(SNES / Super Nintendo)

Final Fight (SNES / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Final Fight Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Because the world needs more wrestling mayors

Back in the late '80s and early '90s — when arcades were still the biggest draw for dedicated gamers — Capcom was the company to beat when it came to coin-op success. It produced a string of classics around this time, most of which saw conversions on the popular home consoles of the period. While Street Fighter II would arguably become the firm's most enduring arcade-to-console export, it was the game's unofficial prequel which set chins furiously wagging prior to the launch of the SNES.

Final Fight — which was originally conceived as Street Fighter '89 but had its name changed just before release — was the coin-op of the era. Featuring massive sprites, blissfully chaotic two-player action and three distinct characters to choose from, it simply guzzled coins and proved to be a lucrative success for both its creator and amusement arcade operators all over the globe. Given Capcom's close relationship with Nintendo — nurtured during the glory days of the NES — there was little surprise when Final Fight became a launch exclusive for Nintendo's 16-bit console. However, what fans got wasn't quite as comprehensive as they imagined.

The SNES conversion of Final Fight certainly looks the part; the massive sprites remain intact, as do the detailed backgrounds. Visually, it's hard to tell the difference between the domestic edition and the arcade original, unless you have them running side-by-side. Back in the early '90s, the game served as a positive indication of just how powerful the SNES was — but it also showed up the limitations of the home console cartridge format.

The list of elements missing from this conversion are legendary; the third character, Guy, is nowhere to be seen and wouldn't be reinstated until the release of Final Fight Guy, a version of the game which swapped out Cody for the red-suited ninja. A more painful omission is the lack of a two-player mode; in the arcades, playing with a friend was one of the big appeals of the original, and as a result the SNES version feels like a watered-down facsimile. Finally, the industrial level — with its iconic boss, Rolento — has been completely removed.

It's also worth mentioning that this is the North American version of the game, and as such features some spectacularly cack-handed censorship. Poison and Roxy — female enemies in the arcade and Japanese versions which were apparently passed off as transgender by designer Akira Yasuda when he was quizzed by a play-tester at Nintendo of America — are replaced by Billy and Sid, redrawn sprites which are clearly male but retain the same feminine animations. There are other alterations, such as pointless name changes.

While these elements clearly had some reasoning behind them back at the time of release, they have little point today — Poison has since been seen in several western-released Capcom titles, for example. It would have been nice to see Nintendo and Capcom work together to reinstate the characters in this version; instead, we're left with a port that feels like a relic from the past.

While Final Fight on the SNES isn't a perfect conversion, it should be remembered that in terms of pure gameplay it's still quite successful. Granted, there are less sprites on screen at any one time when compared to its arcade parent, but it gets the core gameplay right. Punches land with a satisfying thud and the act of hurling an foe into a crowd of his friends — sending them sprawling in every direction — never, ever gets old. The aforementioned presentation is wonderful, and the music is catchy and memorable.


Final Fight on the SNES is destined to go down in history as one of gaming's most notable disappointments; the joy of getting a domestic version of an arcade classic so soon after release was tempered by the realisation that it lacked the all-important co-op mode and was missing Guy, the fastest fighter of the original trio.

However, this conversion does at least carry over the core gameplay, and even by today's standards it looks and sounds fantastic. Nostalgia plays a massive part in retro gaming, and in Final Fight's case, that draw may be irresistible for many seasoned players. This was one of the games upon which the Super Nintendo's technical supremacy was built; while it's not the perfect port we all hoped for, it's still a fun way to spend an evening — even if you sadly can't invite a friend along for the ride.

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User Comments (39)



datamonkey said:

Loved this game back in the day. I remember thinking how amazing the graphics looked and if only we could have arcade games at home!



Deadstanley said:

LOL. That header image gives me the wrong impression of Final Fight. It looks menacing, but Cody's smile and wave to Andore doesn't make sense to me.



Shiryu said:

Despite being a flawed conversion, this and the Commodore Amiga version were where I spend the most time playing "Final Fight". Good times!



