Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #148: Crash 'n' The Boys: Street Challenge


Title : Crash 'N' The Boys: Street Challenge

Publisher : American Technos

Developer : Technos Japan

Genre : Sports

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Release Date : 1992

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $25-$30

Look at those thugged out kids. I sure as hell wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley off some NYC street in the Bronx. They're just lying in wait, eyeing their victims, determining which one is carrying a load of Pokemon cards they can steal. Just look at 'em! Someone call in juvenile protective services and get these kids thrown into a detention cell!

Shouldn't they be in school? Why are they hanging out by a garbage can? At least their ethically mixed, so that's something. The races of the world unite under one common banner of thug life!

Yeah, I absolutey despise this box art. If I saw this game on shelves when I was a kid, I would have just laughed and tossed it on to the floor. Who would want to buy this crap? It can come off as two things. A measly attempt of trying to be "Bad ass", or one of those "lesson-learned" games where it has some moralistic value of "you can be bad on the outside, by you're a softy on the inside."

And what kind of name is Crash!? This isn't Bandicoot...oh..that's his nick name? His real name is Jeff Clooney? GEORGE CLOONEY? Wait, what? Dammit, I really don't want to play this game...oh, what type of game is it? IT'S LIKE FIELD DAY FOR BAD ASS 8 YEAR OLDS...that's right...

School Olympics.........with thugs.....I'm shaking my head. Perhaps, just perhaps, I'll be surprised by this insane attempt at a sporting events game. I haven't been yet...

As gamers, we pretty much ALL know who Technos is - they are the brainiacs behind the epic game, RIVER CITY RANSOM. So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that when you start playing this game it's practically a merger of the River City Ransom sprites thrown into an sporting events game. Makes you wonder why they didn't just keep making beat 'em ups after they succeeded so well at RCR. But, I guess they wanted to pump out something fast, and what better type of game to do it in than a sporting events one.

At least with this game, you are actually getting something of a back story. That's right, a STORY with a sporting event game! Rival schools competing against one another to be the best of the best! It's the true underdog story of kids from the slums, roughing up the rich snobs from the uptown high rise apartment complexes. The rich schools, vs. the poor schools. GOOD VERSUS EVIL! A true tale of conflict! All this, with sporting events.

Oh yeah, and like any other sporting events game - this one is a button-masher. JOY!

Going back to the story...just look at how DEEP this game is...father-son relationship issues!? 

You'll get the opportunity to choose your team, and if you're a cool guy like me you'll pick the underdogs. That's what I get for being a mets fan. Always wanting to be the underdog. Depending on your team and its members, there are some players that do better at other events than others, so you'll have your fair pick of people to choose from when doing the different events. But fear not! Even if you find yourself up against a true competitor, there is something to give you an edge.

Now here is where you'll get your first twist in this RCR styled olympic game. Instead of just jumping right into one of the events, you have the option of buying POWER UPS for your team members. You basically spend medals that you earned to buy bonus powers to make the next even fall in your favor. 

Nothing quite as satisfying as using a power up to destroy your opponent!

On to the events! And boy, are they a handful. They are basically twists of everything you'd see in a traditional olympic game...just...for kids....and RCR style! Gotta love it. There's a total of five events in the game, and they are split between being individually scored events, and versus events. Let me just tell you, the versus events are SO MUCH more entertaining.

  • 400 METER HURDLES - a one on one even that's a typical race, with a nice little twist of jumping over hurdles or turning them into weapons. You'll need to watch your stamina, as well as keep an eye out for your opponent to make sure he doesn't deck you over the head with a beam.
  • Hammer Throw Golf - Think of hammer just add golf. Get the ball in dee hole.
  • Water Slaughter - Probably one of my favorite events - swim versus your foe, and then kick their arse in the process. The satisfaction of watching the facial expressions of people as they are close to drowning is downright hilarious.
  • Skyline Scramble - You're rocking it out, parkour style. Jump across the rooftops in the fastest times.
  • Judo - basically an homage to RCR. Kick your opponents arse!

Well, well, well. You know what? Crash 'n' The Boys has managed to surprise me. Not only is this one of the better olympic event themed games I have played for the NES, it's probably one of the best ones I have ever played. It's hard not to be too shocked though when you think about who's behind it. 

The visuals are downright perfect, and there are moments where I just found myself cracking up due to the facial expressions of the RCR characters. Are these avatars not the most memorable you have seen? But it does make me miss RCR.

Control wise, meh. Its a button smasher for the most part, but at least some events require to you at least implement some sort of strategy. As in, do I want to beat him up now, or do I want to wait until he gets closer. Even using the power ups though requires a bit of thought, as you kind of want to buy as many as you can, especially if you've got a lot of medals. Better safe than sorry.

So, yes. I liked this game. Do I like it better than RCR? No..hell no. Still - it's fun. And deserves props as being highly entertaining.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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