River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~ – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Sports, Arcade
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: H2 Interactive Co., Ltd.
Platform: PC, PS3
Tested on: PC

River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~ – Review

Site Score
Good: River City shenanigans, Multiplayer madness
Bad: No proper tutorial, Controls
User Score
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (4 votes cast)

River City Ransom (or Street Gangs, depending on where you lived) was once a great beat ‘em up title for the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1989 and after that more titles followed with the same rough characters in the lead, albeit in the sports world. The violent demeanor of the characters stayed consistent over the multiple games, and the humorous combination of having passed out players lie on the field in the middle of your soccer match (Nintendo World Cup) still tickles the funny bone of those who played it. Some of these titles were ported to newer Nintendo consoles, as digital downloads, a new title never saw the light, at least until recently. River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~ brings back the shenanigans of the good old days, in a peculiar jacket.

River City Super Sports Challenge All Stars Special


The boys from the previous River City Ransom games have had their fair share of sports events, ranging from soccer to volleyball, all combined with a hefty amount of fighting. The plot of this story driven campaign here proves to be headed in the same direction, as a new competition is being forged between different high schools, which involves normal sports, albeit without rules. You’ll have to rise through the ranks with your school, in order to come out on top. Of course, cheating, backstabbing and beautiful pixilated girls are all thrown into the mix of this retro-looking tale, and things are kept rather simple and witty, making sure you’ll get a drama filled sports story.

It was actually quite surprising to see a rather ‘elaborate’ story for this game, with enough silly remarks and drama to keep things amusing and like a very odd soap opera. While a game like this doesn’t necessarily need a plot, it’s certainly a lot of added value, especially with the way it’s being presented.

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It’s back to basics with River City Super Sports Challenge, as all the characters seem to have been frozen in time and are nearly identical to their 8-bit counterparts from the original games. Of course a lot more combinations have been added to thicken the cast of characters and a few of the rougher edges have been taken off, in order to create a more modern experience. That being said, the backdrops are rather different, seeing they have been made with a certain sense of realism in mind. While one would expect that both styles would be complete opposites, they do go hand in hand quite well, making one fun, colorful retro-inspired whole.


Simple sounding sound effects and upbeat tunes are what drive this title and make everything catchy. The music sounds a bit retro but gets you all riled up in order to win one of the many contests you’ll find yourself in. The SFX follow the same retro inspired vibe like the graphics, making sure everything stays true to the original titles.

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River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~ is a mix of action, beat ‘em up antics and good old fashioned sports where no rules are set. This means you’ll pretty much be occupying yourself with beating your opponents to a pixilated pulp while trying to complete the set objective, namely reach the finish, crack the camphor ball, run the obstacle course or fight for glory in the battle royal mode.

Things are rather straightforward in this title, even though in both the obstacle course and the cross country portions of the game you’ll have to take a closer look at where you exactly have to end up, seeing the ‘finish’ lines aren’t always as clear for each zone you’ll find yourself in. Other than that it’s just run, jump, punch and shove your way through your competitors if you’re aiming for the gold medal. Each of the courses has items randomly scattered in them, granting you stronger punches, explosive weapons, healing items and so on. Sadly there are no real tutorials or even proper indications of the controls, making it a total nightmare to find simple commands such as sprinting. It would make the experience so much more pleasant if they implemented such a thing.

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The controls for this game are a mixed match, as the keyboard controls offer easier navigation inside the levels and make it easier to sprint, but at the same time the jump, punch and shove key make it a lot more tedious due to their alignment on the keyboard itself, especially seeing you have no option to alter the key binds (which sucks balls for this game). The controller makes it easier to use the basic commands, but running around it a lot harder, as controllers often don’t properly trigger the ‘sprinting’ command, which is sourly needed in both the obstacle course and the cross country programs.

Winning a round will grant you points, but all that you do inside a round will also add up to the points you receive for your placement after a round is over. This means that punching your opponents or even knocking them out will grant you extra points and might even make the difference between a win and a loss after all the points are in.

When you’re finally used to the basics, you can start playing on higher difficulties, with other players, edit your own courses or simply aim for higher scores. While there isn’t really that much content to explore, it’s fun playing with the different teams, creating your own characters and duking it out with friends, giving this game a certain amount of replay value.

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While River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~ fails to reach the same quality as the original River City Ransom game, this title offers a lot of fun content, which is best enjoyed with friends. While the controls might be dodgy at times, you’re in for a fun and bumpy ride when you get used to them. The boys are back in town, albeit with some minor issues.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~ - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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