Final Fight Through the Years

Most people are familiar with Final Fight’s appearance in arcades, on the Super Nintendo, and most recently on the Live Arcade. However, the game has seen its share of ports, including multiple computer renditions, a goofy NES game, and a fantastic translation on the Game Boy Advance. What follows is a complete list of all versions of the original Final Fight. Excluded are the two Super NES sequels, spin-offs, and an attempted re-boot on the PlayStation 2 that we would all like to forget.

Arcade (1989): The original is a classic for a number of reasons, notably due to the amazingly attractive visuals. Walking into an arcade back in 1989 and seeing sprites of this size was staggering, and the superlative gameplay mechanics were barely tweaked for Capcom’s future arcade beat-em-ups. Final Fight felt great, each enemy reacting to every punch in a way that sold each blow. Co-op play was a necessity, and accidentally punching your partner was part of the fun.

SNES (1990): The first home port of Final Fight did not bring with it many positives. While the game brought home amazingly accurate visuals, the lack of two-player action and the deletion of Guy were signs of a rushed port. The mechanics were intact, but a level (the industrial area) was missing. Enemy counts were understandably slashed to let the SNES keep up with the action. Still, for the time, this was the best way to play Final Fight, especially considering how accurate the controls and feel replicated the arcade game.

Amiga (1991): A clutter of home computer ports were brought out in 1991, all published by U.S. Gold. Out of these, the Amiga was the best across the board, but unfortunately misfired on the gameplay. Punches felt soft and lacked impact, while combos did not always finish. You could trap bosses in a corner, throw punches, and they would never fall until defeated. Screen scrolling was sloppy, and the music was missing. Considering it fit into a meager 512k, it is an impressive feat, but only marginally fun to play.

Amstrad (1991): Another one that looks nice (at least considering the hardware), but the gameplay seems centered around the timer rather than beating people up. Incredibly slow, the animation is choppy enough to make it difficult to see what is actually happening. The number of sprites on screen is limited, keeping down intensity. Enemies just sort of fall over when hit. No music was included, just a basic punching sound that certainly did not help.

Commodore 64 (1991): At least the title screen and character select screens look nice. Beyond the pathetically simply visuals, gameplay hardly resembled Final Fight. Enemies can easily break your combos, and there is no animation to indicate a hit has landed. Again, no music, just muddy punching effects. A single player experience, mostly because the hardware would  not allow for more than three sprites total at any time.

ZX Spectrum (1991): If you thought the Commodore 64 was the last piece of hardware that should have a port of Final Fight, you were wrong. Not only is this version slow, it was almost impossible. Enemies can hit the player at will. The massive sprites obviously pushed the hardware, but with the classic yellow/blue/gray and black tints, you could still barely see what was happening. Your foes took forever to be knocked out, and it was certainly no fun to do so in the first place. Quite possibly the worst conversion of the game ever released.

Atari ST (1991): Probably the closest to the Amiga port. Collision detection, while soft and at times sketchy, was at least satisfactory. Sprites were both large and colorful. Only music is available, but it has been altered from the arcade with little regard for the original composition. Scrolling was choppy, but again, serviceable. Enemy AI was set to “pummel,” surrounding the player and wailing away, making escape difficult.

SNES (1992): A re-release of the original, only replacing Cody with Guy and renaming it Final Fight Guy (appropriate, no?). The game played exactly the same as the 1991 port. Two-player support was still missing, and now of course Cody was gone. Released as a rental exclusive in the US.

Sega CD (1993): Quite possibly the best home port ever released prior to the arcade translation on the Xbox 360. While the visuals are slightly muddy and lacking vibrant color, the music… just wow. The remixed, jazzy updates of these tracks are superb. Two-player support is included, and it handled an acceptable amount of enemies on screen despite the flicker. All of the levels are included, and a bonus survival mode remains an exclusive to this day. A bit expensive to track down these days, but money well spent.

NES (1993): Super deformed versions of Cody, Guy, and Haggar are brought to the NES in a version that has loose ties to the original (and it is admittedly a questionable inclusion in this list). Super moves are added like Street Fighter, and the cartoony bosses now have rather ridiculous patterns. Damnd now jumps around like a crazed child on a playground. While only single player, it was well paced, fast, colorful, and unique. Surprisingly satisfying.

Game Boy Advance (2001): The franchise nearly went a decade without a home port, but the wait was worth it. Visuals, despite the small screen, were accurate, as were the fighting mechanics themselves. New boss conversations were enjoyably goofy, and once unlocked, you could control Street Fighter Alpha versions of Guy and Cody (that’s fan service). A save feature let you resume at any level you stopped at, and the music was accurate to the arcade original. If you don’t have a Sega CD, a fine fall back version.

