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Wii Virtual Console: Urban Champion Review

by: Hollan ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Do you have fond memories of knocking your friends into open manholes back in the 1980's? Yeah, neither does anyone else.

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    Urban Champion was released in 1986 for the NES. As one the first 2D fighting games on the console it could have set the stage for all fighting games to come. Thank whatever God you believe in (or don't) because that didn't happen, lest all fighting games would be incredibly stupid. Now it is available for download on the Wii Virtual Console. Why Nintendo? Why?

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    Gameplay

    In Urban Champion you play an unnamed punk who fights another unnamed punk in the streets. Yeah, that's right. In broad daylight, you and this other fellow decide to go at it. The only moves you have are throwing punches. You can throw light punches which are faster, harder to block but less powerful, or hard punches which are easier to block, slower but more powerful. You can also punch high (in the face) or low (in the gut, although it looks a little bit lower than that).

    The goal is to knock your opponent into an open manhole. Yeah, you just have to keep punching him backwards until you happen upon a sewer opening with no lid and you punch him until he tumbles inside. Wouldn't that kind of fall kill someone?

    Every round is timed one minute long. If you run out of time without having killed each other, you will move onto the next round. You don't have a damage bar, but you do have 200 stamina points that constantly go down as you throw punches, take punches and have one of the angry neighbors drop a flower pot on your head. Also, if the police drive by, the fighters will walk to separate sides of the screen and act like they weren't trying to kill each other. Real cool, guys.

    The Wiimote makes a nice classic controller, as always with the D-pad controlling the movement and the 1 and 2 buttons controlling the ferocity of punches, but the game's reaction time is slow. Even when button mashing the punches don't always register.

    There are two modes, player vs. computer and player vs. player. Yep, there is even a two player mode. While it is there, that doesn't mean anyone should play it. Or that anyone should play this game, for that matter.

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    Graphics and Sound

    For an NES game released in 1986 it looks it. While the graphics are better than say Mach Rider, there is really nothing here that looks all that good. The colors are bland and the backgrounds are really repetitive. Plus, there is nothing in the environment the players can interact with, besides the manholes, of course.

    The sound in Urban Champion is even worse than the graphics. The fact that what plays in the background could be called music is laughable. The only good sound effect is the police car, but even that is weak. What was Nintendo thinking?

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    Fun

    Urban Champion? Fun? Don't make me laugh. It's not even mildly entertaining on a nostalgic level. I can usually find some sort of enjoyment from games, but this one is just so annoyingly stupid and repetitive that I would rather just punch my TV than play it any longer. Ow! My hand! If only there was a handy open manhole somewhere!

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    Overall

    All classic games are not golden. I really wish Nintendo would realize this and stop putting out such crap on the VC. Urban Champion is so bad it might rate below Mighty Bomber Jack. Do not waste 500 Wii points on this stinker. Just download Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and enjoy.