FINAL FIGHT 3 / Capcom / Super NES

Final Fight 3 is pretty much a straight-ahead revisiting of the Final Fight formula, with a few minor gameplay additions cribbed from other similar games.

Cody sits this one out due to apparently being jailed, so new characters Lucia and Dean are in to join series staples Haggar and Guy. The former of these new additions is the requisite secskay chick in daisy dukes and with bouncing jubblies that are animated better than anything else in the game. The latter is a fairly beefy electric punch dude.

One new gameplay addition that isn't cribbed (as far as I know anyway) is a 2-player mode where a solo player can be accompanied by a CPU-controlled partner. This idea was a long time coming but it could have been implemented better. First off, you can hit each other, and there's no means to turn that off. With sprites this big it's inevitable you'll slap each other accidentaly pretty often, and the CPU likes to walk in the middle of your punch combos to try to attack an enemy you already have under control (though its pretty good about not hitting you.) To be fair you do take less damage from "friendly fire" than you do from normal enemy attacks, but between these accidental hits and the general dumbness of the CPU partner in engaging the enemies (they often seem to like to just stand in front of an enemy and do nothing until they get hit), they burn through their allotment of lives pretty quickly in most games and leave you solo.

There's also multiple paths through each level, though it's not always clear where they are, as they involve pressing up against the background at sometimes seemingly random points. This also has the effect of allowing you to avoid certain fights, as the game often doesn't require you to clear the screen of enemies first. Cribbed from Streets of Rage 2-3 are "special moves" in the vein of Street Fighter 2 (and with mostly the same button motions), and each character is particularly good with one type of weapon and will combo for extra hits with it when they swing it. The game even cribs the arcade Ninja Gaiden with a similar morbid "Game Over" screen, although I'm not sure if that wasn't just in the Japanese version.

The music sounds like a combo bite off of Streets of Rage and Super Double Dragon, but it isn't bad. Not great, but not bad. Graphics are decent but there's some slowdown sometimes with 2 human players when there's more than two enemies on the screen (price you pay for the sprites being pleasantly large, I suppose.)

Despite the additions this one still suffers from the "same old same old" syndrome of all beat-em-ups, and does nothing really new and fresh. A solid one, but doesn't stand out.

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