Final Fight One
Does this port of an old beat-em-up arcade classic hold up to the test of time? Find out inside.
My first encounter with Capcom's Final Fight was over a decade ago at a roller skating rink, and within seconds I was hooked, so much so that I forgot about the girl I was interested in and left her to skate with her friends and for good reason. The detailed graphics and adrenaline-charged action of this quality beat-em-up is still to this day a fantastic beat-em-up, and besides, she didn't like me anyways!
Back in 2001 Capcom was kind enough to port this arcade classic to Nintendo's GBA, calling it Final Fight One, and for the most part it turned out fine. All of the characters and levels are intact, and same goes for the story, a fine tale of a place called Metro City and the lumpy mayor by the name of Haggar who goes on a mission to bludgeon the Mad Gear gang that has captured his daughter. Oh yeah, and there's those two other guys you can select from, Guy, the hardcore martial arts master and Cody, who's the boyfriend of the damsel in distress.
Like every good beat-em-up, Final Fight One's loaded with all sorts of bizarre-looking bad guys for you to pummel, and you have a bevy of special moves at your disposal including kicks, punches, and pile drivers. Each character also has a special move to get them out of tight spots, but executing those drains energy, so they should only be used as a last resort.
Energy is a really important issue with this game because enemies can drain your life bar in like three seconds! They will constantly gang up on you, and aside from unleashing your special move it's almost impossible to counterattack, so Final Fight One's just too damn cheap to be seriously entertaining. Fun for a few minutes, but before long I wanted to Rock Bottom my GBA SP through a burning table. It's that frustrating.
Thankfully, even though the difficulty is a huge negative it's the only real complaint that I have with this game. Final Fight One looks just as sweet as it does in the arcade, and the GBA port even comes with two-player support, which was actually missing from the SNES launch title that debuted many years ago. Plus, there are some unlockable goodies that you'll receive after defeating a certain amount of enemies. None of it is super cool by any means, but it provides added incentive to keep playing.
Although Final Fight One's AI is cheaper than a bottle of discount wine it provides thrills whether you're familiar with the series or not. Also, since it's one of the very few beat-em-ups on the GBA it's worth checking out. Just be sure you don't get scammed on a price since the game has become somewhat rare.
What's Hot: Faithful conversion of the arcade classic
What's Not: The cheap AI always gangs up on you