Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge
Review by Emptyeye
"One of the great all-time button mashers"
Crash N' The Boys: Street Challenge was released by American Technos in 1992. This was something of a strange game. It took characters that VERY strongly resembled those in River City Ransom and threw them into a track meet of an unusual sort--one with no rules and regulations!!
Graphics:8/10- Well what do you expect? As mentioned above, the characters all have that stocky, short body-big head look found in River City Ransom. Everything is animated relatively well though, especially in Hammer Golf--it's hilarious to watch your guy go flying along with the hammer!! The backgrounds are pretty nice, and the characters wear interesting expressions to show pain--witness the ''I'm running out of Oxygen!!'' face in the Swimming event. Pretty good all around.
Sound: 6/10- Well it's good, but I have to deduct points because some of the themes aren't original--when you check the scoreboard between events for instance, it's EXACTLY the same music as was used when you entered your password (Amongst other places) in River City Ransom. Some of the sound effects were also recycled from RCR, including the Medal Collection effect.
As far as the music itself, it fits pretty well. It's relatively upbeat stuff, which fits with the rather comical nature of the game. The sound effects, unoriginal as they may be, are also well enough suited for the game.
Control:8/10- Well, the game is a button-masher through and through. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, a ''Button-Masher'' is a game that's all about pushing the buttons as fast as you can (Think of any of the numerous Track & Field-type games out there). So it is here. The controls do a good job for a button-mashing game, and admittedly I can't think of any better control scheme for it. Nonetheless, some people will be put off by it.
Gameplay:10/10- Well, this is certainly the most unusual Track & Field game I've ever seen! There are 5 events. The first is what would seem to be your pedestrian 400-meter hurdle event. Oh no. To start, the hurdles are one of 4 different sizes. Secondly, you can bash into these hurdles and pick up their remains to throw at your opponents. Thirdly, jumping and spin-kicking your opponent is allowed and encouraged.
Then comes Hammer Golf. This is what the name would imply, as you have to get the hammer in the hole (Don't worry, it automatically rolls in when you're close) in as few shots as possible, while contending with bunkers, water hazards and the like.
Third is swimming in the canal, where you attempt to pummel your opponent into submission, thus leaving him a drowned mass in the pool (Well you know what I mean).
Then comes Rooftop Jumping, which is pretty self-explanatory, except that you have you use such things as unicycles and poles to jump between the buildings. Fun.
Finally, there's the Judo event, which is kind of misleading. While it's true that a majority of the big damage moves are throws, punches and kicks--not a part of actual judo--are in fact used. Strange.
In between each event, you can buy various items to help you out for the next event, such as a fish that will periodically chomp your opponent in the Swimming event. All in all, it's a very original game.
Story:8/10- Well it may not be very original, but it's pretty cool. Basically, Crash Cooney and Southside High have swept the All-City Track Meet. Crash's rival and rich snob Todd Thornley, at the request of his also-rich snob of a father, challenges Crash and Southside to a no holds-barred track meet of a different kind. To make sure Crash doesn't win, Thornley (And his school, Washington High) recruits two other schools (Lincoln and Jefferson) to assist him. As a further backup plan, Todd's father--also named Todd--puts together a Super Team from Thornley Enterprises employees--Team Thornley. Quite cool, even if it is sort of goofy.
Challenge: 8/10- The game is rather inconsistent with its difficulty. Some events are easy with the right item--the Sonic Spin should help you to easily win the Hammer Throw--while others are downright impossible without spending a bunch of medals (Which ultimately determine your finishing place), such as rooftop jumping. All in all though, the game is a good challenge, though those with fast fingers will have a distinct advantage.
Replay Value: 5/10- The game does have one flaw, however. With only 5 events, the game can get old before too long, especially once you win the tournament. Still, its comical nature and the fact that it can be played with multiple players will make it a decent party game.
Overall: 9/10- This is a very original game from Technos, and its minor flaws can be overlooked, in particular if you like games that require button-mashing. The game can be had relatively cheaply at your local used video game store, so pick it up today for some American Technos fun!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/30/00, Updated 12/30/00
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