Game: Final Fight: Streetwise System: Playstation 2 Emulators: N/A I think we all have a softspot for the Final Fight series deep inside our hearts. Back in the good old days, Final Fight was one of the popular "beat em up" games that made our thumbs sore with gangsta bashing fun. Produced by Capcom, players began their quest by selecting three playable characters (Mike, Cody, Guy) and then set off to battle waves upon waves of enemies in the same style as Streets of Rage and Double Dragon. Finally making its debut on the current generations systems, FF: Streetwise wants to capture the same nostalgic feelings we once had for the 16 bit classics. In Streetwise, you take the role of Kyle Travers, little brother of Cody. The game begins with you in a fight club where your brother is coaching you in a brawl. Not too long into the game, Cody gets kidnapped by a group of thugs and then you are set out to find him by any means necessary. Your mission will take you into the exotic places of the gritty underground including hotels, porn theaters and pawn shops. Controls The controls in Streetwise will take you only a few minutes to learn. The basic setup is Square is used for Strong Attacks, "X" is for quick attacks, "O" for grapples and Triangle can be used for context sensitive situations. I was pleasantly surprised on how solid the controls were. Targeting enemies is simple with little chance of making mistakes on who you want to attack. When fighting multiple enemies, pressing the left joystick with any attack button will make your life a breeze in taking out a gang of thugs. Pressing the L1 button puts your character in Guard Mode, and if you precisely press it just before getting hit, you can perform a crushing counter. Holding L2 will make Kyle perform more aggressive attacks at the cost of the aggression meter. The only complaint is that controlling the camera can be difficult because there isn't enough angles at your disposal, and it can feel a bit claustropobic at times, sometimes disorienting. Score: 8/10 Gameplay The gameplay found in Streetwise is a mix bag. For the most part, you engage in fighting enemies whether it be against a gang on the streets or members of the mafia that have your brother. The game is "open ended" which means you are free to roam around the city streets, purchase upgrades for your character, buy items, or get newer songs for your listening pleasure. While traversing you will find mini quests for you to complete, most of them are optional but some will are necessary to go further. There are also some puzzle elements such as a "minesweeper" type puzzle that you need to solve to access restricted areas. There are weapons at your disposal that enhance the combat experience. Knifes, baseball bats, 2x4's are some of the melee weapons that can take out your opponents rather quickly. Guns are a new one for the series. Eventually you'll come upon SMG's, shotguns and pistols that do massive damage. Overall, the game is really fun for those of us who don't like to think that much while playing. Streetwise has a really arcade feel and is perfect for a quick round of fun. The game isn't really challenging though, and ends pretty quickly. Score: 7/10 Graphics Amazing world environments and character models. If that's what your looking for, Streetwise isn't for you. It's not to say the game is terrible looking, but it seems really like a first generation PS2 graphics. The world environments is modelled average at best. Everything feels a bit close and when you get to long corridors and allyways, the draw distance apparently shows its weakness. The character models are low polygon for the most part, but during cutscenes facial expressions add a level of cool to the game. In the graphics department, it does its job but does nothing to astound or amaze you. Score: 6.5/10 Sound After reading a number of reviews from other websites, there were many complaints about the voice overs in the game. I actually thought the characters had suitable voice actors and gave a pretty good performance. I guess the major problem is the script that they had to read. The dialogue is full of profanities, so if that is something that gets on your nerves your in some trouble. I didn't mind at all but there was a lot of unnecessary cursing. The soundtrack is full of hip hop and rap music. Personally, it was OK for me but those of you who aren't into that kind of music will be turned off. Sounds effects from weapons are sub par, and there isn't anything particular that will impress you. Score: 6/10 Overall Score: 6.9/10 Final Comments: I was deeply depressed on the atrocious scores that this game got. It isn't terrible at all! Giving this game a lower score than BeatDown is just wrong. Although I wouldn't recommend buying this game, I truely believe it deserves to be played. Do yourself a favour and rent the game, or borrow it from someone. Personally, I had more fun with this title than Beatdown, Urban Reign and The Warriors put together. It's really for the simple folk who just like to oldskool fun without all the glitz and glamour.