Release Date: August 1986
Next up, we have our first fighting game, Urban Champion. I don’t know why, but I came into this one expecting just a little bit more. The premise is simple. The other guy is the bully of the block and you’re standing up to him by feeding him knuckle sandwich after knuckle sandwich. Show him who’s boss and become the Urban Champion!
Controls in this one are simple. The A button throws a weak strike. The B button throws a strong strike. Weak strikes are thrown almost instantly, while strong strikes take a second to wind up. If you connect with a weak strike, the bully moves back a step. If you connect with a strong strike, the bully is knocked into a back roll several steps. You can also punch high or punch low. The only difference being that you can only block one at a time. Probably the most important move is dodge. If you tap back, you can dodge both the high and low punch.
You have to manage your stamina level, which depletes as you throw and take punches. There are some others that get involved in your rumble, as well. There is a guy on the second floor of each building that will randomly throw down flower pots that zap a big chunk of your stamina if you get hit, as well as leaving you defenseless. The cops also drive by on occasion, looking for any reason to chuck you in jail. In fact, if you let the time run down, they will cart whoever is losing off to the clink.
You do battle in front of different buildings in the city. I saw a snack bar, a book store, a barber shop, and a discount shop. At either you or the bully’s third loss, they are knocked down an open manhole, signifying their being a loser. You really don’t want to lose all your stamina, because then you’re stuck only being able to throw a punch at a super slow speed.
Once I got the hang of the controls, it became a slugfest with me knocking the bully into next week. Then around round 18, he got a lot better at blocking, dodging, and counter punching. The guy with the flower pot also got involved more often against me and I met the bottom of the sewer.
I like the graphics. They’re plain, but the backgrounds aren’t just solid colors, like we see in other games. The detail is nice.
The background music is a subdued form of Balloon Trip in Balloon Fight. Better thuds when connecting with punches or hitting the ground would have boosted sound.
The gameplay is plain, but it isn’t bad. There’s some noticeable unresponsiveness when it comes to moving.
It didn’t seem too difficult to learn, then the bully was a pushover for quite awhile.
Fun Factor: 2.5
I would have had more fun if there was more to do. It’s an alright game, probably better to play against someone.
Overall Grade: 2.1
Urban Champion scores a C. I’m probably overly generous, but I liked it for what it was.