When Final Fight arrived on the SNES it had problems. The port of the side-scrolling beat 'em up classic looked reasonably close to the arcade title, but it cut out the industrial area, the two-player option and playable character Guy as well. A second attempt was made with Final Fight Guy that saw the Bushin ninja return, but at the expense of Cody; Capcom didn't bother to put back in the missing stage or multiplayer either. Next came Final Fight 2, a globe-trotting sequel with new characters. Despite the number on the end however, it often feels like a third stab at bringing the first game to the system.
Mayor Mike Haggar returns as one of the three playable characters, joined this time by Maki and Carlos. Haggar is the same as the previous game whilst the newcomers are similar to Guy and Cody. As before you pick your character then stroll through stages smacking gang members in the face. There's an attack button and a jump button and these can be used to perform a variety of punches, kicks, throws and other moves; push them together to perform an effective (but energy-depleting) special attack. Dive into the game's options menu and you can change the button assignment and map the special attack to a third button if you wish.
Visually the game looks good, using the same style as the first game, but set in a new country for every stage. The locations are perhaps not as memorable here but there's a variety of buildings, streets and other locations to keep things interesting. There's Street Fighter cameos to spot and lots of details and small background animations that add to the experience. The action is easy to follow, and as always with these SNES re-releases the New Nintendo 3DS has the option of original resolution mode for a crisper display.
At first glance the gang members you fight en-route to the end of level bosses appear to be a new bunch of attackers, with only the Andore family returning. Although these are thugs with new names and new looks, their attacks are a lot like their chums from the first game, leading to a very similar experience. In an ideal world Sega, M2 and Capcom would have come together to release 3D Final Fight CD, but instead SNES Final Fight has again been deemed fit for release, giving New 3DS owners the option of this "more of the same" sequel or a cutdown Final Fight 1.
For SNES owners back when the game first came out, and Wii/Wii U owners for the Virtual Console releases, Final Fight 2 still appealed due to the inclusion of a two-player mode. On New 3DS, however, simultaneous multiplayer is not possible - as is standard with these SNES re-releases on the portable. With that fun mode unavailable, what does this sequel offer over the earlier SNES game? Aside from upping the choice of playable characters to three, the game features six levels as opposed to five, with Rolento as one of the boss fights after he and his stage were cut from the previous game. He fights the same as before and like the previous game there's even a ride in a lift just prior to facing him.
Relocating to Italy, he may have lost an "o" from his name on the flight over, but the fight with "Rolent" is the best of the six boss battles as you try to deal with his speed and (later) grenade-tossing. As fun as this battle is, the other boss fights are largely rubbish, with four of them very similar: powerful lunks, dealt with in a similar fashion. This hurts the game considerably, making it less enjoyable than the first game, but as it plays so similarly to its predecessor it can offer the same kind of entertainment. As always suspension and restore points allow you to dip in and out of the game as your free time allows. Also of note, the higher you set the difficulty setting, the more of the ending you get to see; there are four options available but "Easy" and "Normal" are unlikely to cause much trouble.
There's only one version of the first Final Fight available on New 3DS, and compared to that Final Fight 2 offers an extra stage and three playable characters (as opposed to two) to choose from. As you walk through the stages bashing bad guys and breaking open crates for items and weapons it offers the same kind of enjoyable action, but it's a bit too similar with the new Mad Gear gang members fighting much the same as the old Mad Gear gang members. The big thing the game offered SNES owners disappointed (back in the day) by the ports of the first game was the two-player mode, but this is of course absent on New 3DS. This combined with the mostly disappointing boss fights makes Final Fight 2 an average (and arguably slightly disappointing) option for side-scrolling beat 'em up fans.