Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight
System: NES Publisher: Capcom Developer: Capcom
Genre: Action Type: Platformer/Boss Battles Circa: 1990
I remember the days when I could not even get past this first boss...Cool pinball machine in the background!

When I first bought Street Fighter 2010 years ago, it was the first time any game was an absolute shock to my system. I literally could not get past the first level. I got past it once, which I attest almost entirely to luck, then made it as far as the third level, which is where I proceeded to become stuck once again. I took the game out of my NES and shoved it aside, thinking of it as being the worst game I'd ever played. Now, years later, I decided to try it again...and I beat it! No, not just the third level, the whole entire game! It was certainly one of the most difficult and challenging tasks I've ever accomplished. Although this game bears the Street Fighter name, it is absolutely nothing like any other Street Fighter games that you are probably familiar with.
GRAPHICS: 8/10
Many people say this game's graphics aren't up to par with Capcom's other NES efforts, and I agree with that, but then again, it seems like Capcom was going for an entirely different look with this one. It is a much more dark, serious, and apocalyptic look than what we are used to seeing from Capcom. It's not supposed to be bright and cheery like Mega Man or their Disney games. The first level starts off looking one part Strider, one part Castlevania, and one part Ninja Gaiden. Set in post-apocalyptic Earth, you'll see details in the background like neon signs with what appears to be nude women (!?), a sunset similar to Castlevania 3's, pinball and arcade machines, and some stuff that's difficult to tell what exactly it is. Moving onto later planets, you'll find yourself in areas with huge plants, shifting sand dunes, underwater levels, and eventually a high-tech space station. The backgrounds are usually very dark and gritty-looking. There's one level where it appears that you're inside an alien monster of some kind with an eyeball on the ceiling. This is one of the coolest and nastiest-looking areas in the game! Another has you on a submarine shaped like a narwhal that is so huge it takes up more than one screen. The bosses are all drawn pretty well and have decent animation, but they're all very small. Most of them aren't much bigger than your own character. However, they look much different than anything you'll ever see in any other game, and there's a good variety of them. Some of them look robotic, while others look like monsters, insects, or aliens. The animation of your character, Ken, is pretty good, although sometimes he looks a little silly as he's jumping and flipping around. Overall, the graphics are decent, if a little hard to discern at times.
I'm unsure why a city level would have an automatic scroll, but oh well......This boss kind of resembles a linebacker with a shield
SOUND: 6.5/10
SF2010's sound is somewhat of a rollercoaster. In one stage, it'll be really good, and then in the next it's very lackluster. Sometimes the music keeps you on the edge as you're fighting, and other times it's annoying and gets on your nerves. However, none of it is too memorable. I think the best music is the one right at the beginning of the game that's used while the story is being told. Almost every stage has different music, but a few tunes are repeated. The music, itself, seems to combine Capcom's trademark NES techno stuff with other themes that are more solemn and moody. The sound effects are okay, but nothing overly special, except maybe the "buzz" noise that Ken makes when he dies. Other than that, the majority of sounds were just recycled from other Capcom titles.
CONTROL: 7/10
SF2010's control is all at once both good and bad. It's good, because of the number of different moves that Ken can do. He can jump, backflip, kick, climb up walls and other objects, and shoot his bionic weapon. You can shoot the weapon straight up, straight ahead, or make it arc up or down when shot straight ahead. You can also leap into the air and shoot, or backflip and shoot straight down. This is quite versatile control. The bad part is that Ken's moves often coincide with the background elements, sometimes making it difficult or impossible to pull off the right move at the right time. For example, you may want to do a backflip, but instead, Ken leaps and grabs onto something. This also happens sometimes when trying to aim straight up...Ken, instead, grabs ahold of the object above him. There are also times when it's a little unresponsive. For example, there are areas where you have to grab ahold of a column, then flip around to the other side. Once you leap to the column, there's a definite delay between the time you grab onto it and when you can perform your next move. But thankfully, the basic control elements, such as jumping and shooting, are very responsive. It'll take a lot of practice, but eventually you should be able to get the hang of it. It may appear difficult and frustrating at first, but trust me, you can get used to it.
Who's there? The ominous purple eye, that's who!...A rather electrifying experience!
STORY/ATMOSPHERE: 5.5/10
