"I said it once and I'll say it again: this game is a truckload of garbage."

My first review for this sorry excuse for a game was really bad. This is why I decided to update it.

Allow me to begin by saying that I have played enough beat 'em up games to give a solid opinion about Rival Turf. Let's see: I have played arcade classics such as Final Fight, the original Double Dragon games, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Knights of the Round, and others such as Vendetta, Undercover Cops, the Ninja Turtles Games, King of Dragons, The Punisher, etc, and I have enjoyed most of them. I have also played their console conversions, as well as other games such as the Super Nintendo's Super Double Dragon and Sonic Blastman saga; the Genesis's Golden Axe and Streets of Rage series, and the Playstation's Fighting Force 1 & 2 (reviewed here on Gamefaqs), as well as Gekido (excellent game, by the way), and Urban Chaos, among others. Oh, yeah, and I have also played the other Jaleco beat 'em up titles for the SNES: Brawl Brothers and The Peacekeepers. So, I know what I'm saying when I state that Rival Turf sucks. And again I state it, in capital letters: RIVAL TURF IS VIDEO GAME GARBAGE. On with the review.

Who the hell designed the characters for Rival Turf? They are among the lamest and most incoherent of any game of this genre, with about three frames of animation each. First, the ''heroes'': Jack Flak, the requisite fast, agile type. He is a rip-off of Axel Stone, who, himself, is a rip-off of Cody (at least Axel is still a cool rip-off). Flak is a nerdy-looking guy in tight jeans and short jacket. His moves are the usual stuff for a character of his sort: boxing techniques, shoulder throws, flying kicks; you get the idea. Next, there is the token big, strong man with the wrestling moves: Oozie Nelson. He is -get this- a cop in a red uniform [groan]. He is also supposed to be Mexican. Riiiight. With that lousy name? Anyway, Nelson is the sorriest of the two leads. His moves are extremely lame. He punches like a sissy and he isn't even that strong. Think Mike Haggar played by the guy who played Screech in ''Saved by the Bell''. THE PAIN!!!. But the worst characters are the enemies. There is an Andore wannabe named Arnold, a skinny idiot named... uh... Skinny, and even a boss impersonating Vega from Street Fighter. Even worse is the first boss, dressed in Arabian clothes, and another guy wearing a Mexican wrestler's mask. JESUS CHRIST NOOOOOOO!!!! Also, their names are so uninspired that you can't help thinking that the designers were completely out of ideas when they decided to name their characters. At least there is a code in the game that lets you rename them. The stages are forgettable: the stereotype slums, skyscraper and bus levels. Yipee. and let's not forget the stadium ripped off from Streets of Rage 2. Oh yeah, and the forest. Let's take the brawling to the forest! WHAT THE HELL WERE THE PROGRAMMERS AT JALECO SMOKING???

SOUND 1/10
One of the Rival Turf's worst part is the audio. The music is so boring and unfitting that I think I dozed off at least twice before I got to the third stage. Instead of something in the line of the amazing techno soundtrack from Streets of Rage 2, what you get is some pseudo-jazz tunes that completely waste the SNES sound processor's capabilities. The punch and kick sounds are hilarious; they sound like you are stomping on a bag full of tomatoes (''SQUISH-SQUISH''). and the grunts from the characters are pitiful: they are just high and low tone variants of the same expression: ''oaaagh''. When some punk dies, he screams some half an hour after they have fallen down.

I give this section a 2 because of the ''angry mode'' that you are given the choice to enable before playing. Basically this mode toggles the option to become pissed off after taking several hits in a row. Then you become super strong and super fast for a limited time, and you can deal huge amounts of pain on your enemies... if you can hit them. You see, the controls are so awkward and unresponsive that even landing a single jab becomes a chore because all of your enemies have a longer reach than you do, so no matter what you do, you always lose. Actually, you can get more response from the controls in Rival Turf if you just lay the controller on the floor and start kicking it like a soccer ball. EXCELLENT! WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!!!! UNRESPONSIVE CONTROLS!!!! WHY NOT MAKE THIS GAME SUPER-SCOPE COMPATIBLE????

Garbage, pure garbage. Imagine the biggest mountain of garbage, complete with flies and maggots and vomit-inducing stench, and put a label on it that reads ''only for Super Nintendo'', and you get Rival Turf, one of the worst video games ever. Kudos to Jaleco for their effort in making a classic that ranks almost as low as Pit Fighter and the Nintendo 64 Superman game. I think the people responsible for this travesty of a game should hang their heads in shame, along with the pothead who designed the box cover art and the two starving models who lent their mugs for such art. If you want to try and play it, fine,but don't say I didn't warn you.

Reviewer's Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

Originally Posted: 01/28/02, Updated 11/24/03

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