Friday, October 04, 2013

Final Fight 3 Wii U Virtual Console Review

Final Fight 3 was originally released in January 1996 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. 1996 was pretty much the last great year for SNES software to be released before the Nintendo 64 came out by the end of that year. Final Fight 3 continued the momentum of what many games were like on the SNES in those was simply a great game and fun to play.

(the story unfolds in nicely drawn cut scenes**)

The story picks up right after Final Fight 2 ended, following the annihilation of the Mad Gear Gang, a new criminal group named the Skull Cross Gang emerges as the new dominant criminal organization in Metro City. When Guy returns to Metro City from his martial art training to become reacquainted with his friend Mike Haggar, the Mayor of Metro City, the two are suddenly informed that the Skull Cross Gang has started a riot in the downtown area of the city. Joined by Lucia, a detective in the Metro City Police's Special Crimes Unit, and Dean, a street fighter whose family was murdered by the Skull Cross Gang, Guy and Haggar must once again save Metro City from its newest menace.


This is where Final Fight 3 sets itself apart from not only the other 2 games in the series but even from the likes of Streets of Rage and other similar street brawlers. The player has a choice between four characters: Guy and Haggar from the original Final Fight return, along with new heroes Lucia and Dean. As in the previous Final Fight games, each character has their own set of moves, techniques and abilities unique to their character. Like in Final Fight 2, the game can be played alone or with a second player, along with an additional game mode that allows a single player be accompanied by a CPU-controlled partner.

(Final Fight 3 has very good animations and smooth controls to complement them)
The player has many new moves and abilities which were not in the previous Final Fight games. The player can now dash and perform dashing attacks or dashing jump attacks like in the previous Capcom beat-em-up Captain Commando. The player can also grab enemies from behind and perform holding and throwing attacks, as well as move while keeping the direction the player is facing locked.
Players also has access to command-based special techniques similar to Street Fighter, including a Super move. Much like the Super Combos featured in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, the player has a Super Move gauge which fills up as the player performs their regular attacks against enemy. When the gauge is full, the player will have access to powerful Super move, which will consume the entire gauge. If the Super gauge remains full for a certain period and the Super move is not used, then the gauge will be emptied automatically.See below each characters Super Moves:

These super moves and combos are some of the things that really stand out and set this game apart from other brawlers in my opinion. The game also gives each character the ability to run fully across the screen for as long as they like. This means a lot more to me than you'd think. TMNT: Turtle in Time let you run unlimited but not many other games did this and even some that did only let you run for a limited time with a gauge or only with certain characters like in Streets of Rage. Running in Final Fight 3 makes the game really intense and allows you to enjoy playing at the higher difficulty settings since it enables the player to escape getting hit very quickly. 

Like in the previous Final Fight games, the player has access to weapons, health-restoring food and other bonus point items, which are stored inside breakable drums. Each character in Final Fight 3 specializes in a specific weapon and if the player picks up their character's preferred weapon, then they will have access to a unique combo attack exclusive to the character (for example, Guy specializes in using nunchaku).

 (These little guys on the bottom right get really annoying with there rolling around......)

(....which is why it's all the more fun to catch and take care of them)

There are only six stages in the game but each have their own unique boss character. The stages in the game feature multiple paths that changes the areas the player will visit, as well as the enemies and bosses they encounter so even though it is six stages it can feel more like seven or eight depending on the path you take. The game's ending changes depending on the character the player is using, the path taken to reach the end of the game, and the difficulty setting you choose.

Being released in 1996, the graphics are some of the best the SNES could offer for this type of game with all the action going on during gameplay. The bosses are extremely large with some taking up just as much space on screen as characters like T.Hawk from Super Street Fighter 2. The music doesn't have as much standout tracks as the most notable from Final Fight 1, but each track is a good mix of rock and jazz rock tunes but fits perfectly and gives the game that perfect 16-Bit feel that many know, remember and love.

I recommend picking this game up on the Wii U Virtual Console for anyone who likes action games or is a fan of the Final Fight series but never played Final Fight 3 due to the release coming towards the end of the Super Nintendo's run.

Final Fight 3 is an underrated masterpiece of the 2D Side-Scrolling Brawler era and might be the best game of them all. 


10 out of 10*

*The score is based on year released vs other games of the same genre
**All gameplay screen shots were taken directly from the Wii U Gampad

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is a great game--and was vastly underrated back then--but it is not as good as SOR2 or SOR3, as far as console beat 'em up are concerned.