Reviewed: April 30, 2010
Released: April 15, 2010
The year was 1989, and Capcom released Final Fight to the coin-operated arcades all over the U.S. It would later become one of the most recognizable brawlers of all time spanning several console versions with various alterations over the years. The next year Capcom releases another coin-operated title called Magic Sword, which isnít as well known as the titled partner that comes bundled together in Final Fight: Double Impact for the PlayStation Network.
Since there are two games packaged in this deal Iíll try to cover them briefly so this isnít drawn out like a few novels Iíve read recently. First off, Iíll cover Final Fight, the one I remember most and still play from time to time via various compilation discs. Final Fight is one of my favorite beat-em up brawlers and still remains one of the finest examples of single or co-op brawlers in video game history.
The back-story of Final Fight, for all newcomers, revolves around the kidnapping of Jessica, the daughter of former pro-wrestler and Mayor of Metro City Mike Haggar to force his cooperation. Instead of bowing down to the Mad Gear gang, Haggar enlists the help of Jessicaís boyfriend Cody, a martial arts master, and his Ninjitsu master friend Guy to take to the streets and fight their way through hordes of goons to rescue his daughter.
Gameplay is pretty straightforward and easy to pick up on. Players can more their chosen character in 8 different directions on the screen. The player can however only hit what is directly in front of or behind the character. The objective is to clear all the bad guys in each area before moving on. If youíre new to playing this title by yourself then there you can almost carelessly press buttons and hope that your punches and kicks hit something. For those players who have played this title time and time before, you probably still remember how to effectively take down your opponents. Thatís not to say that you wonít bite the dust several times while playing but thatís just part of the fun.
Along your way you will find obvious items that should be broken to reveal hidden weapons and more importantly food to raise your depleted health meter. If you do play this title with friends or random people, then a little bit more finesse is required so you donít end up beating your partner to death more than the bad guys.
The accompanying title, Magic Sword, is more of a true side-scroller in nature than Final Fight. Players are limited to the same dimensional plane, unlike FFís foreground/background planes. However players do not cause damage to one another when playing multiplayer. The story of Magic Sword revolves around a character called ďThe Brave OneĒ who must ascend a 51 floor Dragon Tower to confront Drokmar at the top. Players must ascend these levels taking out enemies and collecting treasures and gaining allies as you go.
As you go up there are plenty of locked doors that once unlocked will reveal friend, foe or the way to next level. There are 8 possible allies that you can have to join your quest, such as the Amazon or Knight, though one of them will only join your cause if you meet certain requirements. Players can upgrade their weapons by defeating the bosses on 8 particular floors. These upgrades can be lost if hit but you can get them back. If you donít then the last upgraded weapon will be equipped. Once you make it all the way to the top and defeat Drokmar you must make the choice to destroy or use the Black Orb. There is a Trophy for doing both so multiple plays are encouraged.
Graphically, Final Fight: Double Impact is a mixed bag presented in filtered HD. I liked almost everything about the overall presentation. The overall start menu is rather uninspiring despite the obviously cool title. Once you get past the drab menu you are treated with a rather awesome menu system. The menu for each title is represented with a reproduction of the original arcade machines and a small area around them that give you a feel for the type of world in each. For instance the Final Fight side features a chain link fence and some trash along with a poster of Jessica. To switch between the two games, players can simply press the Square Button to swing around to the other machine.
As far as the games themselves they are by default shown in an arcade style presentation complete with an arcade case artwork and ambient light glow. Now for the more old school purists you can choose the classic setting to make the in game visuals just like they were in 1989. For those from todayís generation of gamers, you can choose to soften up or sharpen the picture for a cleaner look as well as play in widescreen. Personally I prefer to play this double feature the way it was meant to be played over 20 years ago. The one thing that I will mention is that I am happy to see that characters Roxy and Poison were both restored into Final Fight after being omitted and changed over the years.
Despite the major advancements in video game music and sound effects over the years there is nothing more nostalgic and awesome than hearing old-school music. Players can choose to play Final Fight: Double Impact with its original music intact or use the default remastered audio track. Here itís really hard to choose a favorite as either track is awesome to play to but the original for me is still the best in my opinion.
When I first got a hold of my download code for Final Fight: Double Impact I could not wait to start playing and once I started playing, I could not put my controller down. I ended up completing both Final Fight and Magic Sword in one sitting, which might be all that a person might commit to this package after dropping the $9.99 price tag for it. I however plan on returning to this bundle more than once especially to complete the various goals that unlock special artwork and other goodies.
Final Fight: Double Impact defaults to allowing other PS3 owners with a copy of this title to join in on your game assuming youíre not already playing with someone locally. During my several runs I had several people drop in and out of my games and things ran pretty smoothly...sort of. Occasionally the connection on the other end would drop and I would lose my helper. The other problem is that if the other player is not in the room more time than not I would get destroyed by the other player in Final Fight. I did have several good runs with online individuals that made things extremely enjoyable though. If at all possible it is best to play with another player in the room. The only problem I found with Final Fight: Double Impact on the PS3 is that you cannot play this title if you are not connected to the Internet, which honestly stinks.
Final Fight: Double Impact was a small blast from the past featuring one of the greatest single or co-op brawlers on the market as well as the equally enjoyable gauntlet runner. Growing up these were titles that my younger brother and I would play for hours after school or during the summer. Their simplistic yet challenging gameplay make them enjoyable even today as they did over 20 years ago. If youíre a fan of old-school gaming or have never played either of these titles then I highly recommend picking up Final Fight: Double Impact as soon as you can.