Blast from the Past: Crash ‘n’ the boys: Street Challenge (NES)
Crash ‘n’ the boys: Street Challenge is possibly one of the most surprisingly entertaining titles I have played this year. Upon stumbling on this game on the Nintendo eShop last week on the 3DS’ virtual console the trailer of the game both intrigued and shocked me. A game with Olympic based disciplines but with the main twist being that each game is played with no rules – street style! Crash ‘n’ the boys: Street Challenge was originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 with our region unfortunately not receiving the game – it was called Bikkuri Nekketsu Shin Kiroku! Harukanaru Kin Medal and is another Technos Japan classic. It comes from the same people who made River City Ransom. Nevertheless we finally have a chance to play this classic through virtual console both on the WiiU & 3DS.
The story is quite lighthearted and focuses on Crash, a young man from Southside High School who seems to be quite popular and extremely skilled when it comes to sports. His rival, Todd, who unlike Crash resides in an upper town classed area, in what one might call a wealthy society, has been beaten way too many times by Crash and has now issued a challenge to him where no rules apply. The odds are quite high in Todd’s favour especially since his wealthy father has now sponsored a special team to take down Crash and his boys.
Although the game has a light story it is far from light. The game is split up into a group of mini games such as 400 meter hurdles where the player goes head-to-head with another player (or the CPU) in a hurdle race where you’re able to knock your opponent down while racing. In the swimming discipline the player also goes head-to-head as they do in the 400 meter hurdle race while fighting each other in the water. The game also provides events that are not based on a head-to-head mode but rather a type of individual sport such as hammer throw and golf. Obviously in this case each player takes their turn to see how many points they can score.
An intriguing feature was the fact that these events are played through teams. The player has the option of choosing from different teams that consists of characters from each individual school or the team sponsored by Todd’s father. Each team member within the team has their own strengths and weaknesses, which reflect on their stats, HP, speed, power and defense. It’s up to you to find the best balance to bring home the gold. In this aspect I felt it gave the game a little bit of an RPG factor.
All in all Crash ‘n’ the boys: Street Challenge is both entertaining and fun. Combining short bursts of humour and forcing the player to try harder and harder. The story is lighthearted but adds to the value of the game, the RPG aspects also puts a twist on this sports genre, which in turn made me feel as if I were playing an RPG when selecting my teams before events. Another bonus to the game is that up to four players can play with two vs. two at a time. This is definitely a blast from the past and would make an epic arcade title.