Review by Al Borland

"This game makes baby Jesus cry"

Rival Turf is a beat-em-up game that was made by Jaleco in the early 90s. It's similar to games like Final Fight and Streets of Rage, only it sucks. The graphics are bad, the sound is bad, the music is average in some parts and bad in others, overall its a pretty crappy game. Now, on to the review...

Story: 1/10

This game takes the beat-em-up story in a new twist: you have to stop a gang! That's sarcasm in case you've never played another beat-em-up by the way. You either play as Jack Flak, a scrawny white guy that has exactly 153 pixels (yes, you can count them) or Oozie Nelson, who is obviously Mexican. Oozie is a cop, which is evident from his bright red uniform. I don't know who Jack is, but judging from his outfit probably an accountant. There is no story development.

Control: 7/10

The controls are very simple, with Y for punch, and B for jump. Throw in a couple of throws and a ground attack and you have a monstrous 6 attacks. For the most part it controls OK, but sometimes you won't be able to move when an enemy is kicking you.

Sound: 3/10

Well there's basically 2 sounds in the game- the ''contact'' sound that plays when you hit an enemy, and the overdone dying groan. Seriously, why do they scream for 3 seconds after they're dead? If you die, you don't start screaming like you just had a run in with a misfortunately placed pair of scissors. Besides those 2 sounds, there's an occasional breaking sound and I think there's a helicopter somewhere.

Music: 4/10

There's some decent songs, and there's some crappy songs. The problem is, the songs are short as hell and after hearing them 20 times (this takes about 3 minutes) you'll be turning off the volume. An interesting note is that the first level theme is remixed in Brawl Brothers, another game from Jaleco.

Graphics: 3/10

These are just plain bad, there's nothing very impressive in any of the levels. The background looks decent, but the characters look really bad. Jack Flak looks like someone threw a bunch of coloured pixels on a wall, and the enemies don't look much better.

Gameplay: 3/10

This is the most important part of a game, and it's also Rival Turf's worst feature. All you do is walk around fighting people until you reach a boss, then repeat that until the game is beat. These games all get repetitive eventually, but this game is ridiculous. There's 6 basic (and uninspired) types of enemies, which are: the fat guys, the strong guys, the skinny guys, the generic weak guys, the karate guys, and these weird big guys. 6 enemies doesn't sound like a lot, but they tried to make it better by making a different looking copy of each. For example, there's a skinny guy named Skinny (of course), and a guy with the same moves named Reggie. Also, the fighting is basic too, which doesn't help. There's a lot of cheap stuff too, like when the skinny guys kick you, you can't get away. This is almost a sure death, because they do 3 kicks that do a lot of damage.

In conclusion, this game is something that you shouldn't buy, unless you can get it for a good price. It isn't bad if you only play it every once in a while, but don't expect 1000 hours out of it.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 02/18/04


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