Review by TKDBoy1889
"Doe the final installment of the trilogy do well?"
Final Fight 3 was the last installment of the Final Fight series on the SNES, as well as the last for around ten years in general. The first installment on SNES was a poorly ported version from arcades, and the second was somewhat more fun. Does the third game continue improving the title?
Pretty much in terms detail and design it's the same as the last two games. Levels and enemies are big and pretty rich with detail. They also eliminated some of the horrendously pathetic looking attacks from various standard enemies. Your character also has a standing animation as opposed to looking like a statue when not moving like they did before. Each level also has a unique look to it. On the other hand, some of the enemies look more like hobos than dangerous gang members or what have you, and the level backgrounds, while good, at times feel more like a painted backdrop than part of the level you walk. Probably due to very little animation and such. But visually, the game is decent enough.
Compared to the last game, Final Fight 3 features overall some more enjoyable soundtracks. More of them are good this time as opposed to just okay. And best off, not many of them repeat constantly. There is usually some new fresh music each level.
In the trade-off of better music though we have slightly degraded sound effects. Well, the sound of punching or kicking someone still sounds pretty brutally satisfying. But throwing or slamming someone just doesn't feel as powerful as before. It feels more weak, less satisfying than before.
Here we are at the gameplay, the biggest factor. Final Final three boasts the most playable characters to select, a total cast of four. We have Haggar and Guy, staples of the series return to lay down some more punishment on the gangs of Metro City. They are joined by newcomers Dean, a streetfighter with a grudge against gangs, and Lucia, a police detective helping Haggar.
Final Fight 3 also features a much greater variety of moves than before. These include running attacks, more jump attacks, the ability to grab an enemy from behind, and various special moves pulled off with a button combo. This goes a good ways in eliminating the repetitive nature of the older games, introducing several new ways to beat the daylights out of your enemies. When it comes to moves, Haggar and Guy are top notch and honestly the best playable characters. Dean and Lucia however, while adding more choices to the game, don't shine as much. Whereas Haggar and Guy are well developed fighter, with Haggar as the powerhouse and Guy as the swift one, the other two don't really measure. Lucia is decent enough but many of her attacks are awkward and require being in strange positions to pull off. Dean just feels... not as complete as the others. So while we have more options than before as far as picking someone, it certainly could've been better balanced.
Running has been added to the game, a feature lacking in the last two games. It's a pretty nice feature honestly. It opens up a new jump attack as well as a running attack, which for some characters is a more powerful combo attack and for others is a simple devastating knockdown move. Like said before, it adds variety and flavor. It does have it's downsides though. The running itself feels like your characters is somewhat are slippery ice when starting and stopping. It takes a half second to really get going or to stop, which feels a bit strange. Also, while the running attacks are pretty hardcore, using them is tricky because they have pretty limited range. You typically have to run very close to your enemies to hit them, possibly closing than a standing attack. This wouldn't be as much of a problem except the timing required means you're likely to either miss or grab them instead. In short, the running was a good feature added but it had it's issues.
Then there is the long running issue which has been present since day one, and remains unfixed here: Uninspired enemies lacking variety. Once again, the giant Andores are probably the most challenging enemy. The only other real enemy that provides a real challenge is a fat guy that does a charge attack which can easily knock you down. Aside from this, most guys have the similar AI of "walk up and start throwing weak attacks". Some have slightly better range but they all attack the same and they can all be countered the same pretty much. There really isn't much as far as strengths and weaknesses go. There are some new featured enemies with new attacks but they still largely do this in terms of AI, or just move incredibly slow so it's easy to knock them back before they can ever hit you. The number of enemies and how fast they can hit sometimes is the main edge of the difficulty. It's slightly improved over the last game at least, though not a whole lot.
The bosses are a bit better. The first couple are pretty much the same as before in terms of attack patterns, and the same applies to later ones but later ones do gain some different attacks to mix things up. The final boss is also more unique somewhat, giving a more epic feeling at the end.
In conclusion, the gameplay has featured some good improvements but there are still issues holding it back. In the end, it's fun though
Replay value: 7/10
There is more replay value than before, largely thanks to added moves and more characters, giving you more options to pick as well as more parties to form if you want to play with a friend. Other than that, the replay largely falls under how much you enjoyed the game the first time through.
There is one level that can branch two ways, but it's only on one level and has zero effect on the ending, so it's not that great. Speaking of endings, like previous installments harder difficulties yield slightly better end scenes, but ultimately lt it's the same ending, just with a bit more revealed.
In the end, I give Final Fight 3 a 7/10, higher than both previous games. I did honestly find this game pretty fun, despite it's drawbacks and issues. While not amazing in any single regard it's good fun through and through, providing a satisfying experience if you're looking to pound on some gangs for fun. And it ends the SNES series on a good note, in my opinion. Give it a try if you like beat 'em ups.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/01/12
Game Release: Final Fight 3 (US, 01/31/96)
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