Platypus101 said:

Um... Damo, I feel that if the VC title matches the original (even in "crapiness"... Is that even a word?) console version, then Nintendo has done its job in emulating the cartridge. Yeah the game was weird (I'm American, and LOVED Final Fight in the arcades!), and the translation to SNES was weak, but that's how the game played when you went to a friends house to play on their SNES! I guess what I'm getting at is: is this being rated by gameplay, emulation, or comparison to the arcade?



ferrers405 said:

I had forgot how much i played just this game in my Snes, six months or more, those were good times.



unrandomsam said:

Comparison to the Arcade should be the only thing that matters for this. Not good enough. (Especially as the Arcade version is fairly readily available).

Neo Geo - Ninja Masters / Sengoku 2 / Burning Fight are from about the same time and hold up much better.



unrandomsam said:

Final Fight 3 is supposed to be a better port but I have never played it this however is dire. (And I have played it). Nearly all Capcom's early SNES games were garbage or technically flawed.



DarkEdi said:

I always waited for the VC Arcade version and never arrived, Capcom only launched baddy VCA games.



Quickman said:

Despite having no Guy and no Industrial level (and no glass breaking bonus stage), for obvious reasons, the Super NES version was still a pretty decent port .

I'd love to see Final Fight Guy on the eShop though..



Emblem said:

This was a horrible port, best character and 2 player missing was too much imo



t3g said:

These Wii U VC releases are lazy. Capcom is just re-releasing the Wii versions which are pretty much ROM dumps of the original.

If they want to make Final Fight stick out, they should have ported over the superior Sega CD version or the original arcade. The Wii U can handle it!



GreatPlayer said:

@t3g Wii games or Sega CD games probably need more time to test-play it. But if you are charging 8 bucks, Nintendo or Capcom should do it right, given that many novel indie games only charge 10 bucks.



Nintenjoe64 said:

@unrandomsam 'dire' is a bit harsh. I loved this game despite knowing of its lack of Guy or 2-Player. Even with the missing stuff it still beat Streets of Rage. Your criticism of Capcom is probably fair but Super Ghouls and Ghosts still amazes me for what a great SNES game it is. Capcom have always been a bit mean when it comes to ports and trying to sucker their fans into buying the same game over and over.



Ryno said:

What part of the Virtual Console do some people not understand? It's not about a company putting out the "best" version of the game. It is about releasing the games eactaly as they were on particular systems and as of right now only the NES and SNES are supported on the Wii U Virtual Console.

Anyway, I have a couple different versions of Final Fight (One and the arcade version from PSN) so I am just interested in Final Fight 2 & 3.



StarBoy91 said:

I've only ever played the original arcade version of Final Fight on Capcom Classics Collection Remixed for the PSP so I can't comment on the SNES version (though a part of me does wish to try it even though I already have the arcade original on said compilation), and while it's no masterpiece by any means (imo), I do find it decent to play once in a while; though to be honest, I largely prefer the Streets of Rage beat'em up trilogy to Final Fight (I've only played the first two FF games; the third game I haven't experienced yet). One thing is for certain though: I do find the original to be slightly superior to its sequel Final Fight 2 on the SFC (yes, I imported this one), which felt more to me like Final Fight 11/2 (not exactly Capcom's highest point).

Good read, Damo! Well-versed!



ToniK said:

I once played the GBA version and even with the added industrial level, it was really short. Understandable, it is an arcade game after all.



KnightRider666 said:

This game is awesome to this day. I love the GBA version even more as it's an arcade perfect port with bonuses to boot.



blackknight77 said:

I agree with the review. The core game is good but the lack of 2 player mode and Guy is really disappointing.



soma said:

I still love this game, have it on the Wii VC. I didn't like the second game and never played the third one. Maybe I should try it as they say it's the best.

BTW, I don't have a Wii U but I don't like they're only releasing the same games as in the Wii VC. I want to see something new, how about N64 games?



