When it comes to retro NES titles, I find it rather odd that Mighty Final Fight is the quote unquote rarest game I was looking to add to my collection. While I'll admit the SNES port of the arcade original is where Final Fight started for most, I can't say that title is why Final Fight has remained at the forefront of my gaming memories for as long as it has. So given that, what's so special about Mighty Final Fight? How could a downscaled rendition of a SNES classic be of such note? Well, as one would expect given the formula behind it, calling Mighty Final Fight special is somewhat of a stretch, even for someone who is pretty smitten with the game. It's obvious that hundreds of games, games from the Double Dragon series, Battletoads to Sega's Streets of Rage have crossed strikingly similar terrain over the years.
As blindingly derivative as gaming can end up being, most know there are times where experiences can thrive upon their simplicity. As simple as a game like Final Fight was, there's a part of me that can't help but think that it was a bit too simplistic to really show off a (new at that time) console like the SNES. This isn't to say I was disappointed with Final Fight, but to say it was a quantum leap over the last generation of brawlers (beyond graphics) would be a lie. It's this - the lack of any real progression - that makes Mighty Final Fight so attractive in an ironic sort of way. Simply put, there is no real sacrifice made in taking the series back a console generation. While I’ll concede that’s not exactly the most positive thing one could say about a game, the game’s super-deformed presentation has its own way of charming the player and is a worthy avenue to explore in contrast to the straight-edged look of its technologically advanced brethren.
That said, Mighty Final Fight still contains many of the irritants of the time. Despite being a last generation NES title, the amount of time the sprite layer of graphics spends flickering during game play is rather obscene. Granted, it's never enough to flat-out rail-road the experience but it does slightly mar what is an otherwise spectacular looking game. Perhaps what's even more surprising (e.g. disappointing) is the audio by Setsuo Yamamoto. I absolutely love good NES music but outside the crunchy boss theme Yamamoto's themes seem a little uncomfortable with their meandering nature. The last thing that brings the final grade down a bit is the difference power and speed have in relation to game's characters. Giving each character their own individual attributes is something that any game should implement, but as far as which one is the greater (or which one is more useful in helping you beat the game) speed has the definite edge over power since there are so many instances where speed is much more beneficial and can easily make up for lack of power.
Despite this, Mighty Final Fight is an enjoyable romp that is reminiscent of a simpler time. Unfortunately, the real problem with Mighty Final Fight is its cost. Again, not that you'd think it by looking at it, but the game is not exactly common and with so many other quality beat-them-ups available for a fraction of the cost, it's debatable how many will justify the purchase. Those looking to experience the game while avoiding the price tag may want to check out the game on GBA where it one of the three games included in the Capcom Classic Mini Mix. Regardless of which path you choose, don't pass up on what can be experienced here just because of the art style or simplicity; Mighty Final Fight can be rather engaging if given the chance.