When XBLA and PSN first launched, there was a resurgence of old titles that people knew and loved that flooded onto these platforms and games of old came back to be remembered once more. However, most of these games were pretty poor ports, with there being not much else added to them, or done with them. Capcom has stepped up the game, and recently release Final Fight Double Impact, a combination of two old arcade games, Final Fight and Magic Sword. Take notes ladies and gentlemen, because this is how you want to do a re-release.
The games themselves don’t really have much of a story; it’s simply getting from point A to point B, and killing everything that comes at you. These two games truly highlight what an old school beat ’em up is, and do a very good job at it. They are fun and yet challenging, and will allow you to see the end no matter what your skill level is. This is due to the fact that there are unlimited continues. This is a good aspect that I welcome in re-releases. I know some of the hardcore may not find this as a good addition, but it works well for me.
Final Fight is what I will go into first. The setup is you are in Metro City, and you can play either Guy, Cody, or Mayor Mike Haggar. Mayor Haggar’s daughter has been kidnapped by the Mad Gear gang, and it is up to you to save her. The gameplay is as mentioned, a straight beat ’em up. There are only a few different enemy types and they throw different combinations of them at you as you move through the city. The controls feel very solid and as this was an arcade release, they also feel very simple. There are only a couple of buttons that you have to focus on, which makes this very good as a pick up and play game, as you can also save anywhere. All of the old school tactics are still in play here. You are spammed with attacks, they sometimes throw too many enemies at you at once, and you can still be hit by enemies off screen. However, due to the unlimited continues, most of the frustration here is alleviated. It is a fun, yet short game that is well worth multiple playthroughs, especially with friends.
Magic Sword, is in many ways similar to Final Fight, hence the main reason it is included here. It is a side scrolling fantasy game where you are traveling up the tower Dragon Keep, complete with fifty levels, to stop the evil dark lord Drokmar from destroying the world. This game controls almost the same way as Final Fight, with just a couple buttons being focused on. There is much more loot to be picked up in this game, and you have the ability to constantly switch companions depending on what type of keys you have in your inventory. There really are only four basic elements that make up this game, and those are traps, chests, keys and companions. If you know how to implement all of these in the best way, you will have a blast with this game. This game is also heavily focused on co-op, and benefits greatly from it. It is a solid addition to the package, and really makes it worthwhile.
There are many ways you can play these games as well: solo, split-screen or online co-op with you being able to have anyone join at anytime. This is an awesome addition, because it’s so fluid and well done. Also, there are online leader boards which further implement a good community around this game. You can compete against your friends over who can achieve the highest score in each respective game. Another cool aspect of the game is on top of all the achievements/trophies for the game, they have added their own challenges. By completing these challenges, you unlock concept art for the game you are playing. Capcom has done a good job at making these games to be one of the most community driven arcade releases that I have seen, and I highly commend them for that.
Another awesome addition is how they have remastered the look and feel of the games. When you start up the game you are looking right at the arcade cabinets for both of these games, which is really an awesome presentation aspect. Once you select a game, you are able to have the option to look at it as if you are playing on the arcade screen, complete with refelction and curved glass. This is a great way to showcase how these games were meant to be played. If this isn’t your style, you are able to make the game wide screen or even custom fit it however you want. They really have a fantastic amount of options. The old school catchy music is back, and has also been remastered to fit this era; however, you can change it so that it is how you remembered it, and that really works well for these games. The games look really good, with there being an option to upscale them as well. For being as old as they are, they have stood the test of time with this re-release.
Overall, this is a fantastic package for only ten dollars. There is so much to see and do, and with the addition of co-op, you will be able to play online with your friends for hours. Capcom has gone leaps and bounds ahead of the competition with this re-release. They have taken two classics, and brought them to a fresh new audience. Whether you played the originals or not, I highly advise you to check out these games.
Review copy provided by publisher.