Review by Shirow

Reviewed: 05/29/02 | Updated: 11/09/02

I'd rather eat my own brain

Ahhhh…Final Fight ! A game which started with the word ''Final'' in it but which took a lot of time to stop. A game people said was good while some other morons thought it was a fighter. Hey guys, just because a game has the word ''Fight'' in it doesn't mean it is a fighter. It's a beat-em-up and a poor one at that. The first one was decent ; from there, each sequel was just garbage as Capcom, once more, attempted what it's so good at : Milk the cow ! Only this isn't Street Fighter and it died very quickly. The third in the series just shows it ; getting worse than this boggles the mind but hey, you never know with Capcom.

You know how it is…Kick, punch, walk, grab food, punch, kick, get killed, experience slow-down, smoke weed, die ! Story ? Nope, not here. Well, there is some plot about people needing to be saved and Haggar coming to the rescue with this friends but I don't call putting a couple of lines together a story. Mind you, some people do but since these are the same people who found this game good, let us not talk about this. In any case, don't expect a story here. There isn't one !

This Final Fight -although it wasn't really final- has a couple of innovations. Surprisingly, all of them were well-thought but Capcom didn't delve into them more. Or they simply never bothered and rushed through the additional game mechanics as they were so intent on releasing Megaman 123. Each character has a particular special combo. When the power gauge at the bottom of the screen is filled up -mainly through attacking-, you may then unleash that combo to deal massive damage.

At least, that's what they were supposed to do. Instead, each combo is singularly useless. Capcom just redefined the term ''Useless'' , I challenge you to find moves more useless - even Birdie's throws look cool compared to what you find in this game. Firstly, they don't deal as much damage as you would think and that's a big mistake since these are supposed to HELP you and not HAMPER you. Secondly, watch out for bad recovery. You are left totally open after pulling one of those ''specials'', even if it connects. Consequently, your foes will have enough time to retaliate even though they were hit.

Bottom line : Don't use them !

Otherwise, it's the same old Final Fight, only this one is worse than its prequels. Enemies come in abundance to make the game relatively hard. The game is not that hard though, blame the controls ! They are so unresponsive you can press a button, go to the toilets and return. Of course, you will see that given action upon your return…If you are lucky enough…Because it happens that nothing comes out which results in a foe quickly ripping through your fresh like a werewolf. The nice thing is that you now have an excuse to stop playing the game.

I'll say this though : the graphics are good and everything is very colorful. As a matter of fact, they are too colorful ! The designs may be great and the backgrounds lush but by going for such drastic changes in the visuals, Capcom just destroyed the trademark of the series -at least, the first one-. What originally made it so good was the atmosphere that had you clinging to your seat but there is none of that in this third - or one hundredth, what do I know ? -.

Instead, the characters look like those disgustingly colorful and cheesy goofballs primarily found in overrated platformers. Valiant Dean, who sets out with murder on his mind, simply dies not compare to the original. The most sickening part is that while the main beat-em-up-ers are horrid, the fiends found throughout the game are great. The bosses too are cool but they can also be extremely cheap.

I never liked the music of the Final Fight series and this edition is not going to make me change my mind. The themes just don't suit the game and instead, make you want to sleep. And this isn't a good thing as we're talking about a beat-em-up where you should normally find exciting themes that set you in the mood to kick some major ass. The sound effects are equally disappointing but their lameness isn't exactly surprising as that problem has been plaguing the series ever since the first.

You know what ? Final Fight 3 is bad ! Yes, that shows throughout the review but just in case, people hadn't yet understood, I HAD TO SAY IT BLUNTLY. It is sometimes fun and may be visually attractive -minus the characters and besides, this isn't a problem if you never played the prequels- but 5 minutes out of 1 hour is not enough. You want a good beat-em-up ? Play Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, a game that never got the recognition it deserved. Surprisingly, C&D too is by Capcom.

~ Score : 3 ~

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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