Final Fight Mobile
Final Fight's mobile debut is passable, but the animation is a little too rough around the edges...
As some people who play mobile games might know, beat 'em up games on mobile can be very, very bad- poor game mechanics, animation, a complete lack of story and a short lifespan are unfortunately all too common. Beat 'em ups on mobile are not to be confused with fighting games, which are often much better (games like Karma Fighter, for instance.). Beat 'em ups are walk n' fight games, often enabling you to pick up items, health and other useful items. Up until now, most mobile beat 'em up games has been a pretty big disappointment. The mobile adaptation of Final Fight is a refreshing change, and does well to mimic the original game, but at the end of the day doesn't offer anything special.
Final Fight first appeared in arcades way back in 1989, 2 years after the very first Street Fighter. It was a huge success, inspiring 2 sequels on arcade alone and several ports on handhelds and consoles, including a recent sequel I'd rather not talk about. The mobile version is based on the first game, which was the best, in my opinion. It had you cleaning up the streets of Metro City as Haggar, Guy or Cody, after Haggar's daughter (and Cody's girlfriend), Jessica, was kidnapped by a menacing gang called Mad Gear (80's names...), who are threatening to take over the city. Haggar, being an ex-wrestler and mayor of Metro city (coolest mayor I've ever seen), decides to take the matter into his own hands, with the help of Cody, an experienced street fighter, and Guy, a martial arts specialist(and also a playable character in later Street Fighters). The arcade version featured lethal combos, weapons to pick up, power ups and 2-player co-op play. The mobile version doesn't differ all that much.
For example, all the original levels, bosses, moves and characters have survived the transition, preserving the game's nostalgic quality - Haggar can still do the pile driver, Cody still does the cyclone kick, and Guy still unleashes the mighty bushin whirlwind kick- all by simply pressing the 0 key. In addition, you still have all 6 rounds to fight through, from the slums to the up town area. All the original bosses feature in the game, including Sodom from Street Fighter, making a cameo appearance as a senior member of Mad Gear. The original weapons and power-ups, including swords and roast chickens, have made it to mobile, too. Most of the original enemies are available for you to beat up- some had to be scaled down, so may look a bit different. A vaguely recognisable bit of the original soundtrack has also been packed into the port. The original graphics have been maintained, thankfully, although they do look extremely shabby - more like cut-outs than sprites.
One good thing about Final Fight Mobile is that combos and special attacks are now much easier to carry out. A few presses of the 5 key will trigger an ordinary combo, while the 7 key releases a flying kick for any character. This means it's easier to knock those vagrants out, creating a better playing experience. You can also pick up various weapons, ranging from knives to pipes to swords, by using key 5, which is always fun. You'll also find that the action is, most of the time, quite frantic - there'll always be a lot of enemies around, which means you'll have kick and punch faster to avoid being hit by the more annoying foes (like the knife throwers... ugh) and bosses. The game is also quite long- each of the 6 rounds consists of 3 levels, ending with a boss.
Now onto the bad. The first thing you'll notice about the game is that the story is never explained in any shape or form (which is why I explained it earlier), which can be annoying for people who haven't played other versions of the game. I mean, how are you supposed to know what's going on if you haven't played it before? Hmph. I also think a lot of people will be disappointed with the graphics and animation- as mentioned before, the graphics are reminiscent of the arcade version, only scaled down to the point that the character and background detail takes quite a beating. The animation is also far from smooth, giving the game quite a rushed appearance. New tunes have been implemented for this version of Final Fight (phones probably couldn't take the original score), which do sound very retro but just aren't the same.
So, the main question here would be "do you want to play it?". My answer to that would be yes, for a limited time- after a while, it does get somewhat boring, and some of the boss fights can be highly unbalanced (especially the final one). It does, however, do well to stay to its roots for a mobile game.
What's Hot: All original characters, weapons, bosses, levels intact
What's Not: Story not explained; bad animation; no sound effects