SF2010 had one of the more ambitious storylines in an NES game. Even my Dad commented that it sounded like it was gonna be a good game after reading the opening story. Unfortunately, it all falls apart towards the end. There is some controversy over this game's story and how it relates to the other Street Fighter games. In SF2010, the story goes like this: In the year 2010, an ex-Street Fighter turned Scientist named Ken returns to his lab to find that his partner, Troy, has been killed and a secret invention has been stolen. This invention is called Cyboplasm. Used in small doses, it can keep people alive forever, but used in large doses, it causes mutations, turning people into mindless superaliens with no other purpose than to kill. Now, it's up to Ken to find the murderer, get back the Cyboplasm, and avenge his partner's death, but in order to do this, he must become bionic. This definitely is a much better plot than another "save the princess" or "save the world from the evil empire" type of thing, but too much is left unexplained. The story does a good job of explaining the mutant lifeforms with the Cyboplasm, but the robotic enemies and the details behind Ken's bionics are never really explained. The true identity of the murderer is predictable and the ending does absolutely nothing to tie things up, and instead, leaves many more questions unanswered. The only real dialogue during the rest of the game is Ken trading threats with his antagonist. Now, the controversy that I mentioned before is whether or not this is the same Ken from the other Street Fighter games. In the Japanese version of SF2010, it was not. But in this version, the story definitely implies that he is. However, it doesn't really matter all that much, since that would be the only tie-in to any of the other Street Fighter games, anyway. SF2010 may not have the most coherent plot, but the game does have a really dark and moody atmosphere that fits well with the apocalyptic sci-fi theme.
CHALLENGE: 9/10
There's no doubt about it, SF2010 is one of the toughest games I've ever beaten! There is not a single level or boss in this game that I beat on my first try, and many of them took between 10-20 tries to finally overcome. This game is unique in the fact that it is mostly comprised of boss battles. Some stages have a little sidescrolling action, usually with an automatic scroll, but most send you straight to the boss. And these are some of the hardest bosses you will ever face in any game! The easiest bosses in this game put many of the final bosses of other games to shame. Some bosses can be beaten with "Rambo" tactics, while others will require a lot of dodging and skill. The only major problem with this game that will turn most players away from it is that there is no learning curve. You're immediately given a very tough boss for the first stage. I owned this game for years and was frustrated with it because I could almost never beat him! Some of the challenge also comes from the play control quirks mentioned earlier. However, with practice, the bosses do become less "impossible" than they seem at first. SF2010 is challenging in a good way, though, because the game is not overly long, despite there being quite a few levels. Since many of them are just one room with the boss, if they were all easy or only moderately difficult, you'd blow through the game too quickly. The levels in this game are also timed, so that adds another factor to the challenge.
FUN: 6.5/10
Street Fighter 2010 plays nothing like the game series that it's named after, but being different does not necessarily mean it's bad. This game really is not as bad as I had once thought it was, but I still don't think it's all that great, either. For one thing, it lacks in depth. It's mostly just boss battles, so once you know how to beat a boss, there isn't much else to the game. There are some scrolling platform sequences, but they aren't very long and the action there is simplistic. It is fun trying to figure out how to beat the various bosses. Sometimes, there is more than one strategy that you can use. Ken also has the ability to power-up his bionic weapon. By shooting pods in each stage, you can sometimes uncover powerups. Every two you get upgrades your weapon, allowing you to shoot farther across the screen. However, you lose all of your powerups whenever you die. Sometimes, you can find an elusive "V" icon, which gives Ken the ability to do a move that looks just like Guile's flash kick in Street Fighter 2. But the fact that you lose your powerups so easily limits what you can do in a fight. The timer is somewhat limiting, too. There are certain bosses in this game that were purposely made easier because by the time you get to them, you only have a few seconds left on the timer. This makes a certain sequence towards the end of the game very disappointing. In those situations, I would have preferred either no timer or more seconds on the timer and a tougher boss. SF2010 also has little replay value. Having just beat it, I have absolutely no desire to want to do that again for a long time, if ever. The game has unlimited continues, but no save feature.
Climbing slimy vines for fun and profit!...Nasty plant boss. Can you say, FEED ME?

Street Fighter 2010 is not like the other Street Fighter games and may not be as much fun, but it is a very unique and challenging game with an interesting concept. There isn't any other NES game quite like it. I can certainly understand many gamers' dislike of this game. The high challenge level, lack of depth, and the fact that it's not like the other SF games are immediate turnoffs to most players. But those looking for a real challenge or an NES game that breaks out of the traditional platform mold, may want to give this game a shot!
OVERALL SCORE (not an average): 7/10

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