River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~ [Review]

Dec 1, 2016

River City Super Sports Challenge was developed by ARC SYSTEMS WORKS and was published by H2 Interactive Co., LTD.

If you are a fan of the NES, it only takes the words: River and City put together to pique your interest.

River City Ransom was one of my FAVORITE NES games of all time. It was a campy beat ‘em up with RPG elements. The title of this game had me excited, so I picked it up on Steam’s Fall sale for $4.99.

RCSSC offers 3 modes: Single Play, Free Battle, and Online Battle.


These guys are probably having more fun than you will playing this

The Single Play is a “story mode” that pits you up against three other rival High Schools.

There’s a story with poor translation which makes zero to little sense, the game stars you, alongside characters such as your friend Ichijou who “insists that he becomes a badass to get used to the city life” After all, didn’t we all have a friend like that in high school? Then there’s Hiroshi whose hobby is “Watching badass movies”. Yeah. These characters have about as much depth as the trials and tribulations of a group of four year olds.

Story aside, there is literally a whopping FOUR events in this game.

The first is the cross country, which is a thrilling race from one side of the screen to the other, with a pre-rendered background. While you move from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen, you can beat on your opponents with your fists and feet, or dropped weapons such as brass knuckles, sticks, or other items that are frankly, unidentifiable. It really makes no sense to stop running, so while the computer may decide to beat on other opponents, or try to beat on you, you just need to be the first to get to the other side of the screen, where you may either have to enter a door, or randomly climb a wall. My first time around, there were a couple rooms that I didn’t know how to exit, and had to watch the computer scale one of the random walls. Each time you finish the room, depending on which place you come in, you earn points. Whoever crosses the finish line with the most points wins the challenge. One amazing feature in the cross country is the presence of lens flares in some of the scenes. It’s just so breathtaking to endure the usage of the lens flare whether the backdrop depicts a daytime sunny motif, or a dusk motif, the lens flare just SCREAMS  “LOOK AT ME! I’M A LENS FLARE! ENJOY ME!” JJ Abrams would certainly approve of the amount of lens flares in this game.


“You know what this scene is missing? A lens flare.”

The second event is the obstacle relay that takes place in a warehouse, which is more or less EXACTLY the same thing as the cross country with some different rooms, and obstacles like spring boards, pot holes, or a room with a big giant vat of chemicals where the lights go off and on. Amazingly, all you have to do is just go UP as far as you can, then RIGHT to avoid the chemical pool, and then it really doesn’t matter if you can’t see or not.  However to my dismay, there was no lens flare to be had in the warehouse. Not sure if there just wasn’t enough light in there or not, but it was sorely missed. #Sarcasm

The third event is the camphor ball. To sum this event up, it’s reminiscent of the classic ladder match in the WWE, except what you have here is two poles,  with uhm.. a ball hanging between them. All four opponents are vying to climb up the poles to punch on the big metal piñata. Eventually it will break open and whoever breaks it open wins the match. You can tug on your opponents while they are above you in an attempt to pull them off. It was incredibly frustrating, and since I had won the other two events, I basically just took my chances and let the computer win this one.


Who knew ball busting could be this fun?

The fourth and final event is the battle royal. This is the MOST similar gameplay to the original River City Ransom. It takes place on a large scaffold on a warehouse, and you have to be the last man standing in a 4 way match. You can either beat on your opponent until their lifebar is down, or pick them up and throw them off the scaffold to eliminate them.

In the story mode these same four events just repeat over and over, sometimes you need to win a certain amount of times to actually “win” the event.  After 2 rounds of this, I could alas take no more and stopped my game.

The free battle is a customizable match with up to four participants. The only difference between this is the story mode is that you can customize the matches how you see fit. It’s essentially a practice mode.

I wasn’t able to explore the online mode much because it required other participants to join in, and the four times I checked, no one else was waiting in a lobby to play. Never a good sign when a game loses one section of it’s game due to no participants.


You will NEVER find this many people waiting in the online match lobby

Graphics:  The characters resemble their retro counterparts, while the backgrounds are all pre-rendered…..with lots of lens flare.

Sound/Music: The music is short, and loops continuously.

Playability: Well, you can play it… I’m not sure why you’d want to, but you can. It’s fun for about 5 minutes. If you enjoy lens flares, you might enjoy playing count the lens flare as a side companion to this game.

Value: I bought this for $4.99 on the steam sale, and I will be requesting a refund. Normally this game sells for $19.99 which is just absurd for what it offers.

Overall, I would give this game ONE lens flare. Stay away.