Final Fight (1989)
Originally set to be the sequel to Street Fighter, Final Fight ended up spanning its own series of games with total revenue being 3.4 million for the series.
The game was set in the fictional American town of Metro City, where crime rates had been high. To combat this, a new mayor, and previous wrestling champion, Mike Haggar was elected and suppressed crime rates accordingly. Rebelling against the Mayor, the Mad Gear Gang kidnapped Jessica (Haggar’s daughter); which led to the grouping of Haggar, Jessica’s boyfriend Cody and his friend Guy to rescue her.
Two players could have played the arcade classic together, choosing from the three playable characters (Haggar, Guy and Cody). They would have battled their way through 6 levels (and potentially two bonus rounds all with their own bosses), controlling their selected character with the joystick, jump and attack button. Various combos were included in the game play, including pressing the attack button multiple times, throwing an enemy at another and by pressing the attack and jump button together which would have enabled the player to strike all surrounding enemies simultaneously.
At trade shows, Final Fight went by the name Street Fighter 89’ which was changed after the success of Double Dragon. The game has been rumoured to be heavily influenced by the film Streets of Fire, with a main character from both film and game sharing the same name (Cody).
Popular amongst critics, Final Fight was awarded Game of the Year in 1990 from Japanese Coin-Op magazine Gamest. Furthermore, going on to win countless more awards including Best Action Game, Mike Haggar being crowned the number one spot in ‘Top 50 Characters of the Year’, Guy coming in 2nd place and Cody coming in 7th.
Hard Drivin’ (1989)
Hard Drivin’ allowed the player to drive a high-powered sports cars round stunt and speed courses. It was one of the first arcade games to use 3D polygon driving environments and also used force feedback. Also being one of the first games to allow more than 3 initials on the high-score board! There were a total of 15 variations of arcade cabinets (11 cockpit and 4 compact) for this title!
The game gave a first person perspective, so it seemed as if the player was seated in the front of a car. A series of stunt loops and hazards in the road were also present for the player to avoid in the laps around the stunt track in the game play. If the player scored within the top 10 leader board they would be set to race against a computer controlled opponent – The Phantom Photon. During this race it was possible to race the wrong way round the track to beat the rival!
One of the most interesting elements of this game was its realistic nature, with a clutch that had to be properly controlled or it would stall the car. Furthermore, when a car crashed it showed an ‘Instant Replay!’ screen which would show the crash from different viewpoints, this gave the title a unique value which led to many crashing in the game to see how good it would look.