Final Fight Streetwise
Capcom is the King of gore but can also hold its ground in the beat’em up genre, so prepare yourself for a street fighting game that will give you a lot of bloody – well yeah – street fights. Final Fight Streetwise brings you as close to the dark sides of society as you want to get as a good citizen and all you have to do is let your thumbs do the talking.
Two decades after his predecessor made the arcade halls an unsafe place, it’s now the PS2’s turn to get its ass kicked. This time you will play with Kyle Travers, Cody’s brother. Cody used to be a hero in Metro City, he single-handedly destroyed the Mad-Gear gang but today he is a boxing trainer in a lousy neighbourhood. In the mean time, Kyle followed his brother’s example and is known as one of the most feared street fighters around town. However, when Kyle and Cody take five after a successful camp; Cody is kidnapped. At the same time, a new drug finds its ways to the streets and creates even more chaos than the hobo’s and teenage gangs can do. It is up to Kyle to find out the truth and more importantly, how he can find a way to get his brother back.
Despite the storyline and the ability to buy all sorts of upgrades and new moves, FFS is nothing more than a scrolling beat’em up. The city exists out of relatively small areas where you encounter both friend and foe. Long loading times and the claustrophobic environments are really annoying but the interactivity with the environment does try hard to make you forget that your character is limited to two or three streets. You can use almost everything as a weapon, from dustbins to baseball bats and back. There are also a lot of sidequests that you can solve to get more ‘respect’ and some mini games which you should finish to get further into the game. Prepare yourself for hunting cockroaches, I say no more…
A very welcome distraction because although you can use quite a collection of combos and moves, the game can be finished with brainlessly bashing the same buttons over and over again. Final Fight Streetwise has a repetitive monotone gameplay that is not compelling enough for most gamers to even finish the game. The same can be said of the storyline by the way. On technical aspects the title doesn’t quite know which camp to choose; the game succeeds in creating an urban ghetto look and feel but the PS2 can perform more than what this blurry textured world lets you to believe. The sound is quite OK, despite the terrible soundtrack. Rap music just isn’t my thing.
Final Fight Streetwise is a scrolling beat’em up with some interesting features. It is a shame that the game loses track towards the end which de-motivates you a lot to get to the next chapters. The arcade multiplayer is a nice implementation but nothing more… An honourable attempt, which did not make it to the finish line.