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Release year: 1992 | Players: 1-2 players | Developed by Jaleco

Rival Turf (SNES)

Rival Turf (AKA Brawl Brothers in Europe and Rushing Beat Ran (ラッシング・ビート 乱 複製都市 Rasshingu Bito Ran Fukusei Toshi in Japan) is a 2D horizontal side-scrolling beat ’em up video developed and by Jaleco for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1992.

Some critics have pointed out that this game was inspired by Capcom’s (at the time) famous arcade brawler, Final Fight. Was Rival Turf better than Capcom’s title? Short answer: No. Let us tell you why.

Rival Turf Cover Box

Rival Turf Cover (SNES)

The two characters that you can play as are Jack Flak and professional wrestler Oozie Nelson. Jack’s fast, but weak, and Oozie Nelson is powerful but slow. The simplicity of these characters seems dull now in the age of vast RPGs with multi-faceted, novelistic characters, but this kind of two dimensional characters were the norm back then.

Looking at it with the context of when it was made, it’s a fault that you’ll just need to get over. The generic backgrounds of the levels are easy to look at as the product of its time too. The element that Rival Turf fails on is the gameplay.

Since Rival Turf was inspired by an arcade game, the controls and gameplay were made for something you pay at a time with a coin. It’s simple, it’s quick, and you don’t really have to think about it all too much. You can do punches, jumping attacks, special moves, and grab-and-throws. This game also has a primitive version of the dash, where you can slide your character across the floor to swipe through multiple opponents at a time.

A great beat ’em up game for two

There’s also something called “Angry Mode,” which you can turn on in the options menu. It automatically triggers after you’ve taken enough damage and lets you become invincible and increases the amount of damage you make for a brief amount of time. Clearly, it’s not the most sophisticated and original list of tricks out there, which will leave gamers who wanted to be challenged disappointed.

If you and your buddy are more competitive than cooperative, the video game also has a mode where you can battle it out one-on-one. While it at least offers another option to play the game, this mode is a forgettable one, especially compared to other, more superior one-on-one fighting games out there. In fact, that can be said about the entirety of Rival Turf. It’s not terrible, but you’re better off playing something else.

Rival Turf game has been ported to SNES and Nintendo Virtual Console.

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Rival Turf - Super Nintendo (SNES)
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