Approximate Release Date: September 1, 1991
I have a jump kick problem in Final Fight.
The jump kick is almost always the most effective means of attack in side-scrolling brawlers (at least for a novice such as myself), and Final Fight is no different in this regard. But it makes sense. Punches always do more damage with combos, but they lack range and are slow, making them dangerous to use when more than one enemy is around. But jump kicks? Jump across the screen and kick five guys in the face. They fall down, you’re hard to hit during the jump, and you can keep doing this for as long as there are enemies. It’s less time effective, but it’s more health effective.
It’s also boring. Later games in the genre would come up with ways to discourage relying on the jump kick; by providing an arsenal of melee weapons with longer reach or enemies that can sidestep an incoming kick, players are incentivized not to rely one just on one move. Final Fight isn’t that advanced.
There are two playable characters, and they feel different to play as. Cody is more agile, and Mayor Haggar is stronger. Each also has slightly different power moves, which exchange health for a 360-degree knockdown attack. This special power is really annoying, though; since Final Fight is a two button game for some reason, the special attack is activated by pressing jump and punch at the same time. Guess what else is mapped to jump and punch?
The jump kick.
Triggering the special attack is easy when you’re jump-kicking like a madman, resulting in losing health. Not that the game is particularly difficult to make this matter too much. Final Fight‘s five lives and three continues is very generous, and there are never so many enemies on screen that you’ll have much of a problem outside of hard-hitting bosses at the end of each level.
Final Fight isn’t going to be anyone’s favorite beat-’em-up, but the simplicity of gameplay makes this a great game for someone new to games like this to try.
Tomorrow: It’s the highway to the Hyper Zone.