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Final Fight One

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Released: 2001

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Game Boy Advance

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Capcom

Submitted by: Richard Moore

While Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper was always going to struggle to squeeze itself onto a tiny GBA cartridge, Capcom's Final Fight proved to be a much better fit, a near-flawless small-screen version of the classic side-scrolling beat em' up that ticks all the right boxes.

For all the Final Fight virgins out there, the plot is a simple one involving a kidnapped damsel, an evil gang and ticked-off father who just so happens to be the Mayor of the city, Mike Haggar. Players can choose to play as Haggar himself, Japanese ninjitsu expert Guy or American martial artist Cody who just so happens to be the childhood friend of Jessica, the aforementioned damsel in distress. Unfortunately, the Mad Gear gang aren't going to give her up so easily and so Haggar and co. must battle their way through six stages of thugs to save the day.

Thankfully, this port isn't based on the disappointing SNES effort. This means that all the characters and stages are there, including the boss fight with Rolento with only Poison (the game's scantily-clad female punks) remaining absent (as was the case with all the previous Western conversions of Final Fight). There's also some new content including dialogue exchanges before boss fights and unlockable versions of Guy and Cody in their Street Fighter Alpha guises. Co-operative play is also available with the use of a link cable.

The overall quality of this port is very high and there aren't (at least according to my experience) any technical issues that spoil the fun. Perfect for taking the battle with you on the bus.

Again – as with the GBA port of Alpha 3 – the only downside of Final Fight One is that an arcade-perfect conversion of the game has since been released on one of the PSP Capcom Classics compilations. Other than that, you've got yourself a fine beat em' up here that does the series (and the GBA) proud.