A playthrough of Eidos Interactive’s 1997 beat ’em up for the Sony PlayStation, Fighting Force.
Played through on the normal difficulty level as Hawk.
Fighting Force is probably the most well-known 3D beat ’em up on the PlayStation – it sold like gangbusters and seems to be well-liked, despite there being similar, better games on the platform (Gekido and Jackie Chan, say hello!). What’s ironic about that is that the game was originally developed for the Saturn to be a 3D sequel to Sega’s Streets of Rage games. Apparently, Sega didn’t like Core’s ideas of porting it to other consoles, so Core lost the rights to produce a Streets of Rage game (hence the title Fighting Force, or Metal Fist in Japan), and it’s conspicuous absence from the Sega Saturn library. A prototype is kicking around online if anyone is interested in seeing how it was shaping up.
As much as I like Fighting Force, I think that it was probably better that it didn’t have the Streets of Rage name attached to it. It’s not a bad game at all, but it’s not worthy of carrying the SoR banner – Die Hard Arcade was a much better game, and was more in-line with the tone and style of the legendary 2D series.
Still, Fighting Force has a lot going for it. It’s got some really nice graphics: the levels are all well-detailed (probably because of their limited scope) and everything runs buttery smooth most of the time. The sound effects are well done as well, though I wasn’t a huge fan of the music.
The game play is pretty simple – each character has a special attack unique to them, and all four have a fair range of punch/kick combos and grappling moves that they can pull out. The controls work reasonably well, even if it can sometimes be difficult to line up your attacks properly in 3D. I would have really liked a block button, but the special move does a reasonable job of getting you out of any ugly jams you find yourself in – at least, it will as long as you can afford to pay for its use from your life bar. Overall, it’s quite similar to Die Hard Arcade in its execution. It’s just not as good.
It just doesn’t have much personality to it and it feels a bit clunky, but then, that is how I’d describe many of the early attempts at bringing the classic arcade genre into 3D. It’s fun, especially in two-player mode, and it’s not terribly difficult, so you won’t find yourself getting frustrated too often.
I have no problem recommending the game if you like Streets of Rage, Final Fight, or Die Hard Arcade. It filled a gap that needed filled, and it did it reasonably well. It just lacks the polish, the flash, and the depth of Sega and Capcom’s best efforts. Still, it can be found dirt cheap, so if you are interested in Fighting Force in the slightest, try it out. If you find out you love it, you got it for a steal. If you end up hating it, at least you probably only spent $5 on it. For that kind of money, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. It’s easily worth at least that.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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