Final Fight Double Impact - Xbox Live Arcade

I’m all kinds of familiar with Final Fight. I own the first game in several different forms, and have the sequels as well. It’s one of the few beat ‘em ups that genuinely still holds up. Magic Sword I had not even heard of prior to this release. Ergo, I was intrigued.

Final Fight Double Impact really is a shining example of how to update classic games. What could have been a straight port job ends up becoming what I think should be considered the standard for all retro compilations in the future.

Let’s start with the games themselves. Final Fight I think everybody knows. In terms of sheer concept it’s about as simple as it gets. A girl named Jessica gets kidnapped and her father, a former professional wrestler who is now the mayor, recruits her boyfriend Cody, and some other dude who has no real stake in anything, to go save her. How do they accomplish this? By walking to the right and beating up everybody who gets in the way. How do they keep up the stamina to do this? Eating fully cooked turkeys they find inside wooden barrels. That’s what champions do.

It’s a classic formula that still holds up, which is strange because most recent attempts to replicate it have been huge failures. Of course anyone who doesn’t remember the game and has no experience with it may not get the immediate appeal, but I had a blast going back to it.

The game is of course quite short, with an average play-through probably taking around 45 minutes to an hour. Thankfully this is where Capcom went the extra mile and really put in the extra incentive for multiple playthroughs.

On top of achievements for beating the game with each character, as well as coop, there are also tons of in game challenges to work through. These range from extremely simple tasks such as beating the bosses in each level, to trickier ones like beating later levels without losing a certain number of lives / continues. Sure a lot of the prizes you get for accomplishing these are concept art and what not, but one of them is a full damn episode of the effing Street Fighter cartoon! That’s motivation and a half son.

Magic Sword is an interesting companion to Final Fight as it is a completely different game. It’s on a 2D plain and does not involve the punching of faces or wooden barrels. Instead you use magic and fight dragons and wizards. It may not hold the nostalgia for me that Final Fight does, but it’s a fun title. Magic Sword also has the in-game challenges, although there are significantly fewer than there are in Final Fight.

Both games can also be played online coop. You can search for a game and once one is found you are immediately plunked down in there. It actually works very seamlessly and I never once experienced any lag. It does sometimes take a good while to find a game however.

Capcom went even further with this package by including remixed music (don’t worry purists you can turn on the original music if you like) and tons of different viewing options. You can even play arcade style with a slightly slanted screen and the image of the cabinet around it. Pretty cool stuff.

Overall Final Fight Double Impact is a tremendous value. You get two solid titles that are still fun to play, plus tons of unlockables and online coop, not to mention leaderboards as well. It’s a title you’ll likely revisit quite often. I just hope this paves the way for Final Double Impact – Doubler Impacter with Knights of the Round. You can put whatever you want with it, just give me my Knights of the Round!