City Connection

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City Connection
Japanese arcade flyer.
Japanese arcade flyer.
Developer(s)Jaleco
Publisher(s)Jaleco
Kitkorp (US)
Composer(s)Toshihiro Atsumi
Platform(s)Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Mobile phone, Windows
ReleaseArcade
  • WW: July 1985
NES
  • JP: September 27, 1985
  • NA: May 1988
MSX
PC
  • JP: September 5, 2003
i-Mode
  • JP: September 23, 2002
Genre(s)Platform
Mode(s)Up to 2 players (alternating turns)
CabinetUpright
CPUM6809 (@ 2.048 MHz)
SoundSound CPU: M6809 (@ 640 kHz). Sound Chips: AY8910 (@ 1.25 MHz), YM2203 (@ 1.25 MHz)
DisplayRaster, 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, temporary 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 several home platforms, including 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.

Gameplay[edit]

Arcade version screenshot, showing the player covering sections of road whilst avoiding police cars.

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.[1] Clarice traverses through twelve scrolling stages, all based on famous locations across the world (including Japan, China, Paris and Easter Island).[2] 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 of the roads in each stage by driving over sections of the road, which will turn from white to green, signifying they have driven over it.[3] The car can jump over large gaps to reach higher sections of the stage.[3]

Clarice is constantly under pursuit by police cars, and must avoid flag-waving cats that will block Clarice from moving past them.[3] 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.[4] Cats are completely invulnerable and cannot be defeated by any means.[4] 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.[1]

Development[edit]

City Connection was developed by Jaleco, first released in Japan in July 1985.[1] The car that the player controls is a Honda City hatchback, which is believed to be the source for the game’s title.[1] In North America, it was licensed out to Kitkorp and released as Cruisin’, although aside from the title, is identical to the original.[4]

The music used for when Clarice hits one of the flag-waving cats is the song “Flohwalzer”, known in Japan as “Neko Funjatta” (lit. “I Stepped on the Cat”).[1] The game is one of the first to use a new music track for each stage rather than reusing a single song.[5] One stage features a remix of the song “Highway Star” by Deep Purple.[5]

Release[edit]

Several ports of City Connection would be released for home platforms, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Family Computer, ZX Spectrum and MSX. The NES version replaces Clarice with an unnamed male protagonist, alongside other minor differences.[6] The NES release was included in the Japan-only PlayStation compilation Jaleco Collection Vol. 1 in 2003,[7] as well as the Game Boy Advance compilation JaJaMaru Jr. Denshoki Jaleco Memorial a year later.[8] A digital re-release 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.[9]

The arcade version was ported by Mediakite to Microsoft Windows in 2003,[10] 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,[11] which was soon released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018.[12]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame7/10
Eurogamer6/10
IGN5/10
Nintendo Life5/10 stars

AllGame gave a positive review for the NES release, concluding with: “While this game is not revolutionary by any means, it deserves to be played.”[13]. Japanese magazine Yuge ranked it as one of the 100 best Family Computer games of all time, praising the visuals, gameplay and music.[14]

Reviewing the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console digital release of the NES version, Nintendo Life called it “a poor port of an arcade game that was already lost to the ages”,[15] while IGN criticized its controls, music and visuals, calling it "a bone thrown to a rather niche audience."[16] Eurogamer wrote that the Wii Virtual Console port of the NES version was “certainly not worth getting passionate about".[17]

Legacy[edit]

A sequel, City Connection Rocket, was developed by Studio Runba and released for Japanese mobile phones in 2004, available from Jaleco through i-mode.[18] 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, bundled with City Connection DX, would be re-released under the Appli-Archives series for the PlayStation Vita, available for the PlayStation Mobile service,[19] which would close in September 2015, delisting the game from the PlayStation Store and other supported devices.[20]

Clarice would make an appearance as a playable character in GUNbare! Game Tengoku: The Game Paradise 2, misspelled as “Claris”,[21] as well as the Sega Saturn re-release The Game Paradise Crusin’ Mix as downloadable content.[22] 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.[23]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In Japanese: City Connection (シティコネクション, Shiti Konekushon)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e 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.
  2. ^ "Cruisin'". Killer List of Video Games. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Nintendo Power, issue 1, page 84
  4. ^ a b c "City Connection". Killer List of Video Games.
  5. ^ a b Moyse, Chris. "Burn rubber worldwide as arcade classic City Connection returns on Nintendo Switch". Destructoid. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Two WiiWare Games and Two Virtual Console Games Added to Wii Shop Channel". Nintendo of America. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  7. ^ Kitamura, Takakazu. "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. Retrieved 18 July 2003.
  8. ^ "【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. Retrieved 18 March 2004.
  9. ^ "シティコネクションやギョーザ姫もiモードに登場!". ITmedia. Retrieved 25 September 2002.
  10. ^ Nakamura, Seiji. "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. Retrieved 18 August 2003.
  11. ^ "Arcade Archives - City CONNECTION - PlayStation 4". Hamster. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Arcade Archives - City CONNECTION - Nintendo Switch". Hamster. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  13. ^ "All Game Guide". AllGame.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ van Duyn, Marcel. "City Connection Review (3DS eShop / NES)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  16. ^ M. Thomas, Lucas. "City Connection Review". IGN. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  17. ^ Whitehead, Dan. "Virtual Console Roundup - Page 1". Eurogamer. Retrieved 28 July 2008.
  18. ^ Kitamura, Takakazu. "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. Retrieved 19 February 2004.
  19. ^ "【電撃PS】PlayStation Mobile 1000本ノック!". Dengeki PlayStation. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Appli Archives アプリ アーカイブス". Hamster Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  21. ^ Tiraboschi, Federico. "GUNbare! Game Tengoku - The Game Paradise 2". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  22. ^ Romano, Sal. "The Game Paradise: CruisinMix Special debut trailer". Gematsu. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  23. ^ "【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. Retrieved 27 August 2014.