Review by xenodolf
Censored by Nintendo policy and edited for hardware limitations - but still a decent beat 'em up.
Decades after the battles shared by the Final Fight(s) cast, a less bleak and more futuristic Metro City becomes the setting for a new side-scrolling brawler. The heroes for the old beat 'em up trilogy have been replaced by a mech riding baby, a knife wielding mummy, a typical enshrouded ninja, and the game's bionic title character. How does this stack up against the previous brawlers, especially with the problems of censorship and hardware limitations? Onto the review..
The visuals are pretty solid, featuring nice looking background environments and decently detailed characters. However, there isn't a giant array of enemy designs, and there are some repeating boss sprites. The animation is nice, with two different death poses for the characters and enemies (slumped or stretched out flat on their backs). If this port had been released sooner, it might have looked better in comparison to other SNES/SFC brawlers. However, it was made in 1995 and the best looking beat 'em ups the console had to offer were already being played by the critical audiences. The blood was removed for Nintendo policy, along with the melting animations and severed bodies.
If you consider this part of the SNES/SFC Final Fight series, then it holds the honor of being the least impressive sounding one. The music is rather standard fare and nothing I heard is going to stick in my memory. There are only two enemy death cries (male and female), and one of the woman enemies seems to be issuing the male scream for some reason. The battle noise is ok, but took a real nosedive from the original arcade version. Overall, this category is above average but nothing really special.
Some of the level designs (the first stage in particular) have awkward moments when you don't feel fluidly functioning while in combat. A couple of the moves are a bit hard to pull off as well, but nothing terrible plagues this category. There isn't any lag and the button layout scheme is good enough. Overall - not perfect but better than a lot of beat 'em ups out there.
This area of the port takes the hardest hit of them all. Remember those cool mechs you could stomp around in? They have been entirely removed, and the weapon pickups have gone from being abundant to almost non-existent. The normal beat 'em up action is still moderately intact, although it feels much more generic with the aforementioned flaws. If you didn't play it originally in the arcade, you could still have a blast with this game. For me, though, knowing there is a better version out there we didn't get on the SNES/SFC kind of ruins the experience. Still, this was the only chance you had to play Captain Commando unless you had a modified PS1, until Capcom Classics Collection 2 came out. Overall, decent game-play overshadowed by the potential of what it could have been.
Replay value 4/10
Aside from four different characters to choose from, there's nothing that can change when going through the game again. If this review was written back in 1995/1996, I might have been more generous in the shortcomings. As it is, I only played through it enough to test out all the characters and see it to the final boss.
In the spirit of Final Fight (the original SNES port), Capcom and Nintendo censored and butchered a fun beat 'em up to the point where it is almost a completely different game. That being said, some fun can be had of this if you don't have the superior versions and the game itself is by no means unplayable. If you're trying to find a copy, I would have to tell you to save your cash and get Capcom Classics 2 instead. There's no real reason to own this game now unless you're a collector.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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