Final Fight: Double Impact

Double Impact not only recreates the original game faithfully but presents it on a virtual arcade machine, a casual nod to Capcom’s quarter-sucking classic.

Final Fight: Double Impact

Publisher: Capcom
Format: XBLA
Price: $10.00
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: Teen
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 2010-04-14

The emergence of things like Xbox Live Arcade and Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console were logical and obvious. If you ask any gamer what his top five games of all time are, you’re likely to hear as many Super Mario Bros. 3s and Contras as you are Fallout 3s and Half-Life 2s. Be it nostalgia or the desire for pure, technical gameplay, gamers crave the legendary adventures of the early consoles and arcades. However, at least insofar as the Virtual Console is concerned, its releases’ greatest strengths are also often its downfall: the faithful reproduction of the original games -- for instance, wouldn’t it have been nice to be able to play Mario Kart 64 over wi-fi rather than against the same friends that you’ve always played with?

Capcom’s Final Fight is one such classic that was bound for re-release, and Final Fight: Double Impact -- a dual pack download that also includes Capcom’s Magic Sword -- delivers in decidedly faithful fashion. Driven by recreating the arcade experience explicitly, Double Impact not only recreates the original games faithfully but presents it on a virtual arcade machine, a casual nod to Capcom’s quarter-sucking classic.

Final Fight is the archetype of a brawler: a sidescroller wherein you punch and jump kick your way through endless waves of knived or otherwise unarmed, ninja-like street hoodlums on your path through a nominal storyline. You select one of three characters whose binomial traits -- slow but strong, quick but weak, or average -- are typical of nearly every brawler/Capcom fighting game since. There are various interludes and minigames (e.g., a tag team wrestling match against a ninja master, and easily the most famous scene from the game, a non sequitur where you mercilessly smash a presumably innocent yuppie’s car and then laugh at his anguish), but for the most part, the game is just constant waves of enemies. Magic Sword is a similar brawler, except rather than fighting thieves and criminals, you spend your days “swording” and “magicking” and “axing” your way through a tower of demons and zombies in the most scattered, so-much-stuff-going-on-I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-killing fashion on a quest to save the world from evil forces.

As an aside, the Capcom model for games like Final Fight and Magic Sword were economically brilliant: they’re games that, regardless of your talent level or understanding of the game, are going to see you burn through continues (i.e., quarters) to the point that I question the legality and morality of so outwardly scamming pre-teens out of their allowance. But I digress.

The real draw of the package is the ease of online co-op modes, which were included to try and simulate other gamers placing a quarter in your machine and joining up to defeat the various hordes of street muggers and zombies. Aside from being a nice addition to a console port, the ability to pick up with anyone else playing the game is a crafty way to keep you interested in games that are otherwise short and remedial. Lacking the need to pay for more continues and the fact that the game gives you unlimited continues means that working through and beating the games is simply a matter of patience and inevitability.

And when it comes down to it, Final Fight: Double Impact doesn’t offer enough new material to make it anything more than a nostalgic flashback. If you’ve played the games before and neither are on your list of must-haves, they’re just a diversion for you and your friends to reminisce over. Then again, smashing up virtual cars rarely gets old.


This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

Keep reading... Show less

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

Acid house legends 808 State bring a psychedelic vibe to Berlin producer NHOAH's stunning track "Abstellgleis".

Berlin producer NHOAH's "Abstellgleis" is a lean and slinky song from his album West-Berlin in which he reduced his working instruments down to a modular synthesizer system with a few controllers and a computer. "Abstellgleis" works primarily with circular patterns that establish a trancey mood and gently grow and expand as the piece proceeds. It creates a great deal of movement and energy.

Keep reading... Show less

Beechwood offers up a breezy slice of sweet pop in "Heroin Honey" from the upcoming album Songs From the Land of Nod.

At just under two minutes, Beechwood's "Heroin Honey" is a breezy slice of sweet pop that recalls the best moments of the Zombies and Beach Boys, adding elements of garage and light tinges of the psychedelic. The song is one of 10 (11 if you count a bonus CD cut) tracks on the group's upcoming album Songs From the Land of Nod out 26 January via Alive Natural Sound Records.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.