Arch Rivals was a trailblazer for other unrealistic sports games like NBA Jam or NFL Blitz. No stats, no worrying about which team is the best. There’s just you, your partner, and a couple of fists.
You have your pick of four teams, Los Angeles, Chicago, Brawl State (?!) and Natural High. There are eight individuals to choose from, many of them bespectacled, angry young men, with names like “Mohawk” and “Moose.” Summaries of each player are underneath their picture – “Good Defense,” “All-American,” and “Tough & Mean.” Believe it or not, the characters do play a little differently, although the differences were more noticeable in the arcade.
Once a game starts, get the ball, run, and hope you don’t get punched by the other team before you attempt to make a basket. Here’s where Arch Rivals slips up: it’s completely random as to whether you’ll make a basket. Even though all you do is press ‘B’ to throw the ball, your swish/miss ratio is usually negative. Thankfully, punching the other team is incredibly satisfying, especially after they score a couple. The punch sound effect really connects, and it melts the aggression right off.
Not a perfect basketbrawler, but an admirable fist in the right direction
PUBLISHER: Acclaim DEVELOPER: Midway (port by Rare)
RELEASE DATE: 11/1990 – (US), 1990 – (EU)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: ARC, GEN, GG