Throw together lame dialogue, repetitive gameplay, poor fighting mechanics and a dictionary of foul language and you have Final Fight: Streetwise.
The story focuses on Kyle Travers as he follows leads in an attempt to help his brother, original Final Fight character Cody Travers.
We begin in a fight club named, well, Fight Club (a prime example of the level of creativity that went into this game), where you take control of Cody. After winning your fight, you part ways with Kyle.
Later, at the local watering hole, some goons attack, and Cody is kidnapped.
Thus begins Kyle's journey through the streets, meeting pimps, pushers and porn dealers along the way. Some people have information that sends him to the next destination, moving the story along. Others give Kyle side missions, such as getting a purse back from thieves. No matter what the mission, it almost always involves finding a certain person and engaging in a fight.
There are other side missions that run the gamut from boring to stupid. An informant promises to help, but first you have to run around the restaurant and stomp on roaches. Just what you'd expect from a hard-core fighting game, right?
Streetwise bills itself as a fighting game in a free-roaming environment. On a basic level, that's true. There is fighting, and you can wander a few streets, but there's nothing new - or interesting - here.
For a game in which fighting is the main objective, the beat-'em-up part is very basic - hit, kick, block, use weapon. You can take the time to learn a few combos, but they're not necessary. In most cases, a 4-year-old randomly pushing buttons could get the job done.
Between the fights are cut scenes with some of the worst voice acting and gratuitous cursing ever.
For future reference, dialogue should not be based on bad 1980s action films. Lots of foul language does not equal gritty, hard-core action. The dreaded F-word is used several times in the first few seconds.
Children should definitely stay away from Final Fight: Streetwise. Actually, that's good advice for everybody.
Reach Dustin Turner at (706) 828-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Final Fight: Streetwise'
Platforms: Xbox and PlayStation 2
The Specs: Free-roaming fighting game; developed by Capcom; $39.99
Rated: M, for Mature (for violence and lots of bad language)
The verdict: 0 out of * * * * *