Review by Pinlander
Easily lives up for all the fond memories
You know, back in the days when World Wide Web was some nerd's utopistic, wet dream, gaming was far more social. Games sold largely by word of mouth, and it was common to see many copies of the same game revolve in a certain locale. E.g. when I was a child, almost every kid who had a Nintendo, also had a copy of Mega Man 5.
No major gaming sites were needed. Some sort of social networks basically established around Mega Man 5, forming an important resource for promotion and strategic information. We discussed about strategy with our friends and other kids. It was a video game community in the exact meaning the word.
Today, people play on the Internet with strangers rather than with their friends. We base our buying decisions on gaming site promotion and reviews rather than peer recommendation, and we discuss about games with strangers on the boards of this site rather than with our friends.
Final Fight 3, released in 1995, was one of the last games that was had a major local community. If I chose a random person inside my home city from my age group, there is a good chance that s/he is familiar with Final Fight 3.
Final Fight is a side scrolling beat 'em up. Basically, you and your friend beat up wave after wave of different gangsters.
Characters now have handful of special moves each, making the choice of character even more crucial. Also, the Super gauge fills while fighting, and when it is full, character can unleash his/her unique super attack.
The graphics are nice looking and detailed. The backgrounds are nice and detailed, but the character design is especially strong. The protagonists look great and have a veritable amount of animation frames. Gangsters come in all sizes and styles, including masked base ball bat swingers, leather-clad midgets, and helmet wearing militants.
The music fits the atmosphere of this game rather well. Sound effects and grunts are rather good as well, even if they sound dated by modern standards.
Capcom really put effort on the playable characters. There are 4 characters to choose from, all with differences on agility, strength, special moves, super, weapon preference etc.
Guy, our ninja is fast, can jump off walls, shoot fireballs and is master with Nunchaku. Haggar, the Metro City mayor and professional wrestler, is slow, but absolutely devastates anyone he can get his hands to. Dean is absolutely shocking (ha! I should be called punlander), adding electricity on his punches, throws and any hammer he can get to his grasp. Lucia, a detective, is lot like
Guy, but requires more expertise to use, and is handy with the baton.
Special and super moves are not the only addition to the control scheme, as Capcom has added running (finally), backhopping, back throws, running attacks and such functions for player to use.
Variety does not end with the protagonists, as the Skull Cross gang employs all sorts of talents. There are fast punching boxers, backflipping knifefighters, charging fat guys, quick moving midgets and grenade throwing militants. Enemies often even have more than two attacks. E.q. Andore can punch you, ram you over , choke you, powerbomb you or crush you under his weight. There could have been more variety with the bosses, and there are no "cheap enemies"(i.e. enemies that block) for some reason.
Stages have handful of branching paths, which is cool, and usually have at least a tiny amount of destructible environment.
There is 2P for one player too. The AI will control the second player. The AI is so base, that you just are better off without.
This game is easier than the first two, which can be associated with the improved control scheme and less cheap enemies. Most bosses are fairly average, except Caine and Stray.
The normal - Skull Gang begins to riot and hell breaks loose in Metro City. Mayor Mike Hagger and his ninja pal Guy go to teach gangster a lesson. They are assisted by MCPD Detective Lucia and mysterious man named Dean.
While the plot is very base and pretty much just a vacant excuse for beating gangsters, at least this game has an sympathetic goal. Too often in modern games, the protagonist is a criminal. I don't want to admire criminals and certainly don't want to help them succeed, because they show blatant disregard for human life and dignity and only care about themselves.
And that's why Final Fight 3 pwns Saint's Row, as far as I am concerned.
Final Fight 3 is , understandably, rather short. With good company, this game just doesn't age.
Final Fight 3, at least for me, represents lots of things that now unfortunately belong to past. It was an unapologetic fighting game from the time before demographic marketing, just plain fun you could enjoy with friends.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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