Saturday, 16 January 2016

Mighty Final Fight (NES review)

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: 1993

Mighty Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat-em-up that was released towards the end of the system's lifecycle.

Supporting 1-2 players (co-op) it tasks you with rescuing the mayor's daughter and defeating the Mad Gear Gang. There's three characters to choose from with unique abilities and attacks; Cody has a Knee Drop and Shoulder Throw, Guy has an Elbow Drop and a Back Roll Toss, while Haggar has a Piledriver and a Suplex. Each can also collect specific weapons (knives, shurikens, mallets) as well as perform cool Special Attacks once you've gained enough experience points by despatching foes. The five stages are broken down into multiple areas; they're the perfect length and the scenery changes so often that you never get bored. For example, one minute you're fighting on the streets, the next you're inside a mansion, and then end up battling in a wrestling ring! Despite being a rival brawler it seems Streets of Rage (1991, Mega Drive) was a source of inspiration as Stage 4 has an elevator scene where you can throw bad guys over the edge for a quick kill. The combat is satisfying with responsive controls, solid collision detection and tons of moves at your disposal; it doesn't resort to button mashing either as sometimes the best method is to dodge attacks and then counter. It's fun trying out different strategies and each fighter plays very differently which adds to the replay value. The enemy A.I. is intelligent and frequently reposition themselves so you're caught between their attacks; however, only two bad guys are ever on screen at a time. The graphics and animation are gorgeous with neon signs, rooftop billboards and enemy hats that fly upwards when you punch them!
Mighty Final Fight is a top-notch brawler and the fact that it feels and plays almost like a 16-bit game is a testament to how talented the developers at Capcom were. Everything about it is beautifully designed and I found it to be a highly entertaining adventure that keep me guessing at every turn.
Random trivia: In 2006, the game was re-released on a Game Boy Advance compilation entitled Capcom Classics Mini-Mix.

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