Urban Champion (and a bit about Nintendo World Championship 2015) (Old Review)

Congratulations to John Numbers, he is the Nintendo World Champion 2015…despite the fact that it was only held in America and is kind of misleading. I’m not a fan of e-sports but that was a great watch, I watched it live from start to finish, though since I live in the UK, it was on from about 10pm to around half two in the morning. It was a fantastic watch, who wouldn’t want to see this annually.

Now with that out of the way, Urban Champion (アーバンチャンピオン) , developed and published by Nintendo and was released in 1984 in Japan and was released in the US and Europe in 1986. In an unusual thing to do even by Nintendo’s standards, they decided to make a fighting game. I mean this game is way too ghetto to be a Nintendo game in 1984.

There’s no story for it so I’ll assume it’s a Friday night out gone wrong.

So you play as some guy and you have to knock out another guy until he falls into a manhole…and that’s the entire game, everytime you punch the guy you lose stamina. There are two types of attacks, light and heavy punches, a light punch will knock back the opponent by a little bit but is hard to block, whilst a heavy punch will knock back an opponent further but takes time to pull it off. There will be many distractions like people dropping flower pots on your head and stopping fighting when the police passes by, who can also arrest any one of you when the timer runs at, if any one of you is closest to your manhole. Every match won will award you a symbol, after earning five symbols you get the next set of symbols, but collect 45 symbols, or 145 fights, you’ll gain the rank of champion.

I really enjoyed this game, until it got repetitive, the gameplay is simple and it’s an easy pick up and play experience, but WOW does it have a negative reception and I’m going to do something I didn’t think I was ever going to do, criticise the critiques, keep in mind that everyone has their opinions, and this is just both for a laugh and defending the game. Levi Buchanan called it the “weakest NES games in the virtual console”; compared to the sports games that are also simple and kind of weak, look at me moaning about sports games again. GameSpot’s Jeff Gerstmann said it was tedious when it was originally released, and now it’s “about as boring as it can possibly be.” Probably said it as he was given bribe money from Activision; also you probably played the one player game and played it for hours on end. GameSpy’s Phil Theobald called the game awful and criticised it because it had a cameo on Tetris DS…facepalm!  With that said I can understand why critics don’t like this; it feels more like a Game & Watch game than an actual NES game, but you could say that with the launch titles on the NES. In fact, Urban Championship was an adaptation of a Game & Watch game simply called Boxing.

Overall, it’s a game you should play for about half and hour for some small enjoyment but to be honest, it does get repetitive after long durations of gameplay. But I think it has got an unfair reputation as it’s not the worst games on the NES at all…because that award in my opinion goes to Popeye, now that game that was terrible but you don’t see anyone criticising it. It seems the game was too ghetto to be loved by critics.

You can get it on NES/Famicom and Virtual Console (For Wii, Wii U and 3DS as part of the 3D Classics).



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