October 03, 2010
Rival Turf is a beat-em-up style game that is actually the first part of a trilogy series. The gameplay is nothing to get overly worked up about. That being said, I still find myself popping this one into my SNES every once in a while and running through the 6 levels. Looking back on in, I can remember renting this game countless times when I was much younger and always dying about half way in. Now that I'm in my 20's, going back and beating a title like this one feels like sweet justice.
As I mentioned, the gameplay is nothing special, but sometimes simple is the most entertaining. So are you ready for the complicated controls? You basically get 4 buttons, (1) Punch/Kick; (2) Jump; (3) Special Attack; and (4)Run. Pretty easy right? What tends to make this game so hard is something that many SNES games were notorious for, the computer is cheap. That's right, the computer can sometimes be totally unaffected by an attack, or basically you pass right through them like a ghost while trying to lay a beating on them. Even with this small detail, the game itself is still fun and mindless. There is enough of a challenge to have enjoyment, but not so much that you feel like you are taking on a second job when you play.
The character selection is even more limited than the controls. There are 2 characters to choose from. Jack Flak (A skinny white cop who uses a lot of fast kicks and punches) and Oozie Nelson (A black cop who has power wrestling moves). I tend to find myself using Jack when I play through. Mostly because his character just looks cooler. Oozie has a vague resemblance to one of the Village People. The characters do tend to be a little mismatched in terms of design and how they go together in the game. There doesn't look like a tonne fo harmony between character design overall.
I won't go into graphics much because if you have played any beat-em-ups on SNES before like Turtles in Time, then you should know by now that they all pretty much look the same. 2D platform scroller with pixelated sprites.
The story line is essentially non-existent. To tell the truth, I have been playing this game over for about 13 years now, and it wasn't until just now when I read the description for the game on Wikipedia that I learned what the whole plot was. So overall, this game is just good basic fun to pass the time when you don't want to get too invested in a game.