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Rival Schools: United By Fate
 
          
 
STORY The story of Rival Schools is set in the Japanese city of Aoharu. Several local schools have recently become the victims of unknown attacks, including kidnappings of students and staff. Various students and teachers set out to find who is responsible for the attacks on their respective schools. Later in the storyline, it is revealed that an elite school in the city called Justice High, is responsible for the attacks.
 

Enter the world of Rival Schools...

 
REVIEW: Rival Schools is a 2D/3D fighter from Capcom with gameplay resembling both the Street Fighter series and the Marvel VS series. Rival Schools' control scheme is different from other Capcom fighting games however, as it features only four buttons (two punches and two kicks) rather than the standard six. Rival Schools also introduces several unique gameplay elements that make it stand out from the rest, including: Team Up Attacks, Tardy Counters (similar to Alpha counters from Street Fighter Alpha), Attack Cancels, and high-flying Air Combos similar to what you'd see in the VS Series! 

In Rival Schools, players create a team of two characters. The gameplay is 1-on-1, with a "partner" character entering the action when a "team up" attack connects. Depending on who the partner character is, the team will either deal out a hearty dose of additional ass-kicking to their victim, or supply a "health up," all while players are treated to awesome (and sometimes hilarious) animations during the tag team sequence. Players can also switch out their main characters between rounds, which adds a unique, satisfying and strategic element to the gameplay.
 

You can thank Edayan for the brilliant artwork.

 
Rival Schools' character roster is made up of all sorts of high school "stereotypes"... definitely a unique concept for a fighting game roster. To name a few: Shoma the hot-headed baseball player, Edge the weird punk kid, Roy the American jock, Tiffany the busty blonde cheerleader, and Hayato the badass gym coach. While the designs are heavily based on stereotypes, each character design manages to be interesting, elaborate, and (for the most part) original in the fighting game universe. Sakura Kasugano from Street Fighter Alpha also makes an awesome guest appearance (to play the role of one of the Japanese schoolgirls, of course)!

All characters have unique play styles, some of which resemble other more famous fighting game personalities, which means any 2D fighting game fan should feel right at home! The diverse characters of Rival Schools present a solid variety of special moves and some truly epic super moves and tag team moves, which never fail to make you cringe when they connect. This game definitely isn't short on ouch factor... that's for sure! The attack animations, throw animations, and hit animations are well done and have some impressive oomph.... However, the same walking forward/back animation is shared by all characters and looks a bit awkward overall. Besides a few kooky animations, everything else is in check.
 

Fighting is allowed in this school.

 
The Playstation version of Rival Schools comes with 2 discs, a port of the arcade version and the "Evolution disc". All together, the home version features an engaging story mode, an awesome anime intro (and ending), bonus characters, nearly 100 unique loading screen artworks (which will help you deal with the lengthy PS1 load times), and several mini games! Overall, the presentation raises the bar for current gen fighting games. The catchy soundtrack and satisfying sound effects & voice acting really make a statement as well.

Unfortunately, the overseas version of the Evolution Disc lacks the "Japanese only" Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki mode, a character creation mode and date simulation. In this mode, players can create a student and go through a full school year, developing friendships with characters from various schools along the way. These interactions allowed players' characters to receive custom moves for their moveset and revealed additional details about Rival Schools characters. Once a custom character finishes the year, they can then be used in any of the default gameplay modes. Capcom stated that they didn't add the creation mode to overseas versions due to the amount of time it would take to translate all of the text from Japanese to English. Besides the creation mode, all of the other bonuses such as mini games translated to the overseas versions.
 

 
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Page Updated: July 17th, 2014
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Hideaki Itsuno, Makoto Otsuki, Tatsuya Nakae
Artwork by: Edayan
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation, PSN
Release Date(s): November 1997      (Arcade)
July 30th, 1998      
( PS1)
Sept. 30th, 1998
      ( PS1)
November 1998
       ( PS1)
Feb. 22nd, 2012    
( PSN)
Characters Batsu Iichimonji, Hinata Wakaba, Kyosuke Kagami, Shoma Sawamura, Natsu Ayuhara, Roberto Miura, Edge, Gan Isurugi, Daigo Kazama, Akira Kazama, Hideo Shimazu, Hayato Nekketsu, Kyoko Minazuki, Boman Delgado, Tiffany Lords, Roy Bromwell, Raizo Imawano, Sakura Kasugano, Hyo Imawano

Featured Video:

Related Games: Project Justice, Street Fighter Alpha, Marvel VS Capcom, Bloody Roar, Battle Arena Toshinden 3, Bushido Blade, Mortal Kombat 4, Tobal 2, Capcom VS SNK 2, Namco X Capcom, Kenichi
  

Gameplay Engine  8.5 / 10
Story / Theme  10 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.0 / 10
Animation  7.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.5 / 10
Innovation  9.0 / 10
Art Direction  10 / 10
Customization  7.0 / 10
Options / Extras  9.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  9.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.0 / 10
Characters  9.0 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

 8.8 / 10

 Review based on Playstation version

 

Final Words: Rival Schools was an instant Capcom classic, just for the badass artwork and cool characters alone! Capcom brought us a new kind of fighting game with Rival Schools, which was a nice break from the Street Fighter series at the time. Though on the simple side, the gameplay is solid for the most part and was greatly improved upon in the later sequel, Project Justice Rival Schools is a must play for any fighting game fan, and a must have for anyone who calls themselves a Capcom fan.  ~TFG Webmaster
 

 


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