Tag: Capcom

150 SNES games reviewed #23: Final Fight

I try to keep games like this that everyone will know to a bear minimum or at least thin them out as much as I can, but I kind of felt that I needed to get Final Fight out of the way – and not in a bad way.

The game was important for a lot of reasons. The fact that it was on the SNES but not the Mega Drive was one of them, as this was part of the reasoning behind Sega coming up with the Streets of Rage franchise. The game touched and affected the whole of the market. I am going to try to talk about it but do my best not to retread the exact same ground everyone does (this will be hard with how much the game has been talked about).

Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat-’em-up produced by Capcom. Originally it was released as an arcade game in 1989. Final Fight was the seventh title Capcom made to work with its CPS-1 arcade system board. The CPS-1 worked a bit like the Neo Geo, you had a system board and other smaller boards could be mounted on top of this, and the large board was the guts of the arcade unit and the small board held the actual game. I actually own a CPS-1 board but the only game board I own for it is Pang! 3.

The game is set within the fictional Metro City. In the arcade game you get to pick one of three characters: Former pro wrestler-turned-mayor Mike Haggar, his daughter’s boyfriend Cody, and Cody’s friend Guy. The whole idea of the game is to take down the Mad Gear gang and rescue Haggar’s daughter Jessica.

The game originally began development as a sequel to the first Street Fighter arcade game but the genre was switched from a one-on-one fighting game to a scrolling beat ’em up and the title was changed following the success of Double Dragon. This is probably one of the main reasons that Final Fight characters have popped up in Street Fighter games.

When the SNES version was released it was in some ways limited. There was only Haggar and Cody – Guy had been dropped (although there was a version released in some territories called Final Fight Guy which removed Cody from the game and replaced him with Guy). There was also a level stripped out of the game and then there were some minor changes in connection to policies Nintendo had for games released on their machines. Female members of Mad Gear were altered to appear male as Nintendo had objections in regards to the ability to violently beat up women, even if they were busy trying to knife you to death. None of this broke the game or made a huge difference to how it played. I do think that with some effort they could have squeezed Guy in. I have seen games cheat to free up room by using the same legs or arms for characters before sometimes just colour swapped and I am sure there would have been a way to do something like this to free up a little room. The main thing that people tend to talk about is the fact that the game has no two-player mode, which I have to admit is a shame as this was one of the things that made the arcade machine so popular, the fact that you could go through the whole game with a buddy. It is not a game breaking deal though as long as you know about it in advance. The graphics are big, bright and impactful, the music is just as good. The only negatives there are can’t really be termed negatives with the game and more deficits from the arcade machine.

The game is a great scrolling beat em up to play on your own and even bearing this in mind I would have to give it eight out of 10. However I fully recognise that if you want to play with a buddy or have a friend around you would be better looking at one of its competitors or even one of its sequels (they are usually expensive though).

I have had my copy since I was a kid. I bought it before I even owned a SNES. It was September and I knew I was getting my SNES for Christmas, I already had a cheap converter and Final Fight came up for sale NTSC in my local games shop a place called Games World for £10. I used to get £5 a week pocket money and £2 a day lunch money. So I did what I think most game crazy school kids would do. I took an apple and a bottle of water to school everyday without my parents knowing and ate these for dinner while pocketing the money waiting for Saturday to come so I could buy Final Fight. Following this kind of logic I had a nice little collection by the time Christmas rolled around.

If you want to buy Final Fight PAL versions exist but whenever I see them they are crazy money. US NTSC versions crop up for around £15 for a cart. To be honest if you have a Wii U you can download Final Fight for £5.50 (the SNES version). Or if you have a PS3 or Xbox 360 you can get a perfect emulation of the arcade machine for about £6.50. It can be found under the title Final Fight: Double Impact, and for your cash you get both Final Fight and another Capcom game called Magic Sword (which was also ported to the SNES).

150 SNES games reviewed #17: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

In 1991 a game began to appear in arcades up and down the country. In fact, it began to appear around the world. This game was not a brand new piece of intellectual property. No, it was a sequel and strangely enough it was a sequel to a game no one had really asked for a sequel to – a sequel to a game that most people hadn’t even played.

Nintendo scored a massive triumph over their main rival Sega in 1992 when they managed to secure the first console port of this game. They knew it would  make sales of there Super Nintendo hit new heights.

When the first previews started to pour in there was one thing they would say – one rough statement that would be in there among the praise and excitement that was “this conversion looks to be arcade perfect”. In all honesty this wasn’t quite true, the conversion was not arcade perfect but it was so close that without the arcade machine and home version side-by-side and a well-trained eye the differences were too slight to care about given how fun the game could be.

