So much of Final Fight is felt today. The infamous car-smashing bonus stage is in the upcoming Super Street Fighter IV.
If Capcom had simply left the port there, I'd probably have enough wanking material to justify the 800 Microsoft Points (£6.80) on XBLA and (roughly) £7.99 on PSN download price tag. But Capcom hasn't left the port there. It's only gone and included a raft of graphical upgrades and remixed music, which, by the way, is head-rockingly ace.
Best of all though is online co-op. This is the killer, the feature that propels Double Impact from an eight to a nine out of ten. Final Fight is twice as good played with a mate, and mates aren't always sitting next to you on your couch, so online co-op is a welcome addition. It does exactly what it says on the tin: drop in and out online co-op for all you fancy online-enabled console users out there. And, of course, where there's online co-op, there are online leaderboards.
Have I mentioned that Double Impact also comes with a port of Magic Sword, the little-known side-scrolling fantasy shooter/platformer originally released in Japanese arcades in 1990? If I haven't it's because I know absolutely nothing about it, save for you play a hero who must climb a spiralling tower and it's completely mental. I feel slightly sorry for Magic Sword, to be honest. Overshadowed…
The only issue I have with the game is that there's no way to turn off the unlimited lives. Final Fight is hard. So hard, in fact, that it often borders on the unfair. The original's punishing difficulty was deliberate, of course, inflated to make sure chumps like you and I pumped all our pocket money into arcade machines as we toiled in a never-ending loop of hope and despair. Back in the day, you were terrified of losing a life. Twenty years later, with unlimited lives… not so much.
At least there are loads of sub achievements, supplementing the main achievements/trophies, to be had. Some of these are proper challenging, particularly the time trial-based ones. But you want to complete them, because they unlock original concept art and comic strips in the Vault. Again, retro fan service in the extreme.
All in all, I can't recommend Final Fight enough. It's the perfect port of a retro classic; the original game buckles under the pressure of the fan service that's been added to it. But it's also got online co-op, making it a hugely enjoyable beat-em-up even by modern day standards. In short: if you're a Capcom fan, insta-buy. If you're a lover of old-school fun and fancy a trip down arcade lane, also insta-buy.
VideoGamer.com Score9 Score out of 10
- Great retro graphics
- Kick-ass music
- Hugely enjoyable old-school action
- Can't turn off unlimited lives