The story of Rival Schools is set in the
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 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
Fighting is allowed in this
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.
Itsuno, Makoto Otsuki, Tatsuya Nakae
July 30th, 1998 (
Sept. 30th, 1998
Feb. 22nd, 2012 (
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