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Burning Fight

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Released: 1991

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Neo Geo

Publisher: SNK

Developer: SNK

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

There's a phrase I heard on TV some years ago refering to Noel Gallagher using the intro guitar riff from T-Rex's "Get It On" for his own "Cigarettes and Alcohol"  that was : "Talent borrows, genius steals.

If that really is the case then SNK's Buring Fight is the most genius laden game of all time, as it doesnt just steal from Capcoms Final Fight, it goes through its bins and pinches every damn thing it can carry.

Now, side scrolling beat em ups have always had a certain limitation to them, so many have certain traits or characteristics that resemble another game from the genre, but this is beyond that, its insulting and downright lazy at best.

For a start, two of the the three playable characters are even dressed exactly the same as their Final Fight counterparts, with well balanced fighter Duke being a direct copy of FFs Cody, while the quick and agile Ryu is an absolute dead ringer for Guy, with the final character being the slower and more powerful Billy.  All three are fighting to rid the world of an evil Japanese crime syndicate and have to battle through the stages to defeat the gang.

Said stages are very bland and instantly forgettable, including a train, shopping centre and the obligatory back streets before the final stage set aboard a boat with a showdown with the games main boss Castella.

The worst thing about this game is the AI, with constantly re-appearing (and somewhat similar to a certain Capcom side scrolling beat em up) standard enemies who can knock players down with a single hit, and then strike again as your getting back up, meaning that whole lives can be lost on a single screen as you are helpless against the games cheap opponents.

This is made even worse by the end of level gaurdians who are by contrast the easiest opponents on the game.  Some can be killed very quickly and hardly even attack, they just pace around waiting to be hit.  And the first time I fought the final boss Castella, I didnt even know he was an end of level boss, never mind the games main enemy, he died very quickly after half a dozen or so standard attacks.

And when he dies, the game ends.  And I mean ENDS.  No explanation that the Japanese crime syndicate is no more, no end game animation, nothing.  A few still shots of gameplay while the credits play out is all you get.

Mind you, after playing through the game, maybe they're doing us a favour by cutting the ending short!