To be honest, there’s something comforting about a game that knows exactly what it is and who it’s aimed at. Final Vendetta doesn’t pull any punches: there’s been a kidnapping, and the title’s trio of rough-and-ready heroes are here to save the day. Replace notorious gang Syndic8 with the Mad Gear and you’ve basically got a beat-for-beat retelling of Final Fight. “She’s my friend, too – count me in!”
As opposed to the mean streets of Metro City, you’ll be battling through an Americanised incarnation of London, including seedy East-end pubs and glitzy celebrity clubs. Playing as either student Claire Sparks, bare-knuckle brawler Duke Sancho, or ex-Canadian wrestler Miller T. Williams (all brilliant names!), you’ll brawl your way through vibrant pixel art backdrops, before butting heads with hard-as-nails bosses.
This game is punishing, with even easy mode only giving you seven lives to work through the hour-long campaign. A block button adds nuance to the combat, while a special meter allows you to perform those classic space-clearing Final Fight manoeuvres without taking damage when filled. But even with these enhanced capabilities, the release really leans into its retro inspiration, with some opponents demanding flawless execution in order to overcome. For this reason, you’re probably going to find yourself seriously struggling to see through the paper-thin story – although local multiplayer support can ease the burden.
Each character has a unique moveset and is snappily animated, while the overall presentation is clean and chunky – there’s even a scorching soundtrack by British electronic duo Utah Saints, which can feel ever so slightly out of place but is bangin’ nonetheless. Survival and Boss Rush options round out what is, effectively, a lightweight package – but if you’re the kind of person that loves to learn and master levels, then you’ll find ample longevity here.
Final Vendetta wears its heart on its biceps: it’s a burly and brutal beat-‘em-up that serves as a love-letter to the 16-bit greats from a bygone era. Ass whoopins have never felt quite this good.