Well, they say the original is always the best, and in this case they’re right… for the arcade version. When Nintendo released their new 16 bit powerhouse in 1991, beat-em-up fans were stoked for Capcom’s conversion of the revolutionary Final Fight. And they got it. Well, sort of. SNES owners did get to beat up on the Mad Gear Gang, but something was missing… Not only did they take out Guy, the coolest character in the game, but they took out an entire level, the Industrial Area, and most egregious of all, no two player mode. Yeah, one of the greatest co-op games in history is just single player. Well damn.
Final Fight 2
Alright, who fucked up at Capcom? I’m looking at you, Captain Commando! This game is genuinely awful. I’ve heard about this mistake of a cartridge for years, but always wrote off the criticism. Then I played it… Seriously, this game isn’t Superman 64 bad, but it’s just so… generic. Everything about it seems to make cookie cutters proud to cut cookies. Not only is poor Guy missing (yet somehow the plot involves saving his girlfriend) but Cody is M.I.A. as well.
The levels are a brown bore and I forgot this game even had music. The bosses all literally look and fight the same (big bad dude hops around), and I was lulled into such a stupor that I couldn’t motivate myself to finish the game… that’s right, a 30-45 minute beat-em-up couldn’t maintain my attention span. And another thing, why does the character with a sword not use his… uh, sword? Dumb. Well, at least I felt like I found Waldo when I spotted Chun-Li eating noodles in the first level.
Final Fight 3
Finally, a game to make Final Fight aficionados proud! First of all, that cover looks awesome. Guy and Haggar look mean and ready for either a suplex or a spin-kick. So yeah, Guy is finally back… although Cody is now taken out, but whatever, he was always the least liked anyway. This game is also an independent creation, made specifically for the Super Nintendo, and not terrible like FF2.
The first thing you’ll notice about FF3 is how, quite frankly, pretty it looks. The graphics have a slight watercolor-like aesthetic to them, and it just seems pleasing to the eye. The backgrounds are also more dynamic as well, with sunsets looming in the background, and parallax scrolling galore. Oh, and the music is kickass, with For Metro City being the star of the show.
The coolest thing about FF3, however, is the new super moves. Guy will pummel his fists into fireballs, while Haggar will do a backbreaker and then spin around like a tornado. Nice. All in all, FF3 redeemed the franchise on the SNES, and probably did something to keep Guy and Haggar in the public consciousness for games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter IV.