Final Fight Review

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Released in 1991 for the Super Nintendo, “Final Fight” introduced us to the crime-fighting mayor, Mike Haggar. With its success in the arcades, Capcom ported Final Fight to the Super Nintendo but the North American version was censored and changed for the sensitive eyes of American kids. Was it still a good game? We dial up Mike Haggar in this Final Fight review!

Final Fight Plot:

The game takes place in the fictional place of “Metro City”. Crime had overrun the city until former professional wrestler turned mayor, Mike Haggar took office. Since taking office, the mayor has cleaned up crime and Metro City has turned into a relatively peaceful place. There’s one gang still running the streets, and the “Mad Gears” want to send a message to Mayor Haggar. These thugs decide to kidnap Jessica, the daughter of Haggar to teach him a lesson! Unfortunately for the Mad Gears, they’ve underestimated Haggar’s determination and sheer power, and will to get his daughter back.

Haggar and Jessica’s boyfriend, Cody team up and decide to clean the streets of the Mad Gears and get Jessica back! There’s not too much to the plot in my Final Fight review but you get it. Beat up the bad guys!

Final Fight Gameplay:

Arcade beat ’em ups are notoriously hard as the programmers want players to shovel in quarters to make a profit. Final Fight is tough in the arcades and continues this difficulty for the SNES. In the arcade, you could choose to be Haggar, Cody, and Cody’s ninja friend “Guy”. In the SNES version which I used for my Final Fight review, you pick between just Haggar and Cody. I chose to be Haggar with his giant size and dad mustache.

The game starts with a small cutscene with Haggar receiving a phone call in his office informing him that the Mad Gears have his daughter etc… I assume that’s what the phone call was about because the text flew by and was difficult to read in that short of time. Infuriated by the news of his daughter’s kidnapping Haggar rips off his shirt to reveal suspenders and marches down the building to kick the ass of the Mad Gears.

I fought these thugs in five different areas through the city during my Final Fight review on my way to the skyscraper that holds Jessica. There are a few different types of gang members you’ll fight, each with patterns and various health bars. Some have knives that they use, but for the most part, they all fight with their fists or charge at you. There’s the typical thug who has low health and is easy to defeat. Advanced members look like Andre the Giant complete with his brown afro, these big boys can take a beating. Other guys you’ll face are big fat Asian guys who look like sumo wrestlers, green and orange-haired guys in white cutoffs that cartwheel around the screen, and guys who throw dynamite at you. The dynamite throwers might as well be members of the Taliban with suicide vests on as they set fire to almost everything on screen including themselves.

You won’t be overwhelmed too much on the SNES version as no more than three guys will be on the screen giving you a decent chance at fighting. Don’t get stuck between two guys though as that spells game over, they’ll both punch you making it impossible to escape their clutches. Speaking of clutches, big Mike Haggar’s main attack is punching and his bear hug. He can grab ahold of any guy no matter the size and suplex them to the ground. During my Final Fight review, it was fun to grab a guy and suplex them behind my back to send them into a pile of thugs knocking them all over. If you get really good at it, you can pull off advanced suplexes where Haggar jumps and does crazy maneuvers. I pulled this off a few times but mostly by mistake.

The difficulty really spikes after the first level. I didn’t have any issues defeating the thugs and end boss of the first level during my Final Fight review but it ramps up afterward. The health bars get longer for the guys you fight and it seems like there are more of them. You can destroy barrels or tires to reveal food to restore your health or weapons like pipes or knives to bash the enemies with although the knives sucked, you just throw them and they always miss.

Boss fights are fun but you’ll die a ton. A cool samurai is waiting for you in a wrestling ring complete with two swords. Knock the swords out of his hands and use them against him to defeat him faster. There’s a big cop that pulls out his pistol and fires it at you and then there’s the final boss. He’s zooming around in an office chair with Jessica on his lap during the first portion of the fight. Break the chair and he starts shooting at you with a crossbow that deals massive damage. Without the help from a game genie during my Final Fight review, there’s no way I would beat Final Fight on my own. It’s super hard!

Fun mini-games like smashing a car and breaking glass in a factory break up the levels and add a cool feature to the game to score more points. I loved the graphics of Final Fight, everything is detailed in the background, and smashing things like the car are aesthetically pleasing.

There are a few changes from the arcade to the SNES. They lightened the skin of some of the thugs and two bosses had their names changed to more appropriate names. Poison and Roxy were two female thugs that were in the arcade but Nintendo of America didn’t want kids beating up women in games so they swapped them out.

I don’t have any of Final Fight besides playing it in the arcade a few times. I never had a SNES growing up and nobody that I knew had Final Fight. It was fun to see where Mike Haggar originated from though.

Final Fight Review Score:

My favorite thing about my Final Fight review is the graphics. I love how colorful they are and the details that go into them. I found a “zen-like” zone that I could get into with Haggar when fighting the thugs. When I entered that I was kicking their butt effortless but other times I got surrounded and was destroyed. It’s a tough game and anyone that beats it without the help of a game genie, I’m impressed!

Final Fight scores a 7.4 out of 10.

What would you write in your Final Fight review? Do you remember when Final Fight first came out? Who did you pick to play as? Do you like the arcade or SNES version better? Did you beat the game or did you need help like me? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!


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