“Fighting Force” is a 3D beat-em up fighting game where you take control of one of four characters: Hawk, Mace, Alana and Smasher. These four allies must team up to save the world from an evil doctor who has set out to destroy it. Other than that, “Fighting Force” simply involves moving from level to level, scene to scene, smashing stuff and beating up bad guys. Not much of a story, to tell you the truth.
This game was released in the early years of the original Playstation console – 1997 to be exact. There were many titles in this year which had passable, even decent graphics, but the visuals of “Fighting Force” aren’t too impressive. They’re not 100% bad, but 1997 sure has seen some better graphics on the Playstation console. The game has many dark shades, blocky-looking characters, and the bad buys have some variety but they’re all pretty much the same. The environments look rather interesting but it’s all linear for the most part so you can’t do much.
The gameplay mechanics of “Fighting Force” are nothing different from any other game in the beat-em up genre. If you’ve played similar games like “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Final Fight”, and “Streets of Rage”, then you’ve seen it all before for the most part. There’s no new tricks in this game beyond the cool characters, scenery, and weapons that are available. Speaking of characters, there’s very little variety between them with the exception of their special attacks. This is quite disturbing because “Streets of Rage” also had bulkier and thinner characters, the first of which were stronger but slower and the latter being more agile but not as strong. That’s not the case here.
It sucks when you’re fighting opponents who are faster than you, I must say. When you get the punches and kicks working, they work like magic but it’s a real pain to move the character to whatever it is you want to hit. Beyond that, “Fighting Force” only has a mission mode, nothing additional. The good thing I can say is that the ten levels of the game are sufficiently action-packed, despite all the above.
Pretty disappointing for a fighting game. The “Streets of Rage” games are like magic compared to the controls of “Fighting Force”. All four of the playable characters are just too slow to move; then there’s the camera which doesn’t always put the angle in your favor. The slow movement of the characters stems from controls that aren’t as responsive as they should be and poor configuration. Other than that, the basics suchs as X for punch, triangle for throw, and square for kick all work perfectly fine. This issue is mostly limited to the character speed.
As lovable as this genre is, I almost hate to give “Fighting Force” a poor review but the negatives stand out so much that it’s hard to avoid – The story isn’t all that, the levels are very limiting, the controls suck, there’s no replay value, and the characters lack difference and move too slow. As far as positives go, I can say that the game has a pretty cool soundtrack, the levels contain lots of scenery despite the linear play, and it gives you a taste of what games like “Final Fight” and “Streets of Rage” would be like in pure 3D.