SwerdMurd said:

I gotta say this is my least favorite in the FF series. It's worse / easier than the arcade version, it's a much simpler game than 2 (or especially 3), and the music got kinda gimped.

It's still a stronger game than the first Streets of Rage though, and deserves the 7/10. Good game.



SwerdMurd said:

I will say that the industrial level sucks though It's the most cheap-death laden area in the history of beat em ups.

Not counting Golden Axe. (any of them).. But really, who would?



unrandomsam said:

@Nintenjoe64 Super Ghouls and Ghosts is good but they had a fixed version on other systems without the slowdown or sprite flicker. They should have found a way to fix it. (The PS3 store Metal Slug 2 solves the problems it has by optionally overclocking the emulator slightly). Difference between it seeming like they are bothered at all or not.



unrandomsam said:

@SwerdMurd Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder is better than any of the Final Fight games as far as I am concerned. Any of the Golden Axe games are not that bad when it comes to Arcade games. (You can Win with practice). It doesn't have a difficulty escalator like some. (Everytime you do better then it gets harder).



SparkOfSpirit said:

Go for Final Fight 3 instead.

I'd only get FF1 if they ported the arcade, GBA, or the Sega CD version. Guy being my favorite character throws this completely out for me.



Tetris911 said:

man I used to play the poop out of this game and I still have the game boxed up with a bunch of other Nintendo games as well.



sleepinglion said:

Great review. I liked the entire franchise but felt 1 had the strongest soundtrack. It's a shame we couldn't get the arcade version or the Sega CD port here... Final Fight Double Impact was an excellent PS3 purchase it was just a little more expensive than this title. Still, nostalgia overload. And I love it.



Damo said:

@Ryno We understand the concept of the VC just fine - it's just that this isn't the best version.



sdelfin said:

I think even a seven is too generous given what was cut, but that's just one man's opinion. Score aside, the review itself is fair. This was one of the first games I got to play on the Super Nintendo at a friend's house. I was shocked when I found out it wasn't two-player. This game has all the telltale signs of a rush job. The SNES was certainly capable of more, though missing content would be an issue for the system over the years. Sega showed how to do an early arcade-to-console launch title with Golden Axe. Sega smelled blood when Final Fight was missing so much and struck hard with Streets of Rage which wasn't as pretty but had what Final Fight lacked: three characters and two players.



Zael said:

If i had to move a critic against capcom it would be, why didn't you release the original arcade version?
Ok we know the logic of the virtual console but it would give much more honor to the brand and to the title to show the original version with two players option, 3 characters and better graphic
Why have we to play with a downgraded version when we aren't anymore in 1992? And also when they released the original on ps2 and ps3?
I can understand final fight 2 and 3 that are snes exclusives but final fight 1?



Zael said:

the snes could have sopported the 2 players etc. but capcom chose to not create a too competitive game with the arcade.
They didn't want to miss the arcade money



Ryno said:

@Damo: I wasn't referring to you with my comment, just the other commentators that don't seem to understand why companies release the original console version of a game instead of the better one which is most often the arcade version. I know I shouldn't care but the comments where people say "why bother releasing this version" kinda annoy me. I need to just ignore them I know. For what is worth I liked this review by the way.



Bass_X0 said:

why didn't you release the original arcade version?

Simple. VC Arcade isn't a platform supported for Wii U VC. Just like there are zero Genesis games on Wii U VC.

the snes could have sopported the 2 players etc. but capcom chose to not create a too competitive game with the arcade.
They didn't want to miss the arcade money

Nope. It was just that arcade Final Fight was too large of a game for the SNES originally, it being one of the very first SNES games. They could have done a more arcade accurate port later on but by then it was just too late. In a way, you would have been right about them not wanting to miss the arcade money when it comes to Street Fighter II. By the time Wotld Warrior came to SNES, Champion Edition was already released in the arcades. The SNES was one step behind the arcade in terms of SFII releases.

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