Title : Brawl Brothers
Publisher : Jaleco
Developer : Jaleco
Genre : Brawler Beat 'em Up
Players : 1/2 Players
Release Date : 1993
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $14-$16
The Rival Turf series, is by far, without a doubt in my mind, one of the GREATEST brawler games to ever hit the 16-bit consoles. Maybe it's just me, but I absolutely loved this series. Sure, it's not as strong as some other beat 'em ups, but there's something about it...it's just...I don't know..can't find the words....Known as the Rushing Beat series in Japan, BRAWL BROTHERS happens to be the sequel of the original Rival Turf. I'm telling you, I can't wait until I get up to the "R"'s so I can actually review that game.
Jaleco was pretty much known for their beat 'em ups on the SNES, and the Rival Turf series was easily their most popular. Most of the titles and plots / character names were changed when it crossed over from Japan into the US, and it's damn shame too because some of the names we're absolutely awesome in the Japanese version.
Why were the Japanese versions of games always so much better? *sigh* Why did we have to change so much when we translated and brought them over? Makes me wish I actually studied a bit more Japanese than just the 2 years I did. My speaking and understanding level is that of a three year old.
Come on, who wouldn't want to play as characters named Jack Flak and Oozie Nelson? Although in this game they are Hack and Slash...not sure how I feel about that...Oozie Nelson is pretty damn cool. Too bad the American names are something like Rick Nortan and Douglas Bild...come on...BORING.
So, are you ready to mindlessly beat the crap out of people? Hope so. This is BRAWL BROTHERS.
Okay - this game wins for having the worst title screen in the history of SNES games. Couldn't they have at least made the EFFORT to make it a bit more interesting?
As with most Brawlers, it is pretty straight forward. Your character moves from left to right, forcing the screen to advance while clearing out whatever enemies are visible. You'll always find power ups, health boosts, and weapons to use while you are traversing each stage, so you'll have options available. But the really nitty gritty action comes down to the game play itself.
You can either play one player or two player and I must say, co-op is always the better option of the two when you get the chance. So find a friend, or buy one. Even if you don't play with two players, you'll have to select two characters. One which you'll start with, the other which you can use when you have to continue after dying too many times. Choose your characters wisely as they each have their own unique move sets. Whoever you DON'T choose actually ends up being bosses for the first three levels, which makes your decision even more meaningful.
Combat wise, the game is a bit more difficult than some other beat 'em ups. They don't give you a lot of wiggle room with the hit detection as you get with other games, and you really have to be right in front of your enemy to land a successful hit. That's the only thing that really annoys me about this game. I found myself getting frustrated just trying to clear the screen of regular goons.
Okay, I lied..another thing that annoyed me about the US version is the dumber than dumb maze levels. Why...WHY do you need semi-puzzles in a beat 'em up? That's not what I want to do it all.....I want to fight, not figure out what doors to enter.
Besides that, you'll at least be encountering a large variety of enemies, and it's hard to get bored when there is constantly something on the screen. Not to mention, it's extremely satisfying to pull of combos with your character.
Visually, it's a nice upgrade from the first game, but it's still nowhere near as good as the Arcade beat 'em ups that were out there. This is after all, a 16-bit system so you can't expect gold. Animations are extremely fluid though, and the characters have a nice rhythm to them when they move.
The music is catchy as hell too, with that upbeat traditional fighting tune playing in the background. Is it me, or does brawler music all sound the same?
All in all, a very good beat 'em up, while not the best. It's a definite improvement from the first game, and it still remains one of my favorites to this day.If it wasn't for the "slight" missed opportunities with hit detection and the removal of the maze levels, it would have been right up there with the best.