Mighty Final Fight – NES
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date (NA): 1993
Genre: Beat ’em up
Nerd Rating: 5.5 out of 10
Reviewed by FrozenMallet
In 1993, I wasn’t playing much NES. I had moved on to the 16-bit big brother, the SNES. There weren’t too many games that made me look back in those days, but Mighty Final Fight was definitely one of them. The concept was simple enough: take the arcade hit and port it to the NES. The only problem was that the SNES already had a port that looked and sounded pretty close to the arcade, and a ton closer than the NES could ever hope to achieve. How do you make gamers believe the NES version would be worth their time and dollars? Well… it wasn’t, not if you had an SNES anyway. However, there was a noticeable effort.
First the story – Metro City is the crime capital of the world. Hagger, the mayor of Metro City, also happens to be a former wrestler and former street fighting champion. The dominant gang in Metro City is the Mad Gear gang, and their leader has decided that he is in love with Jessica, Haggar’s daughter. His plan to win his love is to kidnap her and force her to marry him. By doing this, he will take over the city. Is it just me or does this plan sound like it’s missing a part somewhere in the middle? Is the Mad Gear gang run by the underpants gnomes?
Well anyway, gnomes or not, Haggar didn’t spend his life training to beat dudes brains in just so he could sit on his ass while his daughter gets kidnapped. So Haggar decides to use his skills and rescue his daughter with the help of Cody, Jessica’s boyfriend, who happens to be a karate expert. Along for the ride is Guy, Cody and Haggar’s close friend who also happens to be trained in Ninjitsu.
My opinions of Mighty Final Fight tend to be conflicting. It does a lot of things right, but then it also does a lot wrong. It tried to add depth to the beat ’em up genre by creating a leveling up system based on experience points. So for every enemy defeated you get some EXP until you level up, earning new moves specific to your chosen character. That’s fine except Mighty Final Fight only has five short stages, and your character will max out at level six. By the time you level up your character all the way the game is almost over and there is no way to keep your level to play through the game again. You start from scratch every time.
One thing Mighty Final Fight had over the Final Fight port on the SNES was all three characters from the arcade game were present on the NES. And yes, I do realize there was an SNES version that featured Guy, but that wasn’t the case with the first SNES effort and I didn’t have that one. Each of the characters featured in the NES game looked and played distinctly different from each other. This offered replayability before replayability was much of a factor for gamers. Back in those days, if a game was fun, we just replayed it. Strange, I know.
Unfortunately, Mighty Final Fight still drops the ball here. The different characters give a different feel during gameplay, but the ending is the same regardless of the character chosen. The first time I finished the game I used Hagger, whom the ending centers around, so then I beat the game with Guy. I saw the exact same ending again and felt like I had just wasted my time on that second playthrough. You’re probably thinking to yourself that the ending has to be the same because the game wouldn’t know which ending to show if two players were playing at the same time with different characters. Well, that thought is irrelevant because this is a one-player game. There was no excuse for that in 1993; the Double Dragon games supported simultaneous two players, and those came out years earlier.
Generally speaking, Mighty Final Fight is boring. The stages all look similar as they all take place in various locations in Metro City and have very few environmental hazards. Basically, you walk to the right and punch the bad guy until you reach the end of the stage where you punch the bigger bad guy.
However, the characters are well designed and the chibi art style does give Mighty Final Fight its own visual aesthetic that sets it apart from the others in the Final Fight series. Too bad there are only a handful of enemy characters you will fight over and over again. Even the second stage boss fight is recycled to be the fourth stage boss. The music, while not terrible, is completely forgettable and nothing at all stands out about the sound effects.
Even with all that said, I find it difficult to be too harsh on this game. As I mentioned before I had already moved on to the SNES and I didn’t get a chance to play this one until it had already been out for a few years. In 1993, Mighty Final Fight may have been seen as innovative at the time for applying RPG elements to a beat ’em up style game. The RPG elements in beat ’em up games have evolved a long way in the years since. Without making Mighty Final Fight, would Capcom ever have evolved the genre to make games like Dead Rising?
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