Nintendo was a bit delayed in announcing what VC game would be released today. Such a delay had people wondering just what surprises they had in store for this week. While this week’s game isn’t what our wildest dreams had in mind (*cough*EARTHBOUNDPLZTHX*cough*), it’s still an obscure little title, Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge. Personally, I’ve never heard of it…which is exactly the kind of thing the VC is best used for, so let’s see what it’s all about!
i>Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge
Developer: Technos Japan
Original Release Date: 1992
Cost: 500 Wii Points.
Alex Lucard: Crash ‘n the Boys is a hilarious combination of Track and Field and River City Ransom. Any game where you can purposely shred a hurdle and then stab your opponent with the remains is awesome in my book.
If you love River City Ransom or Super Dodge Ball, you’ll probably love this as well. It’s a button masher pure and simple, but well worth a few bucks.
D.J. Tatsujin: Out of all of the Kunio series games released to the United States, Crash ‘n the Boys Street Challenge is perhaps the most obscure, but that may also be its appeal – instead of focusing on a single mechanic, Street Challenge throws the infamous “River City Ransom/Super Dodge Ball” guys into a full sports spectrum where rules are for pansies.
If I can recall correctly, the story revolves around a handful of high school athletic teams. One of the school’s spoiled rich kids gets tired of losing to Crash and his school in proper academic athletics, so he has his father pull some strings to create a no-holds-barred invitational competition that consists of 100m “hurt-les,” hammer throw golf, rooftop jumping, street fighting and freestyle canal fights to name a few. As you might be able to see, even the most straight-forward sports become crazy affairs where the school athletes pretty much try to kill each other.
You actually get a lot variety among the schools, which all feature different characters with unique strengths, weaknesses and fighting styles and players can use earned medals to purchase items from stores to give them a big boost in upcoming events. The events surprisingly have a lot of variation, as Lucard has already pointed out; you can tear through hurdles and lob them at opponents, you have limited use of the environments in the street fights and the canal swimming is a real back-and-forth struggle. If you’ve ever played River City Ransom/World Cup Soccer/Super Dodge Ball, you know straight up what to expect from the game’s graphics (which feature some amusing animations, especially when you jump on someone’s back during the canal segment and plunge them into the water), sound and controls. With Street Challenge, though, you’ll have everything broken up into bite-sized segments for up to four players alternating.
For $5, you’ll be pulling in this obscure title for about half the price you can usually find it in cart form, and given the Virtual Console’s recent track record, this proves to be quite the deal. Much like the aspects of Track and Field, you’ll get segments that will test your speed, timing, skill and strategy, and the Kunio characters and environments lead to very unpredictable results that will have a multiplayer crowd roaring. This is game is truly best when played with others, as the single player wears thin easily, but at just 500 Wii Points, even the single player experience is bounds above a good heap of the garbage on the service.
Mark B.: Ah, the Kunio-kun games. Most American fans pretty much have experience with River City Ransom, Super Dodgeball in its multiple forms, and… Double Dragon II for Game Boy, oddly enough… but there are a ton of the games in Japan just waiting to be ported to the US (HINT HINT), and games like Renegade, Nintendo World Cup and Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge, though not exactly notable to casual gamers, were actually a part of the franchise, because aside from being gang-beating hooligans, Alex/Kunio and Ryan/Riki are apparently stellar, world-class athletes.
Anyway, Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge is, as noted above, essentially about multiple groups of thugs competing in a weird street olympics where the objective is to win the events, and if that means you have to break a face or two, hey, bonus. The games themselves are based on various olympic events, like the hammer throw, four hundred meter hurdles, swimming and judo, only done in a way where inflicting injury on your opponents is not only allowed, but ideal in most cases. The swimming event is really more about beating the other opponent into submission than anything else, the judo matches are essentially just fights with some grappling involved, and you can exploit the hurdles in said event to your advantage to screw with your opponents.
The game is essentially best with multiplayer, as the game gets boring when playing on your own and the CPU is kind of a dick, but if you have friends around to play it, for five dollars Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge is freaking hilarious, fun and generally worth its asking price and then some. Now if only we could get some of the Japan only Kunio-kun games…
Wii Ware this week sees Spaceball Revolution, a unique, 3-Dish puzzle game that looks pretty fun for 800 points, and Texas Hold’em Poker, which poker enthusiasts might be able to get into, but I’d rather play real poker and win money.