Long has it been since the days of the traditional beat 'em up brawler of the 90's, with its glorious 16-bit graphics and quarter eating cabinets. Sometimes it just feels like it's been too long, but then Capcom comes along with a quick fix to this ailment. Final Fight: Double Impact takes two classic arcade beat 'em ups and mashes them together into one handy package for mass button mashing consumption.
Final Fight definitely plays to the nostalgia of arcade fans, with a menu in the style of two arcade cabinets back to back against a torn down wall. Everything about this game feels like it was ripped straight out of the 90's. There's also a nice variety between the two games available .
The main attraction is, of course, Final Fight, which consists of brawling-about to save the mayor's daughter from an evil gang of street thugs. The controls are just a simple two button with stick style, with jump, attack, and movement, which can be switched between the analog stick or d-pad varying on preference. Moves can also vary depending on which of the three main characters are chosen. One important thing to remember with Final Fight is that the best defence is a good offence, as there is no defend button. Players have to make sure to mash away with those attacks at the right range to stop from being pummelled just as quickly.
The second game in this arcade two pack is Magic Sword. The pace of Magic sword is a little different from that of Final Fight. Magic Sword still does use two buttons with a stick for movement, but it is on a two dimensional path with a little more platforming involved. The high fantasy enemies also change the pace quite drastically, and enemies die much easier while coming in larger droves. The other cool part of Magic Sword is the upgrades to the magic and partner system in the game. When opening certain doors, different characters will come out to aid the player with attack that range from arrows to magic orbs that chase down enemies.
In Final Fight: Double Impact, both games behave almost identically to the arcade counterparts with the exception of the two player mode that is built into the game. A second player can jump into either game at any point and play cooperatively with each other over split screen. Blasting through the game together does make the game a little easier, which is handy on trickier areas if players don't want to play with a lot of continues. There is also an online two player mode that supports an open game for friends to join in at any time while playing online.
Though there is a well built multiplayer system integrated into the game, there are a few arcade staples that seem to stick with the games even though it may be better off without. For example, the pause menu does come up when the start button is pressed, but the game itself continues playing in the background while navigating the pop up menu. There is also the continue system that in reality would require coins. It's not that the continue system is bad, there just seems to be too much off a fall back on using continues at will without any punishment for it.
Either way, Final Fight: Double Impact serves a dose of nostalgic arcade brawler action that feels as if it has been missing for too long now. Double Impact will be available to the masses on April 14 and 15 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively. So for those looking to lay a beat down, keep an eye out next week for Final Fight: Double Impact.