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Final Fight Streetwise PlayStation 2

Published by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

Final Fight Streetwise, an introduction.

If you were to ask seasoned fighting game fans what their favourite 2D fighting game was a fair few would give the arcade version of Final Fight (which is amazingly 17 years old now) as their answer. At the time of its release no other fighting game could hold a candle to it and it's debatable as to whether any fighting game has surpassed it. Indeed since fighting games have made the move into the 3D polygonal world many would argue that they have never achieved the same level of excellence.

What's the game about?

Final Fight Streetwise is set in Metro City and you'll play Kyle Travers who at the beginning of the game is having a pit-fight with an ugly punk by the name of Handsome Bob. Kyle Travers is the younger brother of Cody Travers who fans of Final Fight will no doubt remember. Here though Cody is just a trainer as he is no longer in any kind of shape to fight. Things seem to be going as well as they can in Metro City when the two brothers, having a drink in the local bar, are attacked by a gang and Cody is taken prisoner with Kyle being knocked unconscious. When Kyle comes around he makes finding his brother his number one priority but it's not his only problem. A new street drug, which claims to increase an individual's strength, is the latest craze in Metro City and it's a problem that's going to affect him more than he knows.

What's good about the game?

One of the plus points with Final Fight Streetwise is that you're allowed to do as you please, if you want to take a break from the main plot. There are various unlockables in the game such as the original Final Fight (which is actually better than Streetwise). By defeating enemies, completing side missions and winning pit-fights you'll earn respect and as your respect rating increases you'll find yourself being able to recruit NPCs to assist you. Defeated enemies drop weapons, cash and other items that add to your available money as well as items such as food which replenish your health. In addition to the game's story mode you also have an arcade mode where you simply progress from one fight to another with any of the available characters.  

What's not so good about the game?

Final Fight Streetwise is probably not the game Final Fight fans were expecting. There are numerous disappointments with the game and most of them really detract from the overall experience. The biggest problem has to be the ease of the fights. The AI is virtually nonexistent in most cases. Even taking on multiple enemies is not difficult. Boss fights require a little thought but still they are far too easy. Graphically the game doesn't look good and camera issues abound. The amount of profanity in the game is quite surprising and whilst the game is rated 18+ and you would expect some profanity, you won't expect the amount that's been used here. There are places where it just feels forced and inappropriate, which is a shame. The game's story is pretty limp and the same can be said for the various side missions in the game which are uninteresting for the most part. There are too many 'mini-games' that you have to do to get information and these 'mini-games' (such as having to kick a certain amount of cockroaches before the lady in the diner will tell you anything) just aren't really appropriate.

How does it look?

Graphically Streetwise is very weak. In fact the game looks quite ugly and very much like a first generation PlayStation 2 game. Environments and characters models are equally disappointing for their blandness and general lack of quality. The game camera isn't the best either and frequently becomes a pain to control. The game supports both 50 and 60Hz modes and the frame rate is generally fine, although given the low detail visuals on offer this is hardly surprising.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

I have to be honest here and say that I was expecting the worst having checked the options menu for a subtitles option and not finding one. On beginning a new game I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cutscenes are subtitled with the text being displayed in the lower border. Most of the important dialogue outside of the cutscenes is subtitled too, which was pleasing to see. Comments made by characters during a fight are not subtitled though. There are some other omissions such as when Kyle is 'interrogating' Weasel where only the speech at the end of the 'interrogation' is displayed. For the most part though the game is fine and you'll be able to understand everything that's going on. Pressing the select button brings up your journal which lists your objectives, side missions and stats etc. so you can always find out what you need to be doing.

Final thoughts.

Final Fight Streetwise is a real oddity. It looks bad, the fighting is too simplistic and some of the objectives are just plain crazy. It would be all too easy to dismiss the game as a complete waste but somehow it manages to keep you playing far longer than you might think. Still there is no denying the game is way below expectations and many will consider it a slur on the Final Fight name. The fights are too easy and you can easily win them by bashing the one button and the boss fights are only slightly more difficult which means you won't get much of a sense of achievement from the game. Final Fight fans might find something here to like but the genre has many better titles and most of them are developed by Capcom.

Overall Game Rating: 4.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Final Fight Streetwise is a major letdown in many respects. It does have it's addictive qualities but the fights are too easy, the graphics are poor and the story isn't really interesting amongst other things. There are far better games in the genre.