Final Fight: Streetwise was the second attempt at a Final Fight game on the PlayStation 2. The first Final Fight project for this system was known as Final Fight: Seven Sons, but it was never released. The camera in Seven Sons imitated the "railcam" system, and the aesthetics were similar to those of the original game and its SNES sequels. The game had cel shaded graphics.
One planned playable character is showcased in the trailer, but is not named. Given the overall design as well as the usage of electrical attacks, this fighter may have been intended as either an updated version of Dean or, at the very least, a new character who mimicked his combat style, similar to how Maki and Carlos were otherwise separate individuals whose fighting abilities mirrored those of Guy and Cody, respectively.
The developers were told that the game was not visually suited to its core audience, but the message was misinterpreted as a complete dislike for the original concept, thus leading to a title that followed in the footsteps of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.