Final Fight 3 Super Nintendo Review
Final Fight 3 is of course the second sequel to the original arcade game Final Fight. Like it's predecessors the game is a brawler, or “Beat ‘um Up” in the vein of Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, or Ninja Turtles series of games. Final Fight 3 isn't very innovative and doesn't leave a lasting impression, but it's still fun, and hard to put down once you start playing, which makes it a solid entry in the series.
The infamous Mad Gear Gang was purged from Metro City in Final Fight 1 and was even eliminated from their inconveniently located Japanese base in Final Fight 2. Final Fight 3 returns the action to Metro City where Mike Hagger is still the Mayor and the new Skull Cross Gang has taken up shop. The game opens with a prison break out, which forces Mayor Hagger to deal with the problem by recruiting a new team to clean up the streets. Hagger leads the team and enlists Guy from Final Fight 1, a police woman Lucia, hjfhgfhghg and a mysterious stranger latter reveled to be named Dean. As with most brawlers the plot is thin. The Skull Cross Gang is smuggling military grade weapons into the city, starting fights, and all kinds of loitering so it's up to you to stop them. Despite the shallow story it doesn't stop the game from having several pretentious cut scenes where just about nothing happens for two minutes. I also find it odd that although the team of heroes often talk to one another, at no point do any villains or bosses speak even one line of dialogue, which I think is a missed opportunity for some nice threatening banter conversations and character development.
The first thing I noticed about Final Fight 3 is that it's far easier then Final Fight 1 or 2, in fact I'd say it's a cake walk in comparison. Enemies in Final Fight 3 are very polite and patiently wait their turn to be punched in the face. Bad guys are also very fair, with nary a cheap hit in site. What makes the game easy is the huge priority given to the players attacks. If you and an enemy attack at the same time, the player’s attack will always connect. You can attack while advancing, you can attack a enemy while they are still getting up, and you can even attack an enemy during a special move and knock them out of it, even bosses! it's often tempting to chain enemies by repeatedly jump kicking them every time they stand up or even just stand over their body mashing the Y button until their dead. The game is piss easy. It's also really forgiving. You start the game with 6 lives, and as your score increases you can earn possibly 4 more. If you run out of lives, you can use one of six continues, and restart at the part of the level where you left off with another 6 lives. Don't get me wrong given the choice between having a brawler be too hard or too easy I would prefer it to be too easy, but Final Fight 3 just requires too little skill to be that much fun. Enemies desperately need different tactics to defeat them instead of PUNCH = OWN ALL. To be fair there are a few attacks that are tricky to dodge like Joe's Blanka eqsuge blood sucking attack, Anras rush or the final boss's unblockable spin attack, but those attack are very obviously telegraphed and easyly avoidable. Thankfully there is customizable difficulty settings, but the game is still designed too easy.
Another problem with the game is the lack of enemy variety. It seems like you're constantly fighting the same four enemies. Regular thugs, skiney guys with claw like gloves on their hands, fat guys who bull rush you, and women with ninja knives. Eventually you'll face angry mob of bomb touting blood thirty midgets or the Andres based on the 80's wrestler, who also appeared in Final Fight 1 and later in Street Fighter 3 where he was renamed Hugo but the dash of verity doesn’t happen until very late in the game. Of course every enemy appears in a variety of colors, but it's still very repetitive, especially since there seems to be a limit of three enemies on screen at once. Bosses in the game are also pretty monotonous and generic. They are all tall muscular guys in zoot suits, except level 5's boss who's a tall gangly emo guy in a trench coat. I mean I don’t exspect 100+ enienies to be in the game, but how about at least ten different basic ones?
You can break barrels and phone booths for health or score pickups, as well as weapons. I only found two weapons in the game however, a baton, which barely increases your range and actually slows down your attacks a bit, and nunchucks which are incredibly cheap, and greatly increase the speed, strength and range of your attacks. I really miss the Pipe and Katanna weapons found in the first game. It’s a shame that there doesn’t appear to be more avable.
Settings bonus rounds
The settings of the levels in the game are kinda boring. There’s a gray prison yard, city streets, a factory, a hotel, even the big cliche of brawlers; the elevator level. I would say the only interesting level is the ship and the bonus bounse rounds. I espeacly like destroying the bulldoszer, even if it was too easy.
There are four playable characters in the game, Hagger, Guy, Lucia, and Dean. Guy is a ninja and is as fast as one. Like a matador he can easily out maneuver the fat guy enemies, and even the final boss. When his power bar is full he can unleash a red hakouen fire ball attack which either instantly kills the enemy or knocks out half their health in the case of Andre for instance.
The graphics in the game are pretty nice. Sprites are large and nicely detailed, and have pretty good animation. Level backgrounds however are often quite barren and plane looking. I think this was done to keep the games frame rate up.
The music in the game is pretty good, but not nearly as memorable or as iconic as Final Fight 1's soundtrack. I did really enjoy the theme of stage 4 and 5 though, they're pretty catchy.
The controls in the game are really tight and responsive. It's easy to attack foes from both sides since you can turn your character on a dime, and move around the area quickly. The D pad moves your character. The Y button is attack, which usually punches, but sometimes leads to a kick after being pressed rapidly in a combo. B is Jump, and while in the air pressing Y will do a jump kick. Pressing Y and B at the same time will do your special attack. Special attacks are of course used to knock down enemies that are ganging up on you and causes a lot of damage to them, but using special attacks also drain the player's health a bit when used.
Final Fight 3 is a good game, it's just not as good as Final Fight 1, well the arcade version at least. What’s missing is the creative flair of that game's enemies, music, and level design. As you would expect with a brawler the game is short, and takes about 45 minutes to beat, probably less with two people. Yet even with it's short length the game still overstays it's welcome at the half way point thanks to its repetitive enemies and bland stages. The combat is fun, but not challenging, so you don't feel awesome when you beat it. I feel as though I would have a better opinion of the game had I played it when it first came out, since my main complaint is that it's not really unique or memorable, so I reluctantly give it an 8/10.