Note: This review is based on the Super Famicom edition of the game. Some things may be different in the Japanese version.
Not too long ago, my brother wanted me to pick up Final Fight 2 since he has fond memories of playing it and Final Fight 3 Tough when he was little. I managed to come across the SFC version at a gaming event and for less than $20 I picked it up. Even if people didn’t like this game as much as the original, there’s still some fun to be had with the game … right?
Final Fight is no doubt an arcade classic. Not only did it help to make brawlers a booming genre, but it became a classic Capcom series. The original was ported to various home computers, Super NES, Sega CD, and many other systems. Capcom actually made a few sequels exclusively for the Super NES. Final Fight 2 came out in 1993 while Final Fight 3 (or Final Fight Tough) came out in 1995. Neither of the sequels were as popular as the original. Why is that?
The plot of the game is pretty basic. After the Mad Gear gang was defeated by Guy, Cody, and Haggar, peace was restored to Metro City. Cody goes on a vacation with Jessica and Guy is going on a journey for training purposes. The Mad Gear gang has secretly reformed under a new leader and carries out a new plan; kidnapping Rena and Genryusai, and establishing their new headquarters somewhere in Eurasia. Since Guy and Cody are somehow unable to help Haggar in destroying the Mad Gears again, a few new characters join him instead. Maki is Rena’s younger sister and Carlos is Haggar’s friend. Maki plays a lot like Guy in that she’s weak and fast. She has a special attack consisting of her kicking from side to side while doing a handstand. Carlos is pretty much like Cody in that he’s the well-balanced fighter and can wield knives. He uses a sword for his special attack. Haggar is the same as before.
The game still plays a lot like the original for the most part, but there are some new additions, the most noticeable of them is that the game can be played with two players rather than just one. Other new additions include new weapons, a new bonus game, and a mostly new cast of enemies. The new weapons are pretty lame though. Examples are tonfas and a piece of lumber. Seriously? A piece of lumber? I can understand tonfas, but why lumber? I would rather have the swords and the lead pipe back in the game instead.
Aside from the redesigned Andore family and Rolento (the latter being a boss and somehow has his name misspelled as “Rolent”), the cast of enemies is entirely new, but they generally use the same special attacks and abilities that the old enemies utilized in the previous game. Elick for example, is a lot like the Bald Bull/Wong Who/G. Oriber enemies in that he charges at you. The difference is he does it with alligator clips (I don’t exactly know what he’s wielding) that sometimes have electricity going through them. Then there’s the Atlas/Jony enemies that are very similar to the Axl/Slash enemies in that they will try to block your attacks, the only difference being they will sometimes grab and hold you if you get too close (something the Andores did from the original by the way). There’s also Mary and Eliza who are both very similar to Poison and Roxy except they’re actually females and use weapons. While the enemies may be “new”, I didn’t find any new attacks.
The bosses are pretty bland too. The first boss is just a stereotypical Chinese chef named Won Won that jumps up and tries to crash into you if you’re far enough. He has a meat cleaver that I’m not sure if he even uses. The second boss is just some lame, muscular military dude named Freddie and his special attacks consist of either rushing into you (Andore’s attack), grabbing hold of you and strangling you (another one of Andore’s attacks), or jumping on you (here’s another one of Andore’s attacks!). I won’t spoil the rest of the bosses, but I will say that the rest of them aren’t really that memorable or original compared to the ones from the first game. Last, but not least, the final boss is quite easy compared to the one from the original.
The graphics for this game is pretty good. The characters are well-detailed and some of them are pretty large while the stages themselves look pretty neat and are certainly a step-up from the SNES port of the original. However, the enemy designs are pretty plain except for maybe a few here and there. The music in this game is very unmemorable and generic except for the 1st stage theme and the ending theme.
The beat em’ up genre is one of the weaker ones on the Super NES and with games like Final Fight 2, it’s not hard to see why. The game has very little charm or ambition compared to the original and ends up feeling like a cheaply made direct-to-video movie. Even with beat em’ ups not being one of the Super NES’s strong points, you could still find quite a few which are probably better than this game.
2 out of 5 stars
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