “totally different” from the previous two games. Let's be real, THIS game was NOT your older brother's Final Fight.

Gameplay: Okay so, going back to the TOTALLY ORIGINAL AND NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE STORYLINE WHERE GANGS TAKE OVER A CITY…oh wait never mind that's what we got yet again. Well, at least Capcom made up a new story in its place: apparently after the demise of the Mad Gear gang (once and for all, oh glory hallelujah!) a bunch of rival gangs fought for criminal control of Metro City. As it was told, the “Skull Cross” gang won over the other schmucks and they decided to turn their attention to having fun with the city (as opposed to having fun at their local Chuck E Cheese's, or something like that).

The story goes like this: Guy, having returned from his training which magically took him out of partaking in “FF2”, is talking to Haggar in his office, when riots break out. A young female detective comes in and tells Mayor Haggar what is happening, and some freaky guy who omits electricity from his hand (don't ask, because it's never really explained) says he can lead them to the boss of the group. To be more precise, the girl's name is Lucia, and Dean's family was apparently kidnapped then killed by the gang because he refused to join them in their bid to overthrow the city which gets as many of these threats as Kate Upton gets marriage proposals.

Since they were going in a totally different way with the gameplay its self, they could have done the same with character selection for the SC gang. Instead, we get guys who basically emulate the Bred, Dug, Jake, and Simmons' of the first game, the Mic, Jack, and Elijah's of the second game, and just rename them G, Johnny, Billy, and Ray. Also among the laughing stock are two guys named Rick and Dirk who have Wolverine like claws, and two FAT guys named Arby and Fat Jack (stop while you are ahead Capcom). We also have midgets named Joe, two females May and I forget the other one right now, and a guy who walks around carrying a baseball bat named Hunter. Oh, and guess who is back yet AGAIN…it's the loveable Andore! (I guess his interview for a job at McDonald's went sour, so he's back in the crime scene again).

The actual game play of the game is unique to say the least: in addition to the basic moves you had before, Capcom also gave each player a unique move accessed by doing the “Hadoken” motion (as done by Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter) and a SUPER move. Truth be told however, the SUPER move is really a PITA and is not worth the time, doesn't hit all the enemies, and leaves you open to get hit when you get up, so it's best not to use it too much if ever. The game its self does NOT move like the others did in terms of speed and glitches too much, probably because there was way too much horsepower for it to handle in the cart.

“FF3” also marks the first and only time where you can choose how you want to go through stages and take shortcuts to make the game easier (or harder) on yourself. The ONLY stage you cannot do this is in stage one as it's totally straightforward, but after that one the game becomes your personal maze.

Oh and how is this for interesting: “FF3” introduces a function where, instead of having two human players, you can use an “auto 2P” mode where the second player is AI controlled. It's fun for a while, until you realize that the AI is so stupid that they get in your way and gravitate to the edge of the stage, walking back and forth aimlessly.

---Gameplay Grade: 7/10

Controls: Learn the “Hadoken” process and you can make life a lot easier on yourself. This move allows Haggar to do a swinging hammerlock; Lucia a weird jumping crescent kick, Guy omits a flame from his hand, and Dean…ere…he grabs someone towards him. Otherwise, all buttons are customizable like with “FF2”.

---Controls Grade: 8/10

Graphics: There are so many glitches, I swear they must have rushed through the final process of this game: it's not THAT bad, but when graphics screw up and the game slows down it can be a problem. As it is, the actually backgrounds are gritty and a lot darker than they were in “FF2”, perhaps close to the first Final Fight. I do like how some things in the background, like tables, punch codes on the walls in the jail, computers, and benches will smash and break, adding a neat little interaction bit. The enemies look pretty darn goofy, none more than big tough Andore, who transforms from having red hair, to green hair, to crap brown hair. Dean looks goofy with his hair, Guy looks like he did before, and Lucia is cute with nice uh, bouncing assets! I do have a problem with Haggar: he went from a tough dude to looking like a hippy with a long ponytail!

---Graphics Grade: 6/10

Sound: Not bad, but nothing that will be remembered either. It seems they cut back on the sound effects in terms of death moans, as Dean and Guy both make the same one, Haggar has the same as some of the bosses do, and Lucia sounds like the female enemies. And when you break barrels it sounds more like hitting a drum set, but oh well. Music wise it's okay, nothing really edgy: the best one in my opinion is the one you first hear when you enter the jail and go to face Dave in round one.

---Sound Grade: 5/10

Challenge: I have yet to notice a difference in terms of enemies when you play two players or one player. But make sure it's with human players, because when using the auto AI as the second player, that user has only made it to the fourth round when I've played a game. With the lax damage control and stupid enemies, this game isn't that tough, though it will be tougher than “FF2”.

---Challenge Grade: 6/10

Final Thoughts: Give credit to Capcom, “FF3” is an ambitious work of art that clearly was a step in a new direction for a series that was growing stale. And while some things worked out a lot better for it, some things did not work out as well as they should have, making this game feel a bit off as a result. If they cleaned up on some of the mass effects they used (using so many as to the point that it would slow down as a result) this game wouldn't lag and it might have been a lot better, but as it is, it's good for a couple of plays if you want to remember a pretty good series coming to a close.

---Overall Grade: 6/10


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 03/26/12

Game Release: Final Fight 3 (US, 01/31/96)


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