Review by Psycho Penguin

"Yeah, there's a reason to play this."

Maybe someone just decided one day that there was really a need for 200 side scrolling fighters on the Super Nintendo, I don't know. All I know is the simple fact that there were way too many of them released for the console. Some of them were quite good, but on the other hand, a lot of them were decent. The select few of them were the kind I'd never play again in my entire life, even if I was forced to.

Rival Turf is one of those games. There really is no point to this game. The gameplay is extremely slow, as it literally takes you minutes to get through a screen. The game just really doesn't have much high points to it, and when compared to the oh so many amount of high quality side scrolling fighting games out there, you will see the lack of quality. Don't even waste your time with this disappointment of a game.

The game runs extremely slow, so slow, in fact, that you will want to give up playing after only a few minutes. You will see yourself taking many minutes just to complete a screen, and the amount of time it takes to complete a stage will be mind blowing sometimes. Your characters walk extremely slow, and the enemies seem to get dumber and dumber as time goes on. I swear, one time I walked left, and the enemy walked up to me, stood there, and tried to punch at me. All I had to do was move one step to the left to avoid his devastating attack. And this was in the third stage!

You get special attacks, but it's not like you are ever going to use them, as your normal attacks will kill pretty much any enemy in the game. About the only time you need to wake up is during the boss fights. Of course, even those are more of an exercise in frustration than anything else. You will soon discover that most of the game is really quite boring. Go right, kill stupid enemies with slow attacks, go right, kill more enemies, continue. It's like a day of watching Barney, only you can't pretend you're high.

The stupidest thing about this game is the ''creative'' stage designs. I swear, every stage seems to be exactly the same. No matter what the locale is, the game just has the same boring feeling to it no matter what stage you are in. The fact remains that the enemies in each stage never really change, only the amount of them does. Wow, let's go from gang infested Los Angeles to another random gang infested town. Then let's go to the forest! Yes, the FOREST. Did the game really need to put in a forest stage just to appease the three people that need to have a forest stage in every damn side scrolling fighter ever released?

Rival Turf certainly won't win any awards for the gameplay, and the graphics are (not so surprisingly) on the same level. The enemy designs are some of the most poor I have ever seen in any video game, ever. They're stale, redundant, and just plain retarded at times. Yes, kids, if you've ever had the dream of seeing gang member after gang member, then this is YOUR game. And really, who doesn't have that dream? The character designs are just as boring. Thankfully, the backgrounds aren't half bad, they're unique and colorful and overall very nicely done. The animation is quite poor, and may explain why the game seems to run so damn slowly at times.

Even the ''soundtrack'', if you can call it that, disappoints. There is definitely a variety of music. Too bad most of the music gets on my nerves, especially the second stage theme. That is one of the most annoying and worst video game songs I have ever heard. We're talking Hydlide-levels of crappiness here, folks. Yes, the music is particuarly annoying, and the sound effects really don't help the sound category much at all. There is a severe dearth of sound effects, and those present will annoy you more than impress you. I don't even know why they bothered to put sound in the game if they were just going to make it this crappy. Don't they have playtesters or something?

Yes, there really is no reason to play this game. You can beat it within an hour if the slow gameplay doesn't get to you. Then there is no reason to say ''oh, that was so fun, I want to play it again!'' The whole ''experience'' is quite poor, and the fact that there are really no secrets to speak of really does not help the replay value at all. However, even if the game had a Final Fantasy level of secrets, it still wouldn't matter much in terms of replay value. That's how poor the game really is. It is totally not fun to play, and will drive you insane within minutes of playing, much less hours.

This is a pretty challenging game, I will admit. However, it is only challenging if you're not familar with the Super Nintendo controller, and push the wrong buttons. You will find some semblance of challenge this way. If you actually play the game normally the way it is meant to be played, you will find it extremely easy and boring. The enemies are some of the stupidest I have ever seen, as rarely will they actually do an attack that causes you to go ''Oh, they might actually kill me!'' Most of the time will be spent beating up enemies who really have no chance in hell of defeating you. There is also a lack of obstacles, so don't expect the enviornments to play any sort of challenge.

Rival Turf is the definition of how not to do a side scrolling game. With no innovative elements to speak of, and a surprisingly easy challenge, there is no reason to play it. You will find out if you play the game that there is just not a whole lot of depth to it, and with all the quality side scrolling fighting games out there, why waste your time on a crappy game like this? Play Sonic Blastman 2 instead.

Good Points
-The game can be turned off.
-There is a little fun to be found.
-Uh, the backgrounds aren't as bad as the rest of the game.

Not So Good Points
-Little kids have died just from the sheer horror of getting this game.
-The whole gaming experience is flat out boring.
-The graphics, music, and sound effects are all sucky.
-The controls could use a lot of work.

I Run Down The Game... Psycho Penguin Style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 4.5/10
Music - 2.1/10
Sound Effects - 2.3/10
Controls - 3.4/10
Gameplay - 2.1/10
Replay Value - Below Average
Challenge - Way Below Average
Game Length - I don't know, what's your level of tolerance?
Is This Game Worth A Purchase? - Have you been paying attention?
Overall - 1.8/10

The Bottom Line
With so many quality games out there, don't even bother with this one. You'll be glad you didn't waste your time.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 01/06/02


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