It’s time to whip out those crowbars you’ve been storing for nearly two decades. Mike Haggar is back as the mayor who can kick your mayor’s butt in ‘Final Fight: Double Impact’ for PSN and XBOX Live Arcade. He’s not alone, however, as ‘Magic Sword’ is along for the download ride. Ten bucks (800MS Points), the price of admission.
There’s two types of people out there: those who’ve played ‘Final Fight’ in its literally 16 iterations…and those other guys. I’ll keep this simple: if you’re one of those ‘other guys,’ this is certainly not the download for you.
For ‘Final Fight’ fans, however, Capcom’s ‘Double Impact’ is the original, arcade version in its purest form, a perfect translation down to every pixel nuance and synth tune bing. Arcade cabinet replication? Check. Button-mashing multiplayer? Check. Cheese moves galore?! Peculiar food power-ups?!! You betcha’!
Mayor Mike, Guy and Cody are as responsive as ever, sans slowdowns, flickers or bugginess common to flashback titles. ‘Double Impact’ truly is a fantastic port of one of the best brawlers in gaming history.
Some new bells and whistles abound, most notably online multiplayer allowing instant tandem action. Perhaps I’m a simple man of simple pleasures, but there’s something ridiculously cool about jumping right into a live, single player match of a retro title with anyone around the world. Collectively beating up Andre’ the Giant clones (‘Andore,’ mind you,) transforms would-be strangers into Final Fight buddies. As an interesting side historical note, several ‘Final Fight’ baddies
ended up as ‘Street Fighter’ playables.
Additional new features include unlockable challenges, online leaderboards, and multiple screen resolutions. None of these truly add much to the overall experience, having no tangible impact on actual gameplay.
The ‘Double’ in ‘Double Impact’ alludes to the second title in this gaming duo, a 2-D medieval sci-fi button masher known as ‘Magic Sword.’ An average title at best, ‘Magic Sword’s’ most notable feature lies in its array of parroting, AI co-fighters. Indicative of the Sega-inspired greatness of that day (1990) – it’s ‘Golden Axe’ and ‘Shinobi’ all in one! - co-fighters include a barbarian, wizard and the ever-cool ninja.
Comparing apples to apples, ‘Magic Sword’ sports the same ‘jump right in’ local and online multiplayer as ‘Final Fight.’ Chaos reigns supreme in multiplayer mode, with 4 characters (2 playable, 2 AI) unleashing sideways fury every which 2-D way.
Although mindless fun at times, ‘Magic Sword’ ends up lacking the panache that its partner in crime possesses. While ‘Final Fight’ still holds up very well for its age, ‘Magic Sword’ feels sorely dated and uninspired. Thus, an odd combo choice by Capcom, to say the least.
In closing and while a very good retro package, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that ‘Double Impact’s price point seemed slightly high ($10/800MS Points) in comparison to peer titles at this cost on the Playstation Network and XBOX Live Arcade. ‘Final Fight’ devotees, however, will consider this money well spent.
‘Final Fight: Double Impact’ for the Playstation Network and XBOX Live Network is a picture perfect version of one of gaming’s great brawlers, backed by terrific local and online multiplayer play. On the flipside, the package’s second title – ‘Magic Sword’ - is a throw-in at best. While a must-purchase for fans of the ‘Final Fight’ series, newcomers might balk at its higher than average price.
Final Score: 8.0
Reviewed by Paul Stuart | 04.14.10