Front cover of Riot Zone.
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up action|
Riot Zone, known in Japan as Ōkami-teki Monshō - Crest of Wolf (狼的紋章 クレスト・オブ・ウルフ?), is a 1992, beat 'em up video game developed by WestOne Bit Entertainment and published by Hudson Soft for the TurboGrafx-CD console. It was re-released on the Virtual Console for North America on January 14, 2008, in the PAL regions on January 18, 2008, and in Japan on April 1, 2008.
Escape/WestOne had a licensing arrangement whereby they owned the rights to the Japan-exclusive 1991 beat 'em up arcade game, Riot City, but Sega retained rights to the main characters, bosses, and names. Because of this they teamed up with Hudson Soft to produce a recycled version of the game for the TurboGrafx-CD, under a new license.
To get around the licensing issue, Hudson Soft simply had the graphics of the main characters and the title changed. The result was Riot Zone, which instead of featuring Paul and Bobby, featured characters known as Hawk and Tony, who bore a striking resemblance to Paul and Bobby, albeit with outfits. The game was, however, Riot City in gameplay, but with few differences. In this arrangement, once again, Hudson Soft retained the rights to the characters and name, allowing them to continue to produce future games using the Riot Zone name and characters, or plan re-releases.
In the beginning, the setting takes place in New York City where two men known as Hawk Takezaki and Tony Aldus met up with their chief Jim Hyde, and told him that they finally forced a villain known as Bossman to stay in a place called the DragonZone. The chief advised Hawk not to enter the DragonZone and head back home, but Hawk refused to do so. Before he immediately began traveling toward DragonZone and try to demolish it, in order to save a girl name Candy, Tony told Hawk that he will join him.
Like Riot City, Riot Zone resembles Capcom's 1989 arcade hit, Final Fight, which is an archetypal side scrolling beat-em-up game. Players choose between two characters: Hawk, the blond-haired vigilante who has average statistics, and Tony, who is strong, but slow and has a break-dancing move. Player controls the chosen character from left to right through each level (most of which are split into three or more scenes), fighting with the enemy characters who appear, until they reach a confrontation with a stronger boss character at the end of the level. Once that boss is beaten, the player automatically moves on to the next stage. Enemies appear from both sides of the screen, and the player must defeat all of them to progress. If the player tries to simply travel through the levels without fighting, the screen will stop scrolling until all current enemies have been defeated, before allowing the player to continue progress. Enemies may move outside the confines of the screen, but players may not. Unlike Final Fight, there are no weapons to pick up along the way, but the player will only pick up items for points and health. Unlike Riot City, Riot Zone lacks multiplayer and instead of chiptune music, the TurboGrafx-CD allows it to play high-quality CD-DA music.