US Gold might have stuck around for longer than a lot of the major softies, but they were responsible for some major crimes against the Commodore 64 towards the end. The rush to beat the death of the machine resulted in some truly dreadful rush jobs, not least the atrocity that passed for Streetfighter II. And sadly, the same fate befell the conversion of popular Japanese coin-op, Final Fight.
You play Haggar, whose daughter has been kidnapped. You’re a bit cross about that, so you go off on the rampage to find whodunnit and smash their faces in. That’s right: it’s every beat ’em up scenario ever.Anyway. You start out in the street, with the game nudging you to walk to the right. As you do so – oh, so slowly – a couple of ruffians appear. At which point you can punch, kick and headlock them until they die. Then you walk a bit more, some more guys appear and you do the same. The same happens for about ten dudes, before it becomes apparent all you need to do is keep walking right and doing high kicks to kill everybody without it being possible for them to retaliate. Doing so will let you finish the game on the first try. Some baddies are harder than others, but as the review points out that just means you kick them for longer. There’s no challenge. You can find weapons as you progress – usually lying around dustbins – but you don’t need them.
The coin-op attracted kids in the arcades because the graphics were so awesome: the sprites, particularly, were famously huge. In C64 Final Fight they’re more tall than big – and predictably blocky. Some of the backgrounds are quite cool, but it’s so slow and tedious that most people won’t ever get far enough to see them.
The most frustrating thing about this game – like US Gold’s conversion of Streetfighter II for the C64 – is that it could be done so much better. Sure, the title was never going to sell hundreds of thousands at such a late stage in the machine’s life. But either do a decent job or don’t do one at all. This sort of effort embarrasses the Commodore even today – just look at some of the comments about it on YouTube.
One final thing. Final Fight featured in the first ever issue of Commodore Format to give the double-page review treatment to budget games. Almost every £3.99 offering in March 1992 was better than this – so it was relegated to a half-page review, sharing the space with MicroValue’s International Ninja Rabbits.
Quite right! CF
CF SAID: “”It drags on and on, wasting hours of your young life.”
WE SAY: Bafflingly, this game actually has some fans in the C64 community. You should expect far, far more from our machine.