I am sure by now some of you will have realised what game I am talking about, and if not then I am sure it will soon dawn on you. This game was responsible for the sudden increase of a whole genre and, just as Nintendo hoped, it did cause its machine to fly off shelves. I remember the pure desperation kids at my school had when it came to trying to get their hands on it, copies had sold out locally, adults had even resorted to buying new SNES’ which were bundled with a copy of the game. A lad brought an US NTSC copy of the game into school, just the cartridge – no box, no manual – and when he removed it from his school bag and laid it on the table people just wanted to look at it and to touch it. You would have thought he had produced the holly grail from his small brown satchel bag.

I am of course talking about Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Having grown up playing on the Atari 2600, the Spectrum the NES and Master System having two buttons seemed revolutionary to me. So the fact the SNES had six main buttons, and all six of these would be used in Street Fighter II almost blew my mind. This small little point made it feel like an arcade game in your home. I had of course played Street Fighter II in the arcade and I have to admit back then that when I got to play the SNES version the subtle differences were not picked up by me at all.

So now I will talk about the game. There are eight playable characters – you pick one and then you fight the other seven. Get past these and you have to take on the four boss characters who are not playable in this version. The graphics are still decent, I think they’ve aged quite well. The music though – I absolutely love the music. I think Capcom just ticked every single box, there are elements in the music which seem to remind you of the country and character the tune belongs to but then all of them seem to be upbeat and full of energy. They also seem to speed up in tempo to follow the action going on around them and this affects you inside on a deep level. The music gets faster, you feel you can get faster, you feel you can take out your enemy even quicker even more stylishly. With eight selectable difficulties there should be one which is just the right side of challenging for more or less anybody. With a little effort the special moves are easy enough for anyone to learn and once you know the sequences they work pretty much every time unlike some of the others which tried to copy this game.

Special mention needs to be made to the bonus level smashing the car up. Yes, it is somewhat borrowed from Final Fight but it is so satisfying. This game has a lot of re-playability. First there is the fact you can try to see the ending for each character but then with the vast amount of difficulty settings on offer you can keep upping the difficulty giving yourself a new goal to strive for and the skills you gain in doing this can then be used to show your friends who the boss is in multiplayer.

I would give this game a nice solid eight out of 10. I have owned my cart for so long that I cant remember how much I paid, in fact I have two carts, one PAL and one NTSC. This is one of the games were a lot of people have a lot to say about the PAL conversion – the fact it is slower and it has fairly sizeable boarders. Personally it doesn’t bother me, unless you run the two versions side by side you’ll never notice.

Should you buy this if you own a SNES? Well this is where things get a little tough. It is the first of three versions released for the machine, all of which have made there way to the Virtual Console service. If you do decide you want this version on cartridge it will set you back between £5 to £10, which is well worth it, but you might want to stop and consider all of your options first. If you own a PS3 or Xbox 360, then for £15 to £20 you can get Ultra Street Fighter IV.

Retro Monday – Demon’s Crest

Demon’s Crest is a spin-off from Ghost ‘n Goblins and is the third game in the Gargoyle’s Quest series. It came out in Japan and the US in 1994, but again Europe had to wait longer and we got it in 1995. The game was developed by Capcom.

The game is a platformer with a few RPG elements thrown in. Unlike Ghosts ‘n Goblins, where you play a brave knight trying to save a princess, Firebrand –the player’s character – is on a quest to become ruler of the demon kingdom and get back special crests that were stolen from him. When combined the crests give him infinite power. Firebrand has the ability to shoot fireballs, and kinda fly, he stays in place and can move left or right, but he cannot ascend. After collecting more of the crests he gains abilities to change into different forms, I only got one crest and was able to turn into G. Gargoyle which allowed me to break statues. It also gave me a different fire attack that was needed to fight a boss as Firebrand’s attack didn’t work.

You get more forms and magic as you progress through the game too. There is a form that does allow you to fly properly. The gameplay is great, it’s fun fireballing various demons and trying to make progress in a world that is quite open as to where you go via the map where you can fly to different locations. It’s not an easy game mind – bosses are tough and you have to be careful and think about the boss patterns to get anywhere. It isn’t unfair though, and when you die you realise what you’re doing wrong, even if only a little at a time.

Visually the game is great, the detail on the sprites is great and stand out as some of the best on the SNES. The backgrounds are detailed, the levels’ foregrounds are dark and grim, it’s lovely to look at. The music is also great for the game, with its gothic sound and eerie vibe. It really adds to the atmosphere and accompanies the demon world so well.

Verdict: Highly recommended

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