Japanese arcade flyer.
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Mobile phone, Windows|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players (alternating turns)|
|CPU||M6809 (@ 2.048 MHz)|
|Sound||Sound CPU: M6809 (@ 640 kHz). Sound Chips: AY8910 (@ 1.25 MHz), YM2203 (@ 1.25 MHz)|
|Display||Raster, 240 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 1664 colors|
City Connection[a] is a platform arcade game developed and published by Jaleco in 1985. The player controls Clarice in her Honda City hatchback and must paint every section of a highway throughout twelve stages, each taking place in a famous city from around the world. Clarice is constantly under pursuit by police cars, which she can take out by launching oil cans at them, temporarily stunning them, and then ramming into them with her car. It was released in North America by Kitkorp as Cruisin'.
Jaleco would port the game to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and MSX. The NES release received mixed to positive reviews, although digital re-releases would receive a more negative reception. The NES release would be included in Jaleco Collection Vol. 1 in 2003 and in JaJaMaru Jr. Denshoki Jaleco Memorial a year later. Hamster Corporation released a digital version on the Wii Virtual Console in 2008 and the PlayStation 4 in 2015, the latter under their Arcade Archives label. The rights to City Connection are currently owned by a company named after such, City Connection, following the bankruptcy of Jaleco's parent company in 2014. A mobile phone sequel, City Connection Rocket, was available through i-mode in 2004.
The player takes control of Clarice, a blue-haired teen in her Honda City hatchback, in her efforts to travel the world in order to find herself the perfect man. Clarice traverses through twelve scrolling stages, all based on famous locations across the world (including Japan, China, Paris and Easter Island). After the twelfth stage, the game will simply loop back to the first at a higher difficulty. To clear each stage, the player must paint over all the roads by driving across them, changing the pavement color from white to green. The car can jump over large gaps to reach higher sections of the stage.
Clarice is constantly under pursuit by police cars, and must avoid flag-waving cats that will block her from moving past them. By collecting oil cans found in each stage, the player can shoot these at police cars to temporary stun them, and knock them off the stage by ramming into them. Cats are invulnerable and cannot be defeated by any means. If the player remains on the same stage for an extended period of time, spikes will extrude from the ground, instantly causing them to lose a life. On occasion, a red-colored balloon may appear in the stage. Should the player collect three of these balloons, they will be warped to a new area and be granted with a large sum of bonus points.
Development and release
City Connection was developed by Jaleco and first released in Japanese arcades in July 1985. The car the player controls is a Honda City hatchback, which is believed to be the source for the game's title. In North America, the game was licensed to Kitkorp and released as Cruisin’, though is identical to the original aside from the title. The song used when Clarice hits one of the flag-waving cats is “Flohwalzer”, known in Japan as “Neko Funjatta” (lit. “I Stepped on the Cat”). The game is one of the first to use a new music track for each stage rather than reusing a single song. One stage features a remix of the song “Highway Star” by Deep Purple.
Ports of City Connection were released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Famicom, ZX Spectrum and MSX. The NES version replaces Clarice with an unnamed male protagonist, alongside other minor differences. The Famicom release was included in the Japan-only PlayStation compilation Jaleco Collection Vol. 1 in 2003, as well as the Game Boy Advance compilation JaJaMaru Jr. Denshoki Jaleco Memorial a year later. A digital re-release of the NES version was ported to the Wii Virtual Console in 2008 and later the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console services in 2013. A mobile phone version was released on 23 September 2002. The arcade version was ported by Mediakite to Microsoft Windows in 2003, published first by PCCW Japan then later re-published in 2004 by Jaleco. A 2003 mobile port, titled City Connection DX, was released for the Japanese i-mode online service. In 2014, Hamster Corporation released a digital version of the game under their Arcade Archives series on the PlayStation 4, which was soon released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
The NES version in particular would receive a mixed reception. AllGame gave a positive review for the NES release, applauding its gameplay and graphics, concluding with “while this game is not revolutionary by any means, it deserves to be played.”. Japanese magazine Yuge ranked it as one of the 100 best Family Computer games of all time, praising the visuals, gameplay and music. Computer Entertainer US concluded that the game is "enjoyable in the short run, but we doubt that it has sufficient staying power to keep most gamers playing it over and over again.
Reviewing the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console digital release of the NES version, Nintendo Life and IGN would give a lukewarm reception - both would critcize its graphics and music for being too simplistic, alongside labeling its gameplay as difficult to understand for newcomers. Nintendo Life gave a similar negative response to the Wii U Virtual Console port of the NES release, concluding with "Steer clear of this one." Eurogamer wrote that the Wii Virtual Console port of the NES version was “certainly not worth getting passionate about".
