Double Impact ups the nostalgia to eleven, bringing the shady streets of Metro City to the HD generation complete with grimy scan lines and the bulge of glass. This is classic arcade gaming as you may or may not remember it. Dirty, and all about hitting the punch button as quickly as you can.
A Final Fight HD Remix would not be as good as the presentation techniques used in Final Fight: Double Impact. Instead of trying to make the games look better, Capcom's instead worked on making both Final Fight and Magic Sword look considerably worse. And they've achieved that by providing filter options that make it appear as though the games are being played on an old-school arcade cabinet. The bulge of the arcade unit's glass pitches the screen in a bent manner, while the introduction of scan-lines and an over-saturated glow enhance the appearance. The screen is surrounded by the rendering of a grimy looking arcade unit to complete the almost "first-person"-esque aesthetic. The effect truly looks fantastic for both Final Fight and Magic Sword, but if it's not for you there are alternative rendering options to choose from.
Neither Final Fight nor Magic Sword are particularly outstanding experiences anymore. The gameplay boils down to the simple execution of punching and jumping, with Final Fight taking place across a y-plane allowing you to move deeper into the scene. Final Fight hasn't aged quite aswell as Magic Sword, but both feel particularly clunky and slow in their style. That said, these titles are classic pieces of gaming heritage, and it's hard not to feel a pang of nostalgia playing through them. The addition of online multiplayer co-op and leader-boards enhances both experiences beyond their original charms. While neither game is likely to draw you in for longer than 2-3 hours, simply experiencing the classic sound-effects and character design of both games will provide more than enough entertainment to justify the game's asking price.
In addition to trophies, both Final Fight and Magic Sword have separate "Vault" challenges, which provide various sub-challenges throughout each game. These include completing levels within certain time-limits and hitting various score banners. Completed "Vault" challenges unlock classic pieces of artwork from the packaged games. A nice little extra for fans of classic Capcom content.
Newcomers coming into either Final Fight or Magic Sword are not going to come away immediately impressed. Neither game has aged particularly well, with Final Fight in particular feeling slow, clunky and imprecise. That said, we got the distinct impression Final Fight: Double Impact was not necessarily designed with newcomers in mind. Right down to the grimy, old-school presentation and awesome cabinet menus - this is clearly a package for those who grew up on Final Fight rather than God Of War.
Though Final Fight: Double Impact's packaged contents may not be the definitive brawlers they once were - the titular Final Fight is slow and the lesser-known Magic Sword is clunky - Capcom's ensured that this PSN release is a perfect slice of nostalgia, with added polish in the right places.