Wii (2007): The Virtual Console contains the SNES version. Still single player, and still missing Guy.

Xbox 360/PS3 (2010): Packaged with Magic Sword, Final Fight Double Impact contains an accurately emulated version of the original arcade edition. Remixed music is a bit of a letdown, more so if you are familiar with the Sega CD version, but online co-op is a first for the series. Enemy counts, aggressive difficulty, and unlockables (including a priceless episode of the US Street Fighter animated featuring Final Fight characters) make this one worth playing through again.

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Modern Healthcare July 25, 2011 KNOXVILLE, Tenn.–The University of Tennessee Medical Center broke ground this month on its new cancer institute. The 100,000-square-foot facility will more than double the size of the current cancer institute. The institute is expected to cost $25 million to construct and equip. The building should take about a year to erect. All of the medical center’s outpatient cancer services, including CT and PET scans, will be offered there. The building also will house a breast center, a chemotherapy infusion center and clinics for surgical, medical, radiation and gynecological oncology.

BALTIMORE–The Maryland Board of Physicians revoked the medical license of Dr. Mark Midei, who was accused of exaggerating his patients’ artery blockages to justify cardiac stents. The allegations were among several issues resolved in a $22 million False Claims Act settlement paid last year by St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Md., where Midei was employed from 2008 to 2009. The board wrote in the decision that Midei’s violations were “repeated and serious” and that he unnecessarily exposed patients to harm and increased the cost of their care. “The board has given little weight to the fact that Dr. Midei was not paid per stent inserted,” the board wrote. Midei testified, the board said, that “he understood he was a big generator of business for the hospital” and that the hospital’s “goal was to hold onto the stent business that it saw slipping away.” The board will not accept an application for reinstatement for two years. Midei’s attorney did not return requests for comment. St. Joseph mailed letters informing 585 of Midei’s stent patients that subsequent review of their cases yielded different conclusions. Many of them have filed lawsuits against Midei and the hospital, and Midei is suing St. Joseph for defamation. Midei’s volume of stent procedures also drew an investigation by the Senate Finance Committee, which concluded that unnecessary procedures he performed cost the government $6.6 million. go to website maryland board of physicians

ATLANTA–A search committee for Atlanta’s public, safety net provider has settled on a choice to fill its top leadership spot: John Haupert, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Parkland Health & Hospital System, a public system in Dallas. The board of Grady Memorial Hospital Corp., which controls Grady Memorial Health System, is set to vote Aug. 8 on the selection, and if approved, Haupert would start the job Oct. 8. The system’s biggest component is Grady Memorial Hospital, which has 689 acute-care beds and 261 skilled-nursing beds. The system also operates six neighborhood health centers and a rehabilitation center. Grady’s previous president and CEO was Michael Young, who left in June to become president and CEO of 599-bed PinnacleHealth in Harrisburg, Pa. Young was hired in 2008 by Grady’s newly established independent operating corporation and was credited with turning around the struggling system, which turned a profit in 2009 but reported an $11.2 million loss in the first three months of 2011.

BETHESDA, Md.–Surgical Care Affiliates, a Birmingham, Ala.-based for-profit developer and operator of ambulatory surgery centers and surgical hospitals, has entered into an agreement to manage the operations of a Johns Hopkins Medicine-affiliated surgery center in Bethesda. Terms were not disclosed. Suburban Outpatient Surgery Center, located inside the Suburban Outpatient Medical Center, is part of the not-for-profit Suburban Hospital Healthcare System, which became affiliated with Johns Hopkins in 2009. According to a Surgical Care Affiliates news release, some 2,000 procedures are performed annually at the center, and SCA will implement its management systems there as well as launch new service lines and specialties. “We believe our management systems can improve surgical care in Maryland and other areas, and this is another step forward in SCA becoming the partner of choice for leading health systems,” Andrew Hayek, SCA president and CEO, said in a news release. In April, SCA entered into a similar agreement with Kentucky’s not-for-profit Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare system to manage two surgery centers in Louisville. in our site maryland board of physicians

HOUSTON–Texas Children’s Hospital and Scott & White Healthcare signed a 20-year affiliation that includes joint research, education and outreach programs. The partners will train emergency and operating room nurses to work in the Children’s Hospital at Scott & White, which is scheduled to open later this year, according to a news release announcing the agreement. Texas Children’s Hospital, a 474-bed hospital in Houston, and Scott & White, a five-hospital system based in Temple, Texas, last month launched a joint continuing medical education venture, according to the release. The agreement will introduce new clinical services at Scott & White, the news release said.