Mighty Final Fight is a charming reimagining of classic Final Fight, switching up the visuals with a super-deformed look. Words cannot express how cute this game is, from concept right through to execution. This was no doubt a clever workaround for getting three playable characters into the game, with enemy and stage graphics, as this was famously an issue with the SNES version of Final Fight (which could only hold two player's graphics in the ROM).
While you can only play this game one player, you have access to all three characters: Guy, Cody and Haggar. This game also has the added plus that although it has "mighty" in the name, it wasn't delayed five times. Still, no multiplayer... that Haggar's belief!
It plays like traditional Final Fight. Picking your character of choice, you bash through waves and waves of street punks on your journey to save Haggar's daughter Jessica from the evil Mad Gear Gang. But it isn't all the same because a new experience system with leveling-up expands your moves, strength and stats as you play. Also, planning your levelling up opportunities properly means you can really benefit from that level-up health buff you get. A well-timed level-up will fill your health right before a boss.
The plan is, as per normal, rescue Jessica. In Final Fight, Mad Gear had kidnapped her to get Haggar's co-operation, but in Mighty Final Fight, she has been kidnapped because Belger, head of Mad Gear, wants to marry her. Ha! She seems pretty capable of saving herself, though.
The astonishing weirdness doesn't just stop there. The first boss, Thrasher, takes damage before the battle if you insult him during the dialogue. He asks you to bow down before him, if you refuse, you hurt his pride and he takes damage. He will also ask you, "Don't you know I rule the streets?", and answering "No" hurts his pride again! You can knock almost a quarter of his health bar off just by insulting him. I guess it's true: words can hurt like knives.
Lovely game, hard though.
The game is relatively accessible and playable until your first confrontation with Katana. The game immediately shoots up with a massive difficulty spike, and the only profitable tactic is to do weak-ass jump kicks. Unfortunately, it's one of those "go back to the start of the level" kind of deals when you get a Game Over, so Katana will ruin your first playthrough without a doubt. He's overpowered. It isn't fair. He made me cry like an anime fan on prom night. And if you get a Game Over, you will never see... the credits? Haha, why do you have to get a "one credit clear" to see the staff roll? Absurd.
I'll be honest, I've bashed my head against this guy constantly and I just can't get rid of him, so I've never beaten Stage 2. I bet the rest of the game looks just as nice, though! Me, impatient? No, I just know what I like. I like games that don't have dumb difficulty spikes. I like games I can complete with minimal effort! I'm a terrible person!
This one of those games for Capcom nuts only — for collectors. Not only do better beat 'em ups exist on the NES, there are even super deformed ones available, such as the spectacular Street Gangs (or River City Ransom). I would recommend Mighty Final Fight in the absence of such a game, but if you're ever given the choice between the two, River City Ransom is the obvious choice.
That said, it's a fun little idea and executed well. For people with a higher level of patience, you'll get far more out of this.