Final Fight: Double Impact Review

By Jeremy Zoss - Posted Apr 15, 2010

In Final Fight: Double Impact, two Capcom arcade classics are repackaged together with a host of extras, options and a heaping dose of nostalgia. There may not be much "new" content here, but there's still plenty to keep retro game fans occupied for hours.

The Pros
  • Two complete Capcom classics at one low price
  • Tons of options and bonus material
  • Drop-in online multiplayer
The Cons
  • Can't pause an online game
  • Both games are rather short
  • No truly new material

Re-releases of classic arcade games are a dime a dozen. These days, any classic game you can think of has been ported, compiled or remade. As such, it’s hard to get excited about another port -- unless, of course, said port is exceptionally well done, like Final Fight: Double Impact. Not only is it a nearly pixel-perfect version of the original, it’s loaded with so much additional content that any retro game fan will be powerless to resist it. If a great bonus-packed, online-enabled version of Final Fight weren’t enough, Double Impact comes with a complete second game, the sword-and-sorcery epic Magic Sword.

Final Fight: Double Impact

Trouble In Metro City

The classic 1989 brawler Final Fight is simple on paper. Metro city wrestler-turned-mayor Mike Haggar teams up with brawler Cody and martial artist Guy (who can also be seen in the Street Fighter series) to rescue his daughter from the evil gang that kidnapped her. The heroic fighters proceed to punch, kick and suplex their way through the colorful, zany members of the Mad Gear gang, including Poison and Andore. It’s obviously a bit dated by today’s standards, but its garish day-glo aesthetics and cartoonish villains are all part of the charm.

This is an advertisement - This story continues below

Those who never played the original arcade game or the console ports will enjoy the game’s well-balanced side-scrolling gameplay, car-breaking minigame and outlandish bosses, but fans who sank countless quarters into arcade machines 20 years ago will really appreciate the bevy of options and extras packed into the game. By default, the game screen has an arcade machine border, and there are several aspect ratio options and screen effects to choose from, including a couple that smooth out the rough edges and others that recreate the slightly blurry look of an arcade monitor. In-game challenges such as completing levels in a certain time or number of lives unlock bonus like concept art, comic pages, and even a complete episode of the Street Fighter cartoon.

Final Fight: Double Impact

Sword and Sorcery

Less well-known than Final Fight, 1990’s Magic Sword also offers up a healthy dose of retro gaming goodness. Like Final Fight, it’s a side-scrolling brawler, but the similarities pretty much end there. In Magic Sword, you’re an unnamed hero who battles up a 50-floor tower to defeat an evil wizard. Along the way, you’ll encounter several different companions who fight alongside you, each with different skills that level up along with the hero’s. As you play you’ll earn better swords, unlock new offensive spells and discover hidden passages and booby-trapped treasures. It’s a game filled with secrets, creative monsters and surprisingly complex gameplay, and pairing it with the better-known Final Fight should help this solid classic game find some additional fans.

Like Final Fight, Magic Sword features the same appearance options and unlockable extras, though unsurprisingly -- Final Fight is the star attraction here -- the bulk of the bonus content doesn’t focus on this more obscure arcade game. Both titles feature both local and online multiplayer, including the option to jump right into another player’s game in progress (just like back in the arcade) or set up a private local-only match.

In short, Final Fight: Double Impact is the type of stacked tribute to retro games that we rarely see these days. It’s packed with plenty of bonus material that provides lots of incentive to revisit a classic, and it’s a great chance to bring an obscure brawler to new audiences. It maintains the elements that made Final Fight so much fun 20 years ago, while updating it to today’s technology. Compared to what Capcom offers in this package, most of those other retro ports hardly seem worth the time.