Review by TKDBoy1889
"This turf has many flaws"
Rival Turf, known as Rushing Beat in Japan, was a beat 'em up sidescrolling game made in 1992 by Jaleco, no doubt an attempt to clone and cash in on the popularity the genre gained thanks to the game Final Fight. This game however, is not very well known, It's a more rare game that is hardly even mentioned unless by die hard beat 'em up fanatics. Is it a buried gem, or a game that should remain relatively unknown? The latter.
Decent enough graphics. The levels are all fairly well made and detailed. Nothing awe-inspiring in this game visually or anything that will stand out in your mind but the levels are made well enough. And half of the enemy sprites are as well. The half half though? They are very poorly designed. Not lack of detail, but more the fact that they look like a joke. We're beating up hardened criminals in this game, and while half of the enemies look the part the other half look like they're trying to find the circus or something.
Pretty much the same as the visual, albeit slightly better overall. None of the music in this game is memorable in the slightest, but it's decent and it fits the action atmosphere fairly well. It'll get you pumped a bit while playing the game, and then you'll forget it once you're done.
Sound effects are the same. Nothing to special, but nothing bad. They serve their purpose.
This is where the game just takes an immense downward spiral. At first glance it doesn't seem too bad. It's your typical sidescrolling action. You jump, you combo attack, you grab and throw, etc. Nothing very innovative or original but it seems all right, pretty fun. A good way to waste a little time if you like beating up videogame bad guys.
But a series of flaws and things that either bugged or incomplete just take it down. For one, I the hit detection in this game is VERY inconsistent. At times it's fine and then out of nowhere, you can't anything or grab anyone. I A couple of times I have literally walked through an enemy without grabbing them, or punched right through them while they were just standing there. And then, they manage to hit me. Very frustrating to say the least. I don't know if this is incomplete programming or a glitch but it is definitely a big issue that can ruin the fun.
This is especially apparent when the enemies are running around you, which they can do quite a bit. I actually think that when the enemies are moving fast they have invincibility frames, because attacks almost always just go right through them.
A wonky hit detection system can result in some cheap deaths or frustrating moments, but even without that there are some cheap moments. Some of the basics enemies you first encounter have moves that can take off around a third, sometimes more, of your health bar. And these are common enemies. It does not take many moves at all for you to die. And a lot of enemies have combos that seem unbreakable. They will hit you up to 4 or 5 times and you can't do anything, except hope your special works but when you're being hit it sometimes won't work. Top this with the bad hit detection and trust me, there will be many cheap moments.
Speaking of the special attack, that's another thing that can can be frustrating. Most games like this have a special attack that attacks all nearby enemies, usually a way to get out of tight spots at a slight cost of your health. Well this game's special doesn't cost any health, which is a plus. But you can't use it whenever you want. No, there is this meter that is measured by icons of your character and you need at least a few of these gained to use a special. When you don't have enough, you can't special. I think this meter fills up by fighting but I don't know. All I know is that the special is a move that should be available at all times, and here it is not.
One feature this game has that is kind of cool though is the angry mode. When this is turned on, after taking substantial damage your character starts glowing and is invincible for a very brief amount of time. They can also attack a bit faster. It's nothing that great but it is kinda cool.
Now, there are only two characters you can select in this game. One of them though, is somewhat bugged which makes him a pain to use. The skinny character in a jacket mainly has an issue with his combo attack. He does a double punch for some reason when you press attack just once, even though there is only one sound effect for both. The timing of his attack is also somewhat of a pain. Not only is it tricky to pull sometimes but the speed of his combo is strange. What this means is that his combo can sometimes be broken by the enemy your attacking cause they recover and can attack too fast sometimes. The bigger guy is really the better guy to use. Bugs aside neither are too different. I think the big guy is bit stronger and a bit slower but it's not that big of a difference.
I did not really enjoy this game, at all. It's a shame because I am a fan of this type of game and when I found this I was really hoping it would be like a buried gem forgotten among the massive SNES library. Sadly, it is not. It's just too cheap and glitch-y. The big thig is, it's just not very fun at all. If you took away all the cheapness and frustration, you'd have a sidescrolling fighter that is very typical and standard, but possibly enjoyable and satisfying. But those issues just make it a bad game.
I can only recommend this to people who really love this genre of game. And even then, only if you can get it at a cheap price.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/04/12
Game Release: Rival Turf! (US, 04/30/92)
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