Welcome to a new (hopefully) weekly segment entitled ‘Games I Want on [Insert Digital Platform]’ wherein I will tell you about a game I really want, and in some instance, need to arrive on said platform. This following rant and/or piece is strictly a meshing my own thoughts and ideas as to why said title should appear on those respective platforms. It’s a little facetious, a little silly, and really not intended to sway developers and publishers to push their product back out; just wishful dreaming that one day these games may arrive for us to enjoy once again.
Capcom, a company pretty much known for indulging your nostalgia and re-releasing games en masse have done it for nearly every one of their original IPs of the last 20 years, save for this one: Rival Schools. A typical fighting game full of creative characters and unique setting, Rival Schools was a deep fighter filled with various combos, launchers, parries and counters, and content to keep anyone, fighting game fan or not, entertained for hours. For someone like me who like to mash buttons while mindlessly contorting the joystick in stupid directions, Rival Schools was really not for me, and yet, I played it for hours on end (by myself even) to such grinning-like-a-goof joy.
Rival Schools, like I said, had a pretty simplistic setup. Various clubs and gangs that attend Justice High are tasked with determining who or what is causing trouble about Aoharu City. Choosing students or characters from the same affiliation created an interesting storyline, whereas random configurations created a more random fighting affair. No matter the setup, it was still one-on-one fighting with your ‘partner’ providing ‘vigor attacks’ that boost your meter and help build to team-up attacks that deal serious damage. It was less like the Marvel Vs series, and more a hybrid of Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Like any fighting game, all of the distinctive characters and ideas in place, one could spend hours training with one combatant and still never fully master them before moving on to the next fighter.
In addition to all of the story mode stuff, the home version included a disc called the ‘Evolution Disc’ which was full of minigames attributed to many of the students in-game. The localized version dropped a sim/character creation mode that sounded pretty appealing, but ‘would have taken too much time to translate’. Capcom didn’t outright drop love for Rival Schools as a ‘Super’ version was launched in Japan, and a sequel called Project Justice was released worldwide for the Dreamcast by 2001. Sadly, as the Dreamcast was pretty much dead by this time, I had moved on to the PS2 and beyond and didn’t learn of Project Justice until years after its release. I felt horrendous for my error. Still do.
What’s rather odd is, as of this posting, this is the exact 15th year anniversary (for the US) for Rival Schools, and it seems as though Capcom has made its mind up on it ever seeing it on the US PSN. The way I see it: if Darkstalkers got an HD collection, Rival Schools and Project Justice fans should get ‘justice’ and an HD package on PSN or XBL. I’d buy it, play it, and love every second of it. Happy 15th anniversary, Rival Schools, let’s hope Capcom recognizes this and does something about it soon…