In the late 80s 2-D side-scrolling video games were as common as a heavy metal back patch on a jean jacket. Gamers might recall sucking back a Slurpee at the local 7-11 while bringing on the beatdown in games like Double Dragon and Final Fight. Capcom is going retro with a long awaited sequel with Final Fight Streetwise for the Xbox.
A new drug is wreaking havoc on the streets of the generically titled Metro City. Get your brawl on as Kyle Travers, a promising pit fighter and younger brother of Cody from the original game. When Cody goes MIA, the storyline begins to unfold like a B movie from the 80s. The fighting experience is heightened with a melee-heavy combat system, where counterattacks are fundamental to survival. Side missions can be as mundane as buying whisky for a drunk or as sweet as smashing a pimp’s SUV on behalf of an overworked whore. Streetwise also has a two-player co-op mode but lacks the upgraded combo/fighting system and turns into a repetitive button-mashing fest. Although the graphics aren’t a knockout and the camera angles get frustrating in tight areas, the biggest flaw is that there is no way to save during game play. The original arcade version is an unlockable feature and the soundtrack is diverse carrying gritty beats from: RZA, MF Doom, Slipknot and many others. Fans of the franchise will dig the upgraded fighting style, but a sticker price of $40 will keep most gamers off the streets of Metro City.
Best Feature: Learning new moves to increase your kick-ass factor.
Worst Feature: The only way to save your progress is to quit the game — problematic if your Xbox ever freezes before you can do so. (Yeah, it happened to this guy.)
Weirdest Feature: Stomping on cockroaches in a diner to upbeat ska music, arcade action at it’s best.