Rival Schools is Capcom's arcade 3D fighting game that was well-received by gamers, in spite of its low-hype, low-key status. Now it's quickly making its way to the PlayStation, and it may have what it takes to uproot Street Fighter EX Plus a as the 3D Capcom fighter favorite.
The game's cast is made up of 14 all-new characters (no Ken and Ryu, believe it or not). They are divided among five high schools, making four teams of three and one team of two. You pick one high school and two of its members to fight with (one main fighter and one substitute).
Think of this game as an excellent mix of SF EX Plus a and X-Men vs. Street Fighter (except you can only sub in your teammate after the fight...for the next round). Your main character has all the Capcom frills: special moves, chain combos (like in Star Gladiator or SF Alpha), counters, air blocking, throws and super combos. You can also call in your teammate for special team combos. These are both offensive and defensive in nature. For example, one team combo may be a Double Spiraling Dragon Punch, another may heal or pump up the super meter of, the current fighter.
Although this game has a fresh look and feel to it, it's still a Street Fighter game at heart. If you're a die-hard SF fan (like many of us at EGM still are), and you missed this game in the arcades, make sure you don't overlook Rival Schools. It may just surprise you.
- MANUFACTURER - Capcom
- THEME - Fighting
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
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We first previewed Capcom's newest 3D fighter, Rival Schools, back in issue #107. Now that the game is more complete, we thought we'd give you an update on this awesome game that's part Street Fighter EX, part X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Unfortunately, our newest beta still has Japanese text, but you can still get a good idea of what the game's about from our screenshots.
In Japan, students and teachers from five rival high schools must "investigate" some mysterious kidnappings. In order to do so, they must fight other students and teachers until they can figure out what happened (great game, lame premise). You pick two of the 24 characters (16 regular, four secret from the arcade version and four new hidden fighters), one of whom is your main fighter and the other one your partner (see sidebar).
The fighters' moves are all Street Fighter in nature (i.e., if you can do a fireball and a Dragon Punch, you can play Rival Schools), except the game only uses four main attack buttons: two punches and two kicks. You can throw, counter, juggle, side-step and build up a super meter to do team combos (done by hitting corresponding punch and kick buttons together) or super combos (generally done with a double fireball or Dragon Punch motion).
So what's new? Well, it looks like Capcom has learned a lesson from the way Namco does business. With Rival Schools, instead of getting a straight arcade to home port, we're going to be treated to something extra, a whole disc of extras to be exact (Namco is renowned for putting bonus features in their arcade ports--see Point Blank or Tekken 3).
This second disk, called the Evolution Disk, is packed with new goodies. It has a Cooperation Mode, a two-player tag-team game where your partner controls the "Team Up Technique" and takes over if you swap characters in between rounds. It also has a School Life Mode, an adventure game where you can create your own student. The Evolution Disk is also loaded with little fun items like minigames and Tournament Modes. This underrated fighter didn't make it big in the arcades due to low distribution and low sales, so these extras may prove vital in getting gamers to take a look at Rival Schools.
So if you're looking for a Capcom 3D fighter to tie you over until Street Fighter EX 2, give Rival Schools a shot. The 24 characters and new modes should keep you busy for quite a while.
Rival Schools is Capcom's answer for all of us critics who are tired of 15 million Street Fighter sequels. Funny thing is, Rival Schools plays like most SF games (if you can do a Dragon Punch or fireball, you'll feel right at home). Despite the obvious similarities. Rival Schools has enough going for it to let it stand on its own two feet. The characters and most of their moves are entirely new (with the exception of guest star Sakura). The team-up feature, although not quite as cool as tag teaming in the Vs. games, still adds spice to the standard one-on-one fighting game formula. Did I mention Rival Schools is full of technique? Ditch 'N Spins. Throw Escapes. Tardy Counters. Lightning Crushes ... Even though Rival Schools is of the "flashy" variety (meaning 10-hit Super Dragon Punch combos and the such), timing and hardcore technique are still key. A person could spend a heck of a long time mastering this game. A flashy technical fighter? I'm sold. But wait, there's more ... Capcom has given us a ton of extras: over 20 secret characters, hidden minigames, a very cool graded Lesson Mode and more. It's very, very unfortunate Capcom left out the Edit Fighter/ School Life Mode (due to trans-lation/timing issues), but the package is still packed with enough goodies to make it worth your hard-earned bucks.
Rival Schools is one of the most stylish, fun-to-play fighting games I've played in a long time. Even if it were just a direct arcade port, I'd be satisfied, but the Evolution Disc makes it all that much better. The minigames are a blast, and all of the little extras and cool options will keep you occupied for weeks. It's too bad they had to cut some stuff from the U.S. version (lame), but what's there is still highly entertaining. Great game.
There's something about this game that is so incredibly cool that I find myself utterly addicted to it. Maybe it's the fact that underneath all of the flash, showy effects and gorgeous graphics it's still an extremely satisfying fighting game with great control and plenty of depth. Even without all of the extra features it would be a fab game, but with them, it's guaranteed to keep fighting game fans satisfied post-Tekken 3.
Like all Capcom fighters these days, Rival Schools blends technique from various other titles and molds it into a style all its own. The outrageous attacks mask a game engine that is loaded with technique and combo possibilities. There are lots of secrets to unlock and plenty of team-up attacks to try. The character designs (which can be viewed later in the game) are among some of the best Capcom has done.
Rival Schools on the PlayStation gets bonus credit for being more than the usual run-of-the-mill arcade port. In addition to being a wickedly fun fighting game, the PlayStation version throws in a ton of extra features and secrets that should keep you hooked even if you've already mastered the arcade version. Who says going back to school isn't fun?
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Rival Schools combines key elements of Street Fighter Alpha's fighting engine--air blocking, counters, and super moves (called Burning Vigor Attacks in Rival Schools)--with Street Fighter EX Plus's polygon graphics. The result is a visually smooth and intense fighting game that has enough familiar game mechanics to keep veterans of the genre thrashing each other for hours, yet is friendly enough to give newcomers a fighting chance. Rival Schools takes an extra "step" with a sidestep feature that allows you to circle around an opponent, thereby stretching the limitations of the 2D gameplay.
Rival's lineup features 20 teen fighters from various high schools...but don't let their ages mislead you. These rough-and-tumble battlers can execute several special attacks and techniques. The coolest feature in the game is the Team-Up Technique. Before each battle you pick two fighters, but you can't switch them during a fight (like in X-Men vs. Street Fighter); instead, depending on who your partner is, they can only briefly enter the fray to either restore lost health, recharge your Vigor Bar, or help you pound on your opponent. However--win or lose--you can change fighters between rounds. Excellent controls keep the fierce action moving and allow for easy double-digit combos--including air-juggles, linking moves, two-in-ones, and more. The only drawback is that the controls are too loose, making it easy for a beginner to defeat a skilled opponent by just mashing buttons.
Fighters range from overly cute (Hinata, Akira, and the very bouncy Tiffany) to buff and brutal (Roy, Batsu, and Boman) to "What-the-hell-is-that?" (Edge and Can), and each has a distinctive fighting style. But the lineup isn't limited to the student body; several faculty members, including a gym instructor and a school principal, gleefully join the melee. The graphics bring the fighters to life, but occasional blocky polygons and breakup occur, which distracts from the fighting--especially when big brawlers bash it out.
Rival Schools for the PlayStation, however, rivals the arcade version thanks to several additional options and secrets, including Training and Lesson modes, and multiplayer Tournament, Cooperative, and League play. You can polish your combos in Practice mode, but the real grabber is the Lesson mode. Here, you have your own private tutor who teaches you basic game techniques step-by-step. Your performance is evaluated on a report card, and secrets can be unlocked depending on your grades. Who says video games dont make for better students?
Instead or playing Rival Schools, you could go outside and play some sports, but why bother? Among Rival's many secrets are hidden baseball and soccer games. In Target mode, you kick targets with a soccer ball; in Home Run mode, you have 10 chances to see ' how far you can hit a baseball. Even if you aren't sports fan, the mini-games are a blast to play and very addicting.
Rival Schools is more than an excellent arcade port--its bonuses and secrets place it on the fighting-game honor roll. Here's one title that no fighting-game fan should be without this fall. Getting beaten up after school is fun for a change.
- To play as Hinata In her gym clothes, finish a one-player game as Hinata on any skill setting. (You can also unlock a hidden outfit for Tiffany using the same method.)
- In Target mode, bounce the ball off the rim of the goal net to hit a target. If you do, you'll be awarded bonus points.
- Use the Team-Up Technique wisely. If you miss your opponent, you will be left wide open for an attack or combo.
- Stand over domed opponents, hold Down, and tap Hard Punch or Hard Kick.
- In the one-player game, you must choose two fighters from the same school in order to get their"full"story.
- Be careful if you get in a projectilethrowing war, not all projectile attacks cancel each other out
- In Home Run mode, swing the bat when the shadow of the ball Is aligned with the front line of the batter's box.
The fighting backgrounds are simple and colorful, and all the fighters look great. The only blemishes on the graphics report card are occasional breakup and distortion.
Responsive controls keep you in firm command of your character. However, it's too easy to succeed by simply mashing buttons.
The music and sound effects are excellent. Kudos to Capcom for leaving intact the Japanese character voices that fit the game so well.
Not only is Rival Schools a very solid fighting game, but the extras that round out the package also make it a top offering. Rival Schools should be on any fighting gamer's "must-have" list.
Rival Schools looks like another perfect arcade-to-home translation from Capcom. Fourteen fighters from three schools--including a bouncy cheerleader and a tough-ass principal--battle it out. The graphics are excellent, controls are near-perfect, and the splashy two-on-one attacks are creative and humorous.
Rival Schools is the newest Capcom fighting game, mixing the polygonal-graphics engine of Street Fighter EX Plus with the tag-team fighting style of X-Men vs. Street Fighter. In Rival Schools, you choose a team of two fighters--however, instead of changing between fighters at will during a match, your partner is only allowed into the fight for super combination moves called Team-Up Techniques. There are 14 characters in the regular lineup, including a cheerleader and a school principal, but several hidden characters can also be found, such as Street Fighter Alpha veteran Sakura. Check out the rivalry when school opens in September. For a complete move list on the arcade version of Rival Schools, see "The Fighter's Edge," this issue.
Polygon fighting gets fast and furious in Rival Schools, a 3D fighting game with a Street Fighter EX Plus look. Rival embellishes the standard fighting-game format by allowing you to pick a team of two fighters. At certain points during the match, your brawling partner can be summoned onscreen to combine their powers and perform a Team-Up Technique that'll put a serious hurtin' on your opponent. Aside from this new feature, Rival is filled with combos, two-in-ones, and counter moves that should keep fighting fanatics bustin' heads for hours. Rival Schools' ass-whuppin' session begins this September