Review by DandyQuackShot
"But What Are We Fighting For?"
Fighting Force 64 was not only late being released (the sequel was already out for the Playstation in 1999), but is also a failure in the attempt to put the fun fighting action of such 2D games like Double Dragon and Final Fight into a 3D environment. The transfer from 2D to 3D is not what is really bad about this game. What is really bad is that there is no innovation to Fighting Force and there is one very horrible story to follow.
The problem of Fighting Force is that there is nothing new or exciting that it brings to the table in this genre of games. The controls are not suited for taking on 3-4 bad guys at one time and you have to smash your way to better health and to earn points. Fighting Force is focused more on its arcade like scoring than it is on innovation. You will have to kick cars until their wheels fall off and smash drink machines to collect health and then there are the bad guys who have no intelligence at all.
You will choose between four characters ranging from little health to more health in their differences and of course they have different fighting moves. Apparently these are the elite assassins the government has sent in to kill some madman, but I will get to that later. The characters can move around fairly well, but there no combo systems that work well and once somebody gets behind you there is no way you can get out of losing health. My favorite character is "Smasher" who looks like a flesh colored version of the Incredible Hulk and because he has the most health in the game. The bad guys are typical of fighting games. They will have names like "Pale", "Tim", "Angel", "Bubba", and the names aren't even necessary for a game like this. This is just taken from other games like Final Fight. The bad guys will charge at you without regard to their own safety. This is best explained in that if you are packing a rocket launcher it is likely a bad guy with no weapon will blindly charge at you. Like that actually works.
The missions are totally weird. Depending on whether or not you know what this game is about you would think the police are supporting state terrorism against a city. You will beat the crap out of a bunch of security guards and street thugs and disarm and shoot them without regard to good conscience. The missions will tease you as you from Level 1 to Level 1.2, and Level 1.3, and then on to a boss. One boss featured is a truck driver with an axe and you will take him on while a bunch of police just barricade you in and watch. How nice. Eventually these levels will start getting repetitive.
Fighting Force is a game that has an unrealistic story. Well this is if you picked up this game with the box and instructions because if you just rented this game or was able to buy just the game itself you won't get any explanation of why you're running around taking on a bunch of people. Whereas Final Fight had a reason for you to go beat the snot out of any thug that charged your way, Fighting Force has you taking on people without any reason or explanation at the beginning of the game! So with that in mind I had to look up what this game was about and apparently you don't get much of an explanation online either. A madman is trying to set off Armageddon because Y2K didn't happen or something and the government has tasked these four people (all in their 20's or teens) to go kill and beat up everybody in sight while the police sit back and watch. Well, at least that's the best way I can explain it. There is no character background worth mentioning and there is no character development or in game plot. Just level after level of repetitive fighting.
The graphics are good. The sound is pretty bad. Let's discuss the good first. The graphics are 3D and are ok for the N64's ability. The characters' faces are not as detailed and hard to see in-game and are severely polygonal, but the environments are detailed well and there are backgrounds provided. Vehicles will drive around in the background and there will be buildings and streets with plenty of signs and billboards. The transfer from 2D to 3D is acceptable as far as the graphics go.
The music and sound is not all that great at all. The music repeats itself and is not memorable at all. The bad guys all make the same pig squeal when you take them out.
Fighting Force is not very innovative and with that there are no extras or side items once you played through this game. The only other reason to want to go back and play this game are fighting through to be able to choose where to go next in other levels, but I can guarantee it will probably be another level of repetitive fighting over and over again. It would be fun to go back and play with a friend as all fighting games are fun to play with friends, but beyond this there isn't much to say.
Final Recommendation 4.5/10
The fighting genre is a classic gaming style that just does not make it with Fighting Force. Fighting Force stays too true with the genre and in doing so suffers tremendously in giving you a game with repetitive fighting and struggling to stay alive off of smashing vending machines. It is not a game I would recommend if you are not a big fan of these games or if you do appreciate this genre.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 05/06/08
Game Release: Fighting Force 64 (US, 04/30/99)
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