|Platform(s)||Nintendo Entertainment System, Arcade, Nintendo e-Reader, Nintendo 3DS|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Two players|
Urban Champion (アーバンチャンピオン) is a 2-player fighting game produced by Nintendo in 1984. It was inspired by the 1984 Game & Watch title Boxing (also known as Punch-Out!!). It is also Nintendo's first 2D fighting game, eventually followed in 1993 by Joy Mech Fight, released exclusively in Japan for the same platform.
The purpose of the game is to knock the other player into a sewer manhole. There is a 99 second time limit, and the player has a set limit of stamina (200 hit points). The player has two types of attacks: a light punch and a heavy punch. The light punch is weaker but faster and harder to block, while the heavy punch is stronger, but takes longer to pull off, is more easily telegraphed, and is thus easier to block.
Each punch costs the player 1 HP. Also, flower pots are occasionally dropped from windows, which will cost a fighter 5 HP and daze the fighter if they hit. When a player is knocked off the pavement, they advance to the next street. The goal of the game is to reach the rank of Champion. Every three fights, the player gets a specific symbol on the lower right corner; after five symbols are earned, they go to the next set of symbols. After 45 symbols (145 fights), they get the rank of Champion. In addition, a police car may pass by the fighting at any point in the fight which causes the players to return to their starting positions. If the timer runs out, the police will arrest the player closest to being knocked off of the pavement, meaning it is a default win for the other player for that round.
The fighters are named Mike and Mark and, as was typical of video games at the time, they are just palette swaps of each other. The game does not contain any traditional scoring system.
Development and release history
Urban Champion was first released in Japan on November 14, 1984 for the Family Computer. It was an adaptation of the Game & Watch video game called Boxing. It was released in the arcades as Vs. Urban Champion in 1985.[unreliable source?] It was later released in North America in August 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and in Europe some time in 1986. Urban Champion was re-released for the Nintendo e-Reader, and then later on the Virtual Console for the Wii and the Wii U. Urban Champion was later slightly altered in autostereoscopic 3D by Arika and released by Nintendo on the Nintendo 3DS as a downloadable title in the 3D Classics series on July 13, 2011 in Japan and the rest of the world on August 18, 2011. This release was featured amongst other games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System to be released for the 3DS on a tech demo called Classic Games at E3 2010. Nintendo has announced that, presumably due to low sales, there will be no Urban Champion 2.
Most reviews gave it mixed to negative ratings. On the negative side, Levi Buchanan noted it as one of the weakest NES games for the Virtual Console. GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann called it tedious when it was originally released, and now it's "about as boring as it can possibly be." GamePro described it as a second tier Virtual Console game. 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish commented that he would rather have nothing at all on the Virtual Console in its debut week than Urban Champion. He also cited it as an example of a poor game that gamers would still buy for the e-Reader. He listed it as one of the worst Virtual Console games. 1UP.com's Patrick Klepek criticized Nintendo for releasing only this and Baseball in one week, calling both poor games. Writer Bob Mackey called it questionable, calling it the "Bad Street Brawler of its day". It appeared as a skin in Tetris DS. GameSpy's Phil Theobald called it awful, criticizing its cameo in Tetris DS. IGN's Lucas M. Thomas called it too shallow for an NES game, adding that there was no reason to purchase it. He also commented that it didn't deserve the distinction of being Nintendo's first head-to-head fighting game. IGN AU's Cam Shea called it "god awful", and "worse than actually falling down a manhole." Screw Attack advised that Wii owners not waste their money on it, calling it simple and slow.
On the positive side, video game developer Ron Alpert, however, found it to be an acceptable game, calling it one of the simplest of its day, but also an easy game to pick up and play. Since its release, most consumers gave five stars to the 3D Classics version of Urban Champion for the Nintendo 3DS.
- "Urban Champion trademark". U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. 1988-05-03. Retrieved 2015-05-07.
- Lucas M. Thomas (2007-02-15). "Urban Champion - Wii Review at IGN". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
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- Buchanan, Levi (2007-01-17). "Console makers take games beyond the shelf - Technology & science - Games - msnbc.com". MSNBC. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (2007-01-01). "Urban Champion Review for Wii". GameSpot. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
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- Lucas M. Thomas (2007-09-21). "Smash It Up! - Konami's Crew - Wii Feature at IGN". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- Shea, Cam (2008-08-07). "The Worst Games on Virtual Console: Part 1 - Wii Feature at IGN". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- Jun 14, 2007 (2007-06-14). "ScrewAttack Video Game, Video Game Vault: Urban Champion | Video Clip | Game Trailers & Videos". GameTrailers.com. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- "Ron Alpert's Blog - Retro Game of the Day! Urban Champion". Gamasutra. 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- "User Rating" section of 3D Classics: Urban Champion page at Nintendo eShop.