VC Weekly 323

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe’s guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo’s download service. Written by Sam C Gittins

If you like to play side-scrolling beat-em-ups then you've come to the right place as there are two for you to enjoy. Anyway enough from me and on with the games!
Available for download this week we have...     

Mighty Final Fight
Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight

Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Released: 1993
System: NES
Being that the original arcade game was such a smash-hit success in addition to the numerous ports on 16-bit systems of the era I suppose it seems only logical to tap into the 8-Bit market as well, this seems to be the reasoning behind Mighty Final Fight which takes everything from the original classic, shrinks it all down in proportion with the exception of the characters which have a chibi style featuring slightly larger heads than normal so you'll still be able to tell your favourites apart despite the drop in resolution. What you're left with is a side-scrolling beat-em-up which may lack the obvious modern trimmings we have become accustomed to such as two-player co-op or even a versus mode, indeed all you get here is a soley single player story mode featuring five stages, three playable characters and that's it.

Though to just dismiss this port as being just a shadow of its former self would be missing the point entirely, it all comes down to the intense level of difficulty which is provided on a plate to the player in plentiful supply; indeed unless you are at least vaguely familiar with the series from playing the SNES or Mega Drive/CD versions then there's a good chance that the generous stockpile of lives is not going to last you very long at all, so it's just as well that the game only makes you start again from the stage which you were at previously rather than having to start all over again. Each of the three playable characters - Cody, Guy & Haggar - have their own distinct style of play so just choose the one that you feel most at home with which for most will likely be Cody being that he feels like the 'all round' option with Guy suiting more intermediate players and Haggar being the choice for seasoned veterans being that he features a brutal learning curve of being stronger than the other two but coming at the cost of a noticable reduction in speed plus he's less mobile; by all means do play as them all though as it adds immensely to the replay value.

Controls are very straightforward as you move with the d-pad while 'A' and 'B' are your seperate attack buttons but you can use both in conjunction for your special move, combos are always satisfying plus you can initiate a throw at the end by a simple press on the d-pad providing you're within range which is always enjoyable when you manage to pull it off; another hook comes in the form of an XP system which will allow you to eventually unlock some extra moves which is a nice addition even if actually utilising them takes a bit of luck in addition to skill as the button presses required are awkward to say the least. Most of the game is simply about learning the attack patterns of your enemies, so when you initially experience some challenge from even the most basic of foes you begin to realise just how challenging this title can be,  
Formed from a fairly concise colour palette, all of the action stands out nicely from the foreground with a clearly defined background as well, this is a hue plus in a game of thise genre as it's important to be able to tell what's going on instantly; the level of animation seems decent too with some genuinely comical expressions on the faces of each sprite giving the whole experience a less serious vibe. The accompanying audio seems to be of decent standard as well with some classic 8-bit music that you will have come to expect from Capcom and though it's not quite up to the same standard as the score from the original game it's still decent enough, plus there are some substantial sound effects which add weight to your on-screen actions.

It's easy to recommend Mighty Final Fight to anyone who has already played the original before as you'll probably enjoy it a lot more knowing that it's merely a scaled back charicature of its former self, for everyone else I'd advise that you play the original Final Fight as it's still the better game even though this comical shrunken variant with a tough difficulty spike is still fun to play. Obviously if you enjoy the genre then it's worth picking up but just don't go into it expecting it to be the original 16-bit game just in smaller form because it's not, this is a brutally charming experience made more appealing by the option of using save states; portable Final Fight is never a bad thing though in any form.

Verdict : Final Fight tries with all its might and succeeds in being a portable delight.


Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Released: 1990
System: NES
At the start of the Nineties the year 2010 felt sufficiently far away to be deemed futuristic, now nearly five years on it's easy to look back and laugh at Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight being that it now seems painfully dated, indeed the very link to Street Fighter is tenuous at best being that the main character and story were just changed to make it more appealing to the Western market; in any case you play as Ken who is now a bionically enhanced space adventurer of sorts who is on a mission to save his friend Troy... try not to dwell on it too much. Naturally the thin plot just serves as an excuse for some 'run 'n gun' style platforming action so don't be fooled into thinking that this will be anything like either the Street Fighter or Final Fight games despite the more than a little bit misleading title.

Do however expect this to be a rather challenging experience as this is quite a hardcore game despite its limited appeal outside of anyone whos likes this particular genre, you really do need to have played everything else that's available which bears a similarity too before you'd actually want to play this as it's definitely not a top-tier example but it certainly is very intruiging indeed. Once you get past all that you can immerse yourself in the delightfully different experience that this offers as you will control Ken who basically travels between planets taking out any alien life-form in an 'if it moves, kill it!' action adventure; while you won't be throwing any fireballs from your fists here you do have the ability to shoot in multiple directions in addition to climbing walls plus a very useful back-flip which will get you out of a few sticky situations as you attempt to hunt down a specific set of enemies within each area.

Upon dealing with the last enemy you then get a set amount of time to get to the portal which will allow you to escape so you can progress to the next stage, it can be rather tough at times too with even the very first part being a trying experience so if you're not looking for a - rather unfair - challenge then I would advise looking elsewhere as this is certain to only annoy rather than bring joy. But for those of you with a bit more perseverance plus a bit of skill in the tactical deployment of restore points then I would still recommend buying this if you know it's your kind of game but really don't expect much more from it above a rather standard title involving platforming with shooting and not a lot else.

With a colour palette mostly made up of Blue, Cyan, Purple and Dusky Pink really makes for a fantastic futuristic aesthetic which permeates through the title in a positive way creating exactly the kind of feel that you'd expect from such a game, unfortunately the main character sprite is very uninspired so you might as well forget that it's Ken altogether as you are essentially a space marine before they became overly popular. The musical score is pretty decent being that this is a Capcom title, indeed if you closed your eyes then you could just pretend that you're playing a second-rate Mega Man game - like the first GameBoy offering - as it definitely has that overall feel if not much of the same appeal plus there's no awesome buster sound effect.

If you like challenging NES platform, action-orientated shooting titles with the emphasis on being unfair then this is certainly for you, for everything else who might have been expecting something that's either in the vein of Street Fighter or Final Fight - perhaps both mixed together - then steer clear here. As an experiment it certainly serves its purpose as it provides something that it interesting for a short while but that should remain nothing more than a morbid curiosity, it's certainly not a top-tier titles but you may get a few cheap laughs from it.

Verdict : A not-so spectacular non Street Fighter title.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

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