December 26, 2010

Rival Schools: United By Fate

This game brings me back. Rival Schools was a classic fighter on the Sony Playstation. The game was released during the same time period as other Capcom fighting classics such as Dark Stalkers 3, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Star Gladiator. It was certainly one of the better fighting games on the Playstation console and has had some of its characters ported over to other Capcom fighting releases such as Capcom vs. SNK and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.

Rival Schools employed the same 3D sequences as Street Fighter EX@ and Street Fighter EX2. The levels and characters are all polygon based, which by todays standards are pretty jagged looking. During the height of this games time though, the graphics were very good.
There are a number of characters to choose from in the game and a lot of extra unlockable features. Rival Schools certainly does boast a larger character roster then we typically saw on many PSX games. An interesting feature of this series was the use of two separate game discs. There was an Arcade Disc which allowed players to unlock extra levels and characters. The second disk was called the Evolution Disc, allowing players to participate in mini games, view artwork, listen to soundtracks, and providing additional characters not found in the Arcade Disc. Another unique feature was the ability to swap the data back and forth between the two game discs from the save file on the memory card.

One of my favorite aspects from Rival Schools was the soundtrack. This game has an awesome music collection. As many of the Capcom fighters to tend to have pretty good music, the soundtrack from Rival Schools tends to stick out in my mind above many of the others.
The gameplay is a little different than the other Capcom vs. games in that it uses a 4-button instead of 6-button system. Hard and weak punch and hard and weak kick are the four main sets of buttons. The special attack system is very easy to utilize, often requiring the use of just one button. The tag team mode is also a very familiar feature to players of the other Capcom vs. games. With such a large roster to choose from, the team combinations are endless.
This game performs on a high level as a whole and was certainly at the top of its class back in the day. Even now, 10 years later, I still find myself popping this title into my original Sony Playstation and throwing down a few rounds with some of my favorite characters. For those who enjoy Capcom fighters, this game is definitely a must if you haven't already tried it.

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