Review: Final Fight: Double Impact

Gather round kiddies and let me tell you of a time before modern day consoles like the Xbox & Playstation.  There was a time the only way anyone could partake in a worthwhile gaming experience was at the local arcade.  Many fond memories were created at the local arcade, both good and bad.  Capcom’s release of Final Fight: Double Impact is their attempt to remind players how awesome playing at the local arcade was by combining two of their most successful arcade titles into one action packed package.

Final Fight: Double Impact includes the arcade classics Final Fight and Magic Sword.  When you first start the game, you’re given the option of playing each game in a small, virtual arcade of sorts.  Well, it’s less of an arcade and more of two arcade cabinets standing back-to-back.  Both games offer online co-op with options to allow for random drop-in / drop-out sessions, inviting friends directly into your game, as well as offline co-op for the minority of gamers who actually have real life friends.  Online leaderboards is also supported.

When you finally decide which of the two games you’d like to start, you’re taken to its arcade cabinet with an old-school cabinet view.  Both games’ cabinet view accurately recreates the sights we all remember so well.  The portion of the screen where the game is played emulates the old, interlaced look of the monitors as well as the area surrounding the screen which is littered with information about the game you’re currently playing.  This by far was my favorite view and one I wish more recreated games would incorporate.  You can, of course, change the view to take up the entire screen, but where’s the fun in that?

Each game has their own respective achievements / trophies, as well as in-game challenges that unlock concept & fan artwork, comics, and some other goodies from each game’s vault.  When a challenge can be attempted, a small message will come up at the beginning of the stage.  You’ll be notified of the outcome of the challenge depending on if you completed it or not.  This was a minor detail that I enjoyed as if you’re looking to unlock everything in both games, it’s good to know if you need to retry a challenge.

Both Final Fight and Magic Sword play almost identically to their arcade counterparts.  Each game’s controls were spot on, characters were accurately represented, and their soundtracks, voices and all, sounded perfect.  If you own an arcade stick, using it with Final Fight: Double Impact helps in further immersing the player in the feeling of actually playing an arcade game.  The only thing that isn’t like the arcade versions of each game is the save feature.  After each level is completed, the game will automatically save making it a lot easier to stop your play session at any time.  Unfortunately, there seems to be no pause feature, so keep that in mind if you press start to answer the phone as you may very well come back to a ‘Game Over’ screen

FINAL THOUGHT: Final Fight: Double Impact is a real labor of love.  Capcom could have just released an “HD” version of Final Fight, but instead they went above and beyond by not only including Magic Sword, but also accurately recreating the arcade experience with both games.  If you’re a fan of either of these titles, it’ll be well worth your hard earned money.


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