Years later I can see that what was missing is that frenetic 'controlled burst' button mashing combined with the technical depth of the gameplay – you'll miss it if you're just looking for a button masher, but there's a lot under the hood that makes the arcade the game it is. It has a core that is similar to Street Fighter 2 – timed combos that are totally simplified for Final Fight, frames of invulnerability built in to certain moves and a great move set. But 6 months just isn't enough time to get all of that in, especially if you were not used to the game in the first place.
That really sums it up. I always think its absoultely messy how you guys had to port games without any support from the original developers. The more I read about making games at those times, at least on Europe, the more I understand how everything was borderline amateurish. Not that the programmers weren't talented, but "the guys on suits" surely had no idea of what they were doing. And it's amazing that even being like that, Europe had a huge flux of awesome games back at that time.