Review by Snickleseed

"A big step down for the series"

Well, let me start by saying that most sequels are at least a tad disappointing, and this one is no exception. You have the usual gameplay...you prowl the streets on a big ass kicking rampage on a quest to defeat a gang...yada yada yada... It was a concept that worked in the first two games of the series, but for some reason, not this game.

The plot is as follows:

After Metro City Mayor Mike Haggar thrashed the Mad Gear Gang for the second time, a new gang known as the Skull Cross Gang formed in Metro City and started to wreak havoc. A young female cop named Lucia busts in Haggar's office and asks for his help in taking down the Skull Cross Gang. They are joined by Guy, who has returned to the series, and a mysterious dude named Dean, who has electric powers. (?) You'll learn who he is after the first level. Apparently, the Skull Cross Gang is attempting to smuggle arms into Metro City.

Now, you may wonder why I find this game disappointing. Well, for one thing, the play control is just dreadful. The controls seem extremely sloppy and imprecise. When you push the ''jump'' button, for instance, it takes a split second to jump. It is just enough lag to irritate and frustrate you, and can result in some pretty cheap deaths.

I give the play control a 5/10.

Next, the game suffers from an AWFUL amount of slowdown not present in the previous titles, especially so on the two player mode, or when you have the CPU controlled player helping you. The idea of having the CPU help you in the game is a marvelous idea, but it is just too bad that it slows down the gameplay so much. For this reason, always go solo. Factor the slowdown in with the already shoddy play control, and you have an absolutely dreadful two player game.

Sound effects have also gone downhill from Final Fight 2. Just plain awful. Everything is so distorted and muffled, and does not have the impact that it should have. For example when Haggar slams an enemy onto the pavement, it should have some kind of a walloping sound. Instead, it sounds like hitting something with a foam hammer. Music is also nothing special. The same few irritating tunes play over and over in a couple stages.

Sound: 4/10.

Graphics are fairly decent and colorful, and the animation of the characters is quite smooth overall. Probably about a 7/10 for graphics.

The game does have a few good points, such as the facts that Guy is now a playable character, your character now has a few different moves to do rather than just two, and certain stages contain hidden pathways that lead to different bosses.

There is also a new Super move meter that fills up as you take out the trash. Once full, you can bombard your foes with a massive attack that they won't soon forget.

Also, it is a nice touch to find new enemies on each new level, unlike the previous games where all of the enemies in the game (except bosses) could be seen in the first two levels. Still, though, they get repetitive....

Replay value: about 6/10. The new additions to the series will keep you playing for a little while, but the horrible control and slowdown will drive you away at the same time.

So, if you enjoyed FF1 and FF2, then you will really see that this game has slipped in quality compared to those two titles. The flaws of this game drastically outweigh its redeeming qualities. It's a shame really, because it could have been so much more. Instead, it feels like a rushed project. Pick it up if you see it quite cheap, otherwise stay away from it.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 03/07/04


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