|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, followed by the 1993 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 time limit, and the player has a set limit of stamina, both of which are represented by numbers. The player has two types of attacks: a light punch and a heavy punch. The light punch does not push your opponent as far as the heavy punch, but it is harder to block. The heavy punch sends your opponent reeling backwards, but can be blocked easily and takes a bit longer to pull off.
For every punch you throw, you lose 1 stamina. Flower pots are occasionally dropped from windows, which, if one hits a person, they will be dazed and will lose 5 stamina. When a player is knocked off the pavement, they would then advance to the next street. However, the goal of the game is to reach the rank of Champion. Every three fights, you get a specific symbol on the lower-right, after you earn five symbols you'll go to the next set of symbols. Once you achieve a total of 45 symbols (or 145 fights), you'll 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 then 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 not named and are just a palette swap of the player's character.
Development and release history
Urban Champion was first released in Japan on November 14, 1984 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was an adaptation of the Game & Watch video game called Boxing. It was released in the arcades as Vs. Urban Champion in 1985. It was later released in North America in August 1986, 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 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, author Andy Slaven commented that Urban Champion showed that the NES could not do a proper one-on-one fighting game, calling it "amusing at times" but criticizing its lack of precision in its controls. Writer 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.
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