Belger's Minions Are Back

Article By: BAD 
Written [ 11/21/01 ]

In case the title of this article failed to indicate reference of Final Fight to you, this article is about the latest entry in the Final Fight series: Final Fight One. As if I didn't love Final Fight in a profound manner already, Final Fight One makes me love the series even more. When I heard Capcom was updating the first Final Fight with new characters and added scenes, I was overly excited. It's breathing time again... Final Fight One is not the same game, and is similar to the updates Street Fighter has received over time, with new effects, characters, scenes, design, and sounds.
To start, Final Fight One has a completely different title screen, a re-drawn character select screen, new lifebar design, new enemy and player lifebar portraits, and a new design for the score ranking screen. The new font used in the interface is actually that of the fonts used in Street Fighter Alpha 3; this game has a many design influences from SFA3 which are addressed throughout this article. One of FFO's most refreshing additions is the added scenes within the game, in which the character you have chosen and the bosses exchange brief dialogues, revealing several points of the game's story. Each character has unique scenes, and exchanges their own unique conversation with the various bosses. In addition to the those scenes, there are also two hidden characters in the game (I'll get more into this later) who share their own individual and impressive stories as well. With the added scenes are also the new set of illustrations for the bosses and the playable characters, which look clean and vibrant; the coolest new illustrations is for Abigail and Sodom. Also, as far as the illustrations go, there is some artwork from Street Fighter Alpha 3 used in the pre-boss-fight dialogues as well, with Sodom and Rolento's SFA3 VS screen and win portraits.
Of course, the most important new feature is the inclusion of the two hidden characters: Alpha Guy and Alpha Cody. Alpha Guy and Alpha Cody are the versions we affectionately know from the Street Fighter Alpha series; Guy with his 'new shoes', and Cody in his 'jailbird' outfit. How do they fare against the age-old Mad Gear thugs? Pretty well, actually - it seems they are hidden for a reason, and that reason is because they work circles around every enemy and boss in the game! They have their exact animations from SFA3, and even have their own stories as stated in the above paragraphs; it's funny to see Guy wonder how he got to Metro City in 1989...beautiful. When the bosses talk with the hidden characters, they have flashbacks and such to kind of clue you in to what happened in the meantime, which is also a plus. It's just great to see new versions of the characters beating the shit out of Mad Gear thugs in the old scenario; beautiful...beautiful. Their endings, however, are just the same as the other characters in the game. Along with the new characters should also be noted that Capcom put in various new colors for all of the fighters just as in other Capcom games, and they look quite nice. My favorite of all is the blue-colored Guy (not Alpha Guy), the pretty pink Cody, and the blue Haggar; let me tell you this - going through the game with a blue-colored Guy was almost a life changing experience for me.
Also with the hidden characters and new colors, there are new hit sparks as well; I can't explain how they look, they just look different...they're orange now instead of yellow, and more 'rounded'. The sounds and music are also a bit different, with more upbeat, faster, more chaotic tunes that keep your mind drilled to the brim with fighitng spirit to win Jessica back once again. The characters also make slightly different noises now, but only if they get hit by a particularly powerful attack; I think the bosses also make different noises of despair also.
Anything else about the game that has been changed or upgraded? Yes; the difficulty. I have played Final Fight inside and out, and of them all, this seems to be the very hardest. This game will beat your fucking ass come boarding of the subway on the second stage; seriously, play the game and see what I mean. Sometimes, there are so many characters on the screen, it's easy to get slaughtered in the middle of them all...and it happens a lot. The Industrial stage gets especially hectic, with flames spitting up from the floor, with about 7 Mad Gear minions present, Andores flying, and flaming carcasses. I love this game. I love it. Fighting the bosses seems harder too, they have the same patterns (just a bit smarter now), and the smaller enemies just beat your ass when you turn your back (yes, worse than the other games) to fight the boss. Alright, that's Final Fight One. One of my faves of all-time; I still feel great when I play this game. Go out and buy this game, or at least borrow it...or rent it or something, just check it out and treat yourself. Maybe soon I'll write about how excited I was when they put Maki in Capcom VS SNK 2...and then I'll write about how much I love Final Fight 2...