A sequel, City Connection Rocket, was developed by Studio Runba and released for Japanese mobile phones in 2004, available from Jaleco through i-mode. The game places Clarice as a spy for a secret organization to capture criminal leaders from around the world. Rather than painting sections of the road, Clarice must now collect briefcases placed in each stage whilst avoiding police cars and other types of enemies. This game was bundled with City Connection DX for a re-release under the Appli-Archives series for the PlayStation Vita, available for the PlayStation Mobile service. The service closed in September 2015, delisting the game from the PlayStation Store and other supported devices.
Clarice would make an appearance as a playable character in GUNbare! Game Tengoku: The Game Paradise 2, misspelled as “Claris”, as well as the Sega Saturn re-release The Game Paradise Crusin’ Mix as downloadable content. The rights to City Connection are currently owned by a Japanese developer named after such, City Connection, who purchased Jaleco's video game assets following the bankruptcy of their parent company, Game Yarou, in 2014.
- In Japanese: City Connection (シティコネクション, Shiti Konekushon)
- 懐かしファミコンパーフェクトガイド (Perfect Guide of Nostalgic Family Computer) (in Japanese). マガジンボックス. 18 May 2016. p. 83.
- "Cruisin'". Killer List of Video Games. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- "Video Shorts: City Connection". Nintendo Power. No. 1. p. 84.
- "City Connection". Killer List of Video Games. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Moyse, Chris (21 July 2018). "Burn rubber worldwide as arcade classic City Connection returns on Nintendo Switch". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- "Two WiiWare Games and Two Virtual Console Games Added to Wii Shop Channel". Nintendo of America. 27 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Kitamura, Takakazu (18 July 2003). "PCCWジャパン、往年の名作が一度に遊べる PS「ジャレココレクション vol.1」を10月に発売". GAME Watch. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "【プレビュー】じゃじゃ丸Jr.伝承記 〜ジャレコレもあり候〜(GBA)". Inside Games JP. 18 March 2004.
- "シティコネクションやギョーザ姫もiモードに登場!". ITmedia. 25 September 2002. Archived from the original on 29 December 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- Nakamura, Seiji (18 August 2003). "メディアカイト、「シティコネクション」を9月5日に発売アーケード版をULTRAシリーズで完全復刻". GAME Watch. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- Yángpíng, Tiánmíngwǎng. "PCCW Japan、iモード「ジャレコiギャレッソ」に 「シティコネクション」、「忍者じゃじゃ丸くん」などをグレードアップして追加". GAME Watch. Retrieved 8 January 2004.
- "Arcade Archives - City CONNECTION - PlayStation 4". Hamster. Archived from the original on 14 August 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- "Arcade Archives - City CONNECTION - Nintendo Switch". Hamster. Archived from the original on 31 July 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- Baker, Christopher Michael. "All Game Guide". AllGame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- 遠藤昭宏 (June 2003). "ユーゲーが贈るファミコン名作ソフト100選 アクション部門". ユーゲー. No. 7. キルタイムコミュニケーション. pp. 6–12.
- "The Video Game Update: City Connection" (PDF). Computer Entertainer. Vol. 7 no. 2. May 1988. p. 10. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- van Duyn, Marcel (17 November 2013). "City Connection Review (3DS eShop / NES)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- M. Thomas, Lucas (27 May 2008). "City Connection Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- Bowling, Steve (24 March 2016). "City Connection Review (Wii U eShop / NES)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- Whitehead, Dan (28 July 2008). "Virtual Console Roundup - Page 1". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- Kitamura, Takakazu (19 February 2004). "ジャレコ、iモード「シティコネクション・ロケット」2月20日に配信決定。". GAME Watch.
- "【電撃PS】PlayStation Mobile 1000本ノック！". Dengeki PlayStation. 24 April 2015. Archived from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- "Appli Archives アプリ アーカイブス". Hamster Corporation. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- Tiraboschi, Federico (8 September 2017). "GUNbare! Game Tengoku - The Game Paradise 2". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- Romano, Sal. "The Game Paradise: CruisinMix Special launches November 30 in the west". Gematsu. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- "【インタビュー】まさに衝撃！PS4版『燃えプロ』最大の疑問「なぜ作ることになったのか」を開発陣に訊いた". 総合ゲーム情報メディア:インサイド（株式会社イード）. 25 August 2015. Archived from the original on 20 November 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2019.