River City Super Sports Challenge: All Stars Special is a remake of the Nintendo game Downtown Nekketsu Koushinkyoku: Soreyuke Daiundoukai. Arc System Works acquired the rights to River City Ransom and recently released a Steam version. The best way to describe it is a fight game that just happened to have sports involved.
Starring characters from the River City Ransom series, the Single Player begins with the announcement of a sports challenge for all High Schools. It was put together by the Reiho High School Council President, Todo. The catch is that it’s an all rules off competition. Anything goes. You’re off to another local school to compete!
The dialogue at times was really quite funny. It definitely held my interest. However, the biggest complaint here was the sloppy English translation.
Super Sports Challenge is really a game for Nintendo nostalgia. And if that’s what you’re looking for, this game is perfect. The characters as well as most of the other graphics are the pixelated designs you’d see from the 90s with a richer 3-D background. It was actually pleasing how they came together.
Again, they were going for nostalgia here. The music is remixes of some of the other River City Ransom games which was enjoyable. Some of the other audio was a bit annoying, like the default text speed. I rarely mind the text sound but it was just a bit too slow in default.
Here’s where River City has quite a few issues. First off, try as I might to find one, the game has no tutorial. Good luck even opening the start menu with your keyboard. The other controls were very awkwardly placed as well. I ended up using my Xbox controller, which wasn’t much better. I still had no clue what I was doing. It took me 20 minutes just to figure out how to run faster and I couldn’t find each character’s special attack buttons. I’m also not sure if you can attack underwater yet or not.
This also becomes an issue when you’re on a new map. There is no clear direction on where to run so the best tactic is to do them over and over again until you memorize where you’re supposed to go. When you’re trying to learn the controls at the same time, it becomes an exercise in frustration.
Now, I only got to play Single Player modes. I waited for people in Online, but no one ever showed up.
If you’re looking for a purely 90s Nintendo game that will induce nostalgia, I would definitely suggest at least checking River City Super Sports Challenge: All Stars Special out. But if you don’t really care about the nostalgia or want a game where the controls are actually clear, I can’t really recommend it at the moment. However, I’m hoping that the developers fix some of the control bugs or at least add a tutorial, because it seems like a game I could enjoy if it wasn’t so frustrating.