[EXPRESSO] Rival Turf SNES | Dashing Beat

So, Nintendo opened its maw again to spit out another meager assortment of old titles for the NES and SNES Online services, but this time it did add Rival Turf, as in the localized version of the first Rushing Beat, so i guess it’s time to complete my trifecta of reviews for the Rushing Beat trilogy, with the others being localized as Brawl Brothers and The Peacekeepers respectively.

Like The Peacekeepers the throwing and suplex moves are so overpowered that you’ll rely too much on those, especially since the enemies knows this as well, and can deal way too much damage even without using throws, made worse by the fact this is the only beat ‘em up i know that has “recovery damage”, as in you lose life even by getting up from getting knocked down.

At least it works for both you and the enemies, but still, weird.

Everything else is crappy bootleg Final Fight, from the bootleg enemies with smaller sprites, the iffy collision detection, the punches and moves lacking much “oomph”. The only difference being the “run” button which allows to also execute dash moves, despite the hilarity of the character not so much running (there’s no running animation per se) but “walking-gliding” at a faster pace.

It’s also such a blatant rip-off of Final Fight you really have to compare it to that game, and its own only reason of being was the 2 player co-op mode that the SNES release of Final Fight lacked, but nowadays means squat.

It’s aged crap from Jaleco, and while the sequels – mostly – improved gameplay…. there’s very little reason to bother with the original Rival Turf/Rushing Beat, unless you’re a beat em up buff on a mission to play them all for fun, education and/or profit. There’s worse.

[EXPRESSO] Brawl Brothers SNES | OH, Maize!

Played via the SNES – Nintendo Switch Online’s service.

Since i reviewed the last game in the Rushing Beat trilogy (as in, what became of it when Jaleco brought it over as The Peace Keepers), might as well do the second one, or – more appropriately – the western release of Rushing Beat Ran. But since it’s an emulated game, the old code for playing the japanese version works here as well.

And if you go to The Peace Keepers back to Brawl Brothers, you’ll find it hard to believe this one came before, because it’s noticeably the better game, right away it’s obvious, as absurd as it is.

That said, while the gameplay is decent, it apes Final Fight , yes, it also has 4 stages, each being twice as long than usual, long for the sake of it, without the enemy variety to fully sustain it (even for the era)… AND if the pacing wasn’t hampered by the maze-like sections. On paper they should spice things up, make the game less mindless, but they are just obtuse and stupid, as the level design doesn’t comunicate or hints at the “right way”, but its quite happy to still tell you to “GO=>” even when it will lead you into looping into the same ¾ nearly identical corridors.

So 15 minutes in and you will have to either keep trying to access the sewer’s doors in random order or go look up a guide if you wanna save some time. More baffling, this “maze crap”, while it bogs down an other decent – if flawed – game for the time, isn’t even a complete deal breaker, as it applies to just 2 specific sections of the whole game … and it wasn’t even in the Japanese version to begin with.

[EXPRESSO] The Peace Keepers SNES | The Suplexing Complex

Played via the SNES- Nintendo Switch Online’s service.

And i gotta say, despite Nintendo handling this service.. in a totally Nintendo way, sometimes there are surprises, like this forgotten SNES beat em up by Jaleco, actually the third of the Rushing Beat trilogy (which also includes Rival Turf and Brawl Brothers, the latter already released on the service), at least it was originally. I’d say this is a fairly obscure release, as i never even heard of its existence, even by name.

Playing it, i realized why it slipped into obscurity so easily. Just plain ol’ crap in a market – at the time – saturated with tons of titles like that, often better.

It’s hard to say The Peace Keepers is “bad”, as it pretty much plays like Final Fight (aside from a plot that throws movie clichès AND literary references into the pot, with mutants, villains named Iago and places called Ozymandias Island), but it’s not a fast paced affair. Also, the combination of slightly stiff controls and the screen never scrolling properly to the right leads to you dashing into enemies’ fists, not that the game really ever throws tons of foes at you. Which is “good” because each takes more hits than it should to go down in a game like this, making the throws (already a bit too efficient than punches, in a brawler) pretty much mandatory to get anywhere.

Branching paths leading to different bosses and endings are nice but aren’t enough to make the story seems more than a jumbled sequence of scenes. And for some stupid reason the game by default just has the sound effects and ambient noises, i almost went the whole game wondering if the game had no actual music. It does, but you have to change a setting in the options.

[EXPRESSO] Coffee Crisis NSWDDL | Bronco Blend

Coffee Crisis NSWDDL

I’m doing an Expresso review of this one because it doesn’t deserve a full review.

Coffee Crisis is retro brawler/beat em up inspired by 16-bit classics, as so proudly says in the marketing and description, and sports all the mandatory “indie quirks”, from mediodre-decent pixel graphics, a throwaway story so we can weaponize it as “joke” despite being a lazy and unfunny mish mash of overdone references and cringey exchanges regardless, so bad the writers should tar themselves, but clearly no one is vaguely ashamed.

I mean, we have to shoehorne appearences from Youtubers AlphaOmegaSin and MetalJesusRock (and somehow the legendary band Nile), need something to bait Twitch viewers in, clearly the plot about baristas fighting aliens that want to steal our heavy metal isn’t enough random “for the lulz” by itself.
Thankfully you can skip dialogues by pressing B.

Gameplay wise, it’s so faithful to its ispirations it’s downright obtuse, a prime example of not understanding the very genre you’re trying to serenade, not evolving or improving the combat system, and even badly aping them, with finnicky hit detection making most of the extra weapon useless, blows that don’t stop enemies so they power through your attacks, when they don’t snipe you with projectiles from outside the screen. Most of the difficulty is obtained via cheap bullshit, and it’s unbalanced as well, with boss fights that are usually piss easy and just annoying.

Its main selling point, the random modifiers, are such a liability the game improves when you deactivate them. Sadly you can’t turn off or ignore the password system as the sole mean to continue, and the game also quickly outstay its welcome, continuing on and on instead of ending.

At least the music is decent-good… but 30 years later, Bad Dudes it’s a way better game.

Still.

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