Friday, April 8, 2011

Arch Rivals (1990)

Arch Rivals for the NES
Why hello there audience! What are you up to? That's cool, same here! What? You think I don't know what you are doing at the moment? Fine, you called my bluff.

So my buddy brought down 17 NES games for us to play in our dorm room. Out of our new collection of games, he was adamant that the one I absolutely had to play first was Arch Rivals. He didn't tell me anything about how to play or really anything about the game. He just told me "there are only two buttons, it can't be that hard to learn."

Game Summary: So it starts off with you choosing from a bunch of different players to be the one you control. I, of course, chose the guy named Mohawk because he obviously seemed like the coolest and most badass there. I won the jump ball and started running down the court when *BAM* I got punched in the face! My friend started cracking up laughing, ran down the court and dunked it. He then explained that the referee is extremely short-sighted so he doesn't call any fouls. That means A is shoot and B is punch. I quickly learned the controls and it became an extremely intense game, with Mohawk running around punching Tyrone, just to turn around and get hit by Tyrone's teammate. On a side note, to those of you who have played this, is there a way to change the teams playing or will it always be Chicago vs LA?
Getting punched in the face never gets old

Throughout the next 20 minutes or so of game time, I experienced one of the most intense and fun sports games I have yet to play. The simplicity of it made it so that a new player, like me, could pick it up instantly and still have a good chance of beating someone who has played it for awhile. After every shot made, there is a cheesy cut scene to either a cheerleader, some people just sitting there silently or a coach yelling at the team. There also was a great deal of frustration, as apparently your team can miss 5 dunks in a row, just to have the other team make a half court shot...

The real challenge came when I played against the computer though. I tried at least 4 different times and was completely slaughtered by it every time. They always made every shot and it always punched me square in the face no matter where I was. I know that if I gave it enough time, I could get good enough to beat the computer, but the majority of the fun in this game comes from playing with a friend and laughing for hours about how ridiculous it is.
My Buddy thought this guy would sound like Elmo

What I liked: Obviously I loved that you can run around punching your opponents to get the ball. Actually, they don't even have to have the ball, you can just run up to your buddy and continually punch him and keep him on the ground. I also liked how the game is simple enough to allow people pick up on it instantly, yet it is still challenging enough to keep it interesting. Also I personally liked how cheesy and ridiculous the announcer and coaches are. I was on the floor laughing several times because my friend would mimic what he thought their voices would sound like.

What I hated: The single player part of the game is extremely difficult, and after playing with a friend, I never wanted to play against the computer again. Then again, it may be just me complaining as a newer generation gamer who likes the difficulty to be that where I still stand a chance.
Just before I shattered the backboard!

Overall Impression: I absolutely loved this game when you play with a friend, and would go as far so say it's the most fun I've had with a sports game ever. The basketball part of game is actually very good and can be very intense if you and your friend get pretty into it. The "physical" part of the game is extremely enjoyable and funny (there is nothing like holding B, charging your punch and then hitting the enemy in the face - it is just so rewarding!) Overall, this game had my dormmates and I laughing nonstop every game we played while still being extremely competitive, which is something that I had yet to experience